4th May 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk 43

4 tarns from Newlands Valley

Time 10am to 2:30pm
Duration 4 hr 30 min
Distance 9.9 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with On my own
Rigg Beck - Newlands Church - Low High Snab - Scope Beck Tarn - Little Dale - Hindscarth - Hindscarth Edge - Dale Head - High Skawdel Tarn - Launchy Tarn - Dale Head Tarn - path down to Newlands Valley - Low Snab - Newlands Church - Rigg Beck
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -

Parking spaces, Rigg Beck, Newlands Pass

This is another of the many disused quarries in the Lake District that have been adopted as an unofficial car park. It may not be the largest parking spot around, but if I were looking for a space in the middle of the day I'd be tempted to grab a space here rather than take a chance on one of the other car parks having room.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Car trouble saw me parking at Rigg Beck at 10am instead of at Burnbanks at 8:30 today. I'd gone to the car only to find nothing happened when I pressed the remote to unlock it. And, nothing happened when tried to start it after I'd used the key to actually get inside the thing. OK, even with my limited mechanical skills I can sort this out myself, so, I set about trying to eliminate the obvious things such as was there enough screen wash in or was one of the tires flat or perhaps the radio needed retuned. None of these worked so I guessed it must be a flat battery. "That's strange" I thought to myself, , , , then I noticed the light switch was set to "ON". Ah well, at least I know it's my own fault.
Now all I need to do is borrow a set of jump leads.

Blimey, this is a far cry from the old purple wooden house that used to be here. I didn't take to this at first but now that it's been finished for a couple of years I think it fits in really well with the valley. Although for me personally I wouldn't like a house where almost the whole thing is glass fronted. When you walk down the road in front of the house absolutely nothing is left to the imagination of the person walking past and looking in. Very nice if you aren't bothered about having any privacy and just want to sit indoors and look at the view.

The beginning (and end) of todays walk was along the narrow road leading down to Newlands Church. Ahead of me are Dale Head and Hindscarth.

Approaching Newlands Church.

Looks like the local Mouwdy catcher has been busy.
"Yeah, that's right. It's the old Cumberland word for Mole. Coming from a Cumberland farming background I've always known them as Mouwdy."

Before getting onto the open fellside I pass by Low High Snab.

If you're heading onto Robinson this is more or less the point you need to head steeply uphill on the right hand side of the path. Today, my sights were set on Scope Beck Tarn rather than the heights of Robinson. This path takes you within a few yards of the tarn and although you've obviously gained a bit of height, it doesn't really feel like you've given your legs a good workout.

Looking back down to Newlands Valley with Cat Bells and the northern fells beyond.

And here's Scope Beck Tarn with its high looking dam.

I wonder if the water is as deep as the dam is high. Next time I come I'll bring a piece of string so I can tie a stone to it and, , , I'm sure you can work the rest out for yourselves.


A long distance view over the tarn, through Newlands and onto the Skiddaw / Blencathra fells.

Once I'd reached the path over there I had three choices. Go onto Robinson, walk straight through Little Dale or (as I did) cross the beck and head across to the ridge so I could get onto Hindscarth.

Looking back into Little Dale.

I'm back on a normal path now and progress to the top of Hindscarth felt swift and easy going. I reckon this was 'all in the mind' brought on because I hadn't actually walked the ridge from bottom to top; although I'd still walked an equivalent amount of ascent.

Here's a wider view looking out from the higher section of the path up Hindscarth.

North western fells seen from the shelter on Hindscarth (not the top).

Dale Head seen from Hindscarth.

Looking down to Buttermere from the path up to Dale Head.

The view from Dale Head summit.


A close up of Newlands Valley.

I had thought about walking down to Dalehad Tarn and then across to those two tarns you can see here (Launchy & High Skawdel). But, after discussing the matter with that sheep, I decided to head off path so I could swing around and visit these ones first.


It seems like the sunny afternoon is arriving just as predicted. Straight ahead is High Spy which was looking so attractive from here it almost talked me into heading up that way. However, it's been years since I'd walked down to Newlands valley by the route I'd set out to take so the plan was stuck to. I'm sure High Spy will still be there for another day.

After dropping steeply down from Dale Head I find myself on the flat(ish) area of ground and heading towards High Skawdel Tarn. It's easy going on a nice dry day like today but come here after weeks of heavy rain and you'd wish you were wearing wellingtons instead of walking boots.

High Skawdel Tarn.

From a distance it looks like there are two small tarns here but once you get this close you see there's a narrow channel joining them to make one tarn; albeit a strange shape.

A short walk across wet ground and I'm at Launchy Tarn.
The dark fells on the left are Scar Crags and Causey Pike, straight ahead is High Spy and in the distance on the right is Blencathra.


From Launchy Tarn to Dalehead Tarn is easy. Just head cross country in as straight a line as possible, no path required.

Lunch with a view of Dalehead Tarn.

Fed and watered I leave the tarn and make my way across to the top of the route back down to the valley.

Looking down towards Newlands Valley from the top of the path,

On the route down I pass by some quite impressive waterfalls of varying heights. This one has the greatest drop and must look incredible when the beck is in spate.


A view back to the head of the valley and as I was really sheltered down here it was warming up very nicely.


"instead of walking to Little Town and then down to the church, why not go across here and then walk through Low Snab Farm"
"yeah, that's a good suggestion"
So I did.

A long distance view through Newlands Valley to the Skiddaw fells.

Well, here I am back at Newlands Church and only a short walk from the car. It was a shame that the day had got off to such a crap start but the walk I ended up doing more than made up for an hour or so of hassle.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks