16th May 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk 45

Dubbs Reservoir and Borrans Reservoir

Time 8:05am to 12:05pm
Duration 4 hr
Distance 10.1 mile
Ascent 1900 ft
Walking with On my own
Church Bridge - Garburn Pass - Sallows - Moor Head - Sour Howes - Applethwaite Common - Dubbs Road - Dubbs Reservoir - Borrans Lane - Borrans Reservoir - Moorhowe Road - Longmire Road - Garburn Pass - Church Bridge
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Parking spaces, Church Bridge, Troutbeck

There isn't a great deal of room here; perhaps a few more than half a dozen spaces if you're lucky. Once these are taken however, people generally begin to park along the road near the church.

Parking is free

There are lots of walking on offer from this spot, but for myself, I find this an ideal place to head out onto the western arm of the Kentmere horseshoe.


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


I set out this morning by walking up the Troutbeck side of Garburn Pass. This is the beginning of the track (I'm standing on the main road) which zigzags it's way above The Howe before taking on a more direct line all the way to the highest point on the route.

A view of Troutbeck stretching across the side of Wansfell Pike.

Looking up the bottom section of Garburn Pass with Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke on the skyline.

A view behind shows the lovely village of Troutbeck and in the distance in a small section of Windermere.

Well, this is as far as I walked on Garburn Pass. I'm standing right next to the stile that would take me onto Sallows.

Sour Howes seen from Sallows summit.

and here's Sallows summit.

For most of the route between the two fells you simply follow the walk and then, , , ,

, , , , a decent grassy path leads you away from the wall and across to the summit.

I didn't spend a great deal of time at height today. No sooner had I reached Sour Howes and I was heading back down again. Here on the beginning of the route off the fell you get a great view across to Windermere and the Coniston fells.

When I reach Dubbs Road I turn left and make my way towards Dubbs Reservoir. That it over there.

People walking past Dubbs reservoir are warned that if the cross the wall, gate or fence then they become trespassers and when that happens you get prosecuted. I'm not exactly sure who would catch me and even if they did, they'd have to ask extremely nicely before I actually told them who I was or where I lived. Anyway: despite my cocky attitude that I wouldn't get caught, I remained on the legal side of the wall and still managed to get some photos of the place.




The sun comes out and I take a picture looking back towards Sour Howes.


I'm not going quite that far but the route would take me to Borrans Reservoir.

Sour Howes seen from Borrans Lane.

The second tarn (reservoir) today was Borrans Reservoir. This is the dam and right across the top is a wall in such good condition that I'm sure lots of people would like around their garden.

In the 1880’s the reservoir was constructed by building a dam across the valley of the River Gowan, and flooding the low lying swampy ground around it, creating the deep lake that we have today. The idea was to sell water to the mills further down river at Staveley, who were making things like cotton bobbins for the mills of Lancashire. Eventually it was taken over by the Water Board, now United Utilities as part of the water supply for Windermere – this is no longer used.



Borrans Reservoir outflow. I wonder if they open it as a water slide for people on hot days.



From the reservoir I double back along Borrans Lane. I know this isn't exactly what you'd call fell walking but you have to admit the countryside around here is lovely.
That's Red Screes in the far distance.


Blimey, I wouldn't want to upset this guy.

This picture was taken from the end of Longmire Rd (track). It's just under a mile from here to Garburn Pass.

Looking over Troutbeck to Stony Cove Pike, Troutbeck Tongue, Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke.

Longmire Rd (Track).

A close up of Troutbeck Tongue, Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke.

And here I am back at the lower section of Garburn Pass with only a short walk to get to the car.


David Hall -
Lake District Walks