5th September 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk 65

Tarns on Blencathra

Time 7:55am to 4:25pm
Duration 8 hr 30 min
Distance 13.7 mile
Ascent 4600 ft
Walking with Paul Sharkey
Threlkeld - near Gategill Farm - Hall's Fell - Hall's Fell Ridge - Blencathra - Scales Fell - Scales Tarn - Blencathra - Knowe Crags - Blencathra summit Tarn - Atkinson Pike - Glenderamackin Col - Bowscale Fell - Bannerdale Crags - River Glenderamackin - top of Mousthwaite Combe - Scaley Beck - Diddick Gill - Gategill Farm - Threlkeld
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside, Threlkeld village

Threlkeld offers lots of roadside parking. If you should decide to park in the centre of the village instead of using one of the car parks, it really is a case of just turning up and finding a convenient spot.


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


Today, I find myself parked up in Threlkeld to visit the two tarns found on Blencathra. And, because this walk can fit in nicely with Paul's Blencathra walk from his Harry Griffin 2000ft project we join forces to spend a day on and around the high ground above Threlkeld.

Early morning sunshine brightens the ridge ahead of us and despite the autumnal nip in the air as we set out of Threlkeld, it was beginning to warm up very nicely.

I'd find it hard to believe the most difficult of customers could find reason to complain about this view.

A close up of the north western fells.

Looking up to Blencathra summit and the ridge to Doddick Fell from the sea of heather on the side of Hall's Fell.


We're back on the ridge now and during the time we were having our excursion across the heather, several people had overtaken us and were making good time in reaching the summit.

The view back down the ridge.

Heading up Hall's Fell Ridge with an extensive view and plenty of fresh air behind us.

A close up of Thirlmere.

This was the first of our visits to Blencathra summit today. On this occasion we had the place to ourselves.

Summit time was brief and we soon found ourselves walking down the top section of Scales Fell heading for Scales Tarn. My aim was to visit the Tarn and Paul was aiming for Sharp Edge.

Here's a view back up Scales Fell towards the top of Blencathra. From here, we'd take an off path, direct route down to Scales Tarn.

It was lovely and warn at Scales Tarn. We were out of any breeze there might have been and as it's an obvious sun trap, the temperature seemed to jump up by a few degrees down here.
It was here that we went our separate ways for a while. Paul's route included a crossing of Sharp Edge and as it didn't matter which route I took I opted head straight back up to the summit ridge again. I've been across Sharp Edge in the past and two bits of it left me feeling far too exposed for comfort so I see no need ever to go there again.

Scales Tarn.

Here's a close up of Paul on Sharp Edge; just past one of my uncomfortable bits.


Looking back down to Scales Tarn.

Blencathra summit is reached for the second time. Summit time lasted just long enough to take this picture looking across the ridge to Derwent Water and the fells beyond.

Blencathra Summit Tarn.

Pity the sun decided to hide its face while we were near the tarn.


A view across to Mungrisdale Common. Skiddaw, Bakestall, Great Calva and Knott are in the background.

Leaving Blencathra behind we head down to Glenderamackin Col and then onto Bowscale Fell.

Now we have some easy walking for a while as we make our way up to Bowscale Fell.

Bowscale summit cairn in front of Carrock Fell.

This time without the cairn but including High Pike.


Bannerdale Crags summit.

From Bannerdale Crags we head very steeply down to the River Glenderamackin. You need to be careful here, as I said at the time, "you need to watch every single step".

Blimey, when I first caught site of this I thought it might have been the remains of someone who may have lived here thousands of years ago and has preserved in the peat. It turned out to be a tree root.

A view up the River Glendaramackin.

Well, even though we still have about 3 mile left to walk, I reckon that's just about all our 'significant' ascent done for the day.

Zooming in a little on the A66 as it twists it's way towards Penrith.

Looking over Scales to Great Mell Fell.

Looking into Scaley Beck.

Great Mell Fell again, this time taken from the fellside behind Doddick Farm.

The route back to Threlkeld follows the base of Blencathra and because we were quite sheltered it was lovely and warm walking across here.

Before walking through Gategill Farm I take a picture looking into Gate Gill.

Gate Gill Farm.


And that was a walk up, down and back up Blencathra. Brilliant day on the fells in very kind weather.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks