1st November 2015

Alcock Tarn, Nab Scar, Rydal and Grasmere

Time 9:30am to 2:20pm
Duration 4 hr 50 min
Distance 7.1 mile
Ascent Somewhere around 1600 ft
Walking with Jennifer
A591 - Greenhead Gill - Alcock Tarn - Nab Scar - Rydal - Rydal Hall - Rydal Water - Loughrigg Terrace - Grasmere (lake) - Grasmere (village) - A591
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Roadside parking, A591 outside Grasmere

I've described this spot as roadside parking, but it is actually a rather long lay-by found between Grasmere and the bottom of Dunmail Raise. It is quite a popular spot, so latecomers may arrive to find it full. If this turned out to be the case the best alternative would be to try one of the car parks in Grasmere itself. It all depends on where you're going of course, but the distance this would add onto your walk is not much at all.


Route Map


We set off today along the narrow lane leading off the main road where we'd parked, we past Dora's Cottage, and then turned left up towards the fellside itself. Rather than sticking to any sort of plan, we simply reached various points along the way and made on the spot decisions where to continue the walk. The result was an enjoyable 7 and a bit mile walk with lots of interest along the way and some really nice autumn colours for us to enjoy.


Once we're past the end of the road and over the small bridge we follow the path next to Greenhead Gill for a short while. The route up to Alcock Tarn then adopts the zigzag approach to getting people from the bottom to the top of a steep hill.


For a brief time the mist parts and Stone Arthur shows itself on the opposite side of Greenhead Gill.

Alcock Tarn.

And again, this time taken from the start of the path across to Nab Scar.

Considering there was hardly a breath of wind, it amazed me how in the space of a few seconds, you can go from hardly any visibility at all to this. Unfortunately it's the same the other way around. By the time the camera was back in its case, the view had gone again. Never mind, I quite like walking in cloud anyway and at least I can say it was 'atmospheric' which, if you think about it is just a posh way of saying there wasn't a view.

We stayed in think cloud all the way over Nab Scar and it wasn't until this point on the route down to Rydal that we got another view. Here you see most of Rydal Water.


"Fancy a cuppa at the tearoom in Rydal Hall"
"Yeah why not. We're not in a rush to get anywhere"
While I waited for the refreshments to arrive I had a wander behind the tearoom and found this strange looking structure next to the beck.

These pictures don't do the colours any justice but it was really lovely walking around here today. Some sunshine would have helped but it was dry so I'm not complaining at all.

The Grot and the waterfall.



Here's the the bottom two thirds of Nab Scar reflected in Rydal Water.


We look across Grasmere from the weir and both of us notice all the signs are there that the day may be brightening up.

Autumn reflections in Grasmere.

Grasmere's lake shore path was surprisingly quiet today.


"I don't know why you're looking so fed up, I'm the one doing all the work"

Perhaps we should have done the walk the other way around.

And to finish, I take a picture looking up towards Seat Sandal. To state the obvious the afternoon had turned out to be as perfect as anyone could wish for. Better late than never springs to mind, shortly followed by who's idea was it to set off early.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks