Eskdale

Eskdale

Route: Eskdale

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 17th October 2018

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 5.5 miles

Ascent: 800 feet

Weather: Mixture of cloud, rain and sun

Eskdale is one of the most beautiful valleys in lakeland, but it’s very remote – it takes over an hour to drive here from the north of the district. However its remoteness is part of the charm, and guarantees that a walk here is unlikely to be spoilt by hordes of other walkers

I parked in the car park at Dalegarth Station, which is the terminus of the Ravenglass to Eskdale miniature railway, known as La’al Ratty (meaning “little railway“ in old Cumbrian dialect)

After walking along the valley road for a short distance I turned right to join a grassy path leading up Hollinghead Bank. It seemed as though I was in for a steep ascent, but the path was well graded and a series of zigzags took the sting out of the climb. Eventually I arrived at Blea Tarn, set in a lovely position below the craglets of Bleatarn Hill. The weather was dull and overcast, but I could see a break in the weather approaching and waited for 10 minutes in order to enjoy the scene in better light

I then made my way over to nearby Siney Tarn, which is split into several smaller pools and is set in the middle of some extremely boggy terrain. The faint path is easily lost here, and anyone who emerges from this section with dry feet can is lucky. My feet were sodden by the time I navigated my way to the next section of the walk, which turned out to be the highlight of the circuit

I joined a delightful grassy path which contoured around the fellside, with wonderful views over Eskdale along the way, enhanced by some welcome sunshine. I descended to the valley floor, crossing in turn the railway line, the road and the River Esk, to start the return journey along the other side of Eskdale. An easy path took me through Low Wood, past Dalegarth Hall and back to the road. From here I retraced my steps back to the start of a delightful walk

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