Route: Eskdale

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 26th July 2019

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 6.0 miles

Ascent: 800 feet

Weather: Mostly cloudy, quite warm,

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

We 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 we turned right to join a grassy path leading up Hollinghead Bank. The ascent seems steep when viewed from below, but a well graded path and a series of zigzags take the sting out of the climb. Eventually we arrived at Blea Tarn, set in a lovely position below the craglets of Bleatarn Hill. The weather was rather dull and overcast, and didn’t show the remote terrain in its best light today

We then made our way over to nearby Siney Tarn, which is split into several smaller pools and is set in the middle of some extremely boggy terrain. Navigation is quite tricky around here, paths appear and disappear, and some of those shown on the OS map don’t seem to exist at all. It’s likely that a degree of improvisation will be needed, as happened today when we deviated from our route last time here. The detour, which avoided a particularly boggy area, added about half a mile to the itinerary

We joined a delightful grassy path which contoured around the fellside, with wonderful views over Eskdale along the way, enhanced by some improving weather. We 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 us through Low Wood, past Dalegarth Hall and back to the road. From here we retraced our steps back to the start of a delightful walk

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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