Easedale and Codale Tarns return over Tarn Crag.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Easedale Road - New Bridge - Sourmilk Gill - Easedale Tarn - Codale Tarn - Tarn Crag - Cockly Crag - Far Easedale - Stythwaite Steps - Easedale Road - Grasmere.

TNotes. This is a gem of a walk, a walk of two distinct halves, visiting two delightful Lakeland tarns before wandering back over a rarely visited hill. The first stretch is well-loved and equally well-trod, many pairs of boots wander the path through Easedale, rising in the company of the descending cataracts of Sourmilk Gill, gaining height gradually before stepping into the vast comb containing Easedale Tarn. The second half is distinctively quieter, a lonely ascent out of upper Easedale allowed me to visit Codale Tarn, returning over one of the least walked hills in the area, Tarn Crag.

Easedale Road guided me out of Grasmere, at a small cops on a right hand bend I crossed a foot-bridge, a portal into Easedale. With Easedale Beck for company I wandered on, soon I found myself ascending besides the milky waters, cascades and cataracts of Sourmilk Gill, the gill accompanied me all the way to Easedale Tarn. It was quiet at this time of morning but looking back down the path the crowds were approaching. I left heading for the steep ascent between Eagle Crag and Belles Knott, a pitch path guided me, at the apex of the climb a cairn marked a path junction, I turned right, a short walk brought me to little Codale Tarn, a lonely stretch of water, safe from the mob on the path far below, I sat a while, had a brew before planning my route back.

Back was easy? north over boggy ground, a faint path to guide me, a short sharp ascent to Tarn Crag summit followed before I descended to the east. All did not go to plan, I intended to walk the spine of the hill, keeping to high ground as long as possible. After the first section of descent I strayed off the path, traversing under Greathead Crag instead of over it, at least this route gifted me with wonderful views to Easedale Tarn, I stepped onto the main path linking Easedale to Far Easedale slightly west of where I intended. Now heading north a good path under foot I descended to join the main trod through Far Easedale at Stythwaite Steps, all that remained to follow the track out of the valley passing under the steep slopes of Helm Crag before stepping back onto Easedale Road.

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The gateway to Easedale, the foot-bridge spanning Easedale Beck.

Viewing Slapestone Edge with Tarn Crag rising out of shot to the right.

Seen over Easedale, Heron Pike.

Ascending the Easedale Tarn path with this view behind me.

Sourmilk Gill looking to Helm Crag.

Looking to Blea Crag and Eagle Crag.

Lit by the morning sun, Helm Crag backed by the shadowed slopes of Great Rigg and Heron Pike.

Easedale Tarn, once the home to a Victorian Tea Shop, hence the good path I've been treading.

The high skyline, Dollywaggon Pike, Seat Sandal and Fairfield seen over Easedale Tarn.

Ascending to the coll between Belles Knott and Eagle Crag, the sound of falling water was never very far away.

The cascading waters of Codale Beck with views back to Easedale Tarn.

Codale Tarn one of the secret corners of Lakeland.

The summit cairn Tarn Crag with stunning views to the south.

Another cairn a few paces to the south of the summit, another wonderful view.

As seen from the summit of Tarn Crag, Codale Tarn and the rock architecture of the Langdale Pikes, in this case Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.

The rugged heights of Tarn Crag provide a great view, the ridges of the Helvellyn massif seen over Steel Fell....

....with Windermere Lake and Grasmere to the south.

I may be descending the wrong path but with views like this who cares.

Helm Crag rising from Far Easedale.

Far Easedale Beck seen from the foot-bridge that replaced Stythwaite Steps.

Views out of Far Easedale with Loughrigg Fell dominating the horizon.

Across the fields Sourmilk Gill.

Lang How from Easedale Road.

The ragged profile of Tarn Crag also seen from Easedale Road.

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