Above the Vale of Grasmere.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Allan Bank - Wray Gill - Brigstone Moss - Lang How Tarns - Swinescar Hause - Little Castle How - Great Castle How - Easedale Tarn - Sourmilk Gill - Easedale - Easedale Road - Grasmere.

Notes. A short but rewarding outing, a wander along the Blea Rigg Ridge, the broad spine of wild upland that dissects Grasmere from Langdale, a wonderful high area that epitomises the characteristics of the Lake District, bound tightly in natural charm and beauty.

I parked on what's become my usual parking place when visiting Grasmere, a large lay-by on the edge of the A591 just north of the mini roundabout, directly across the road a path lead to the village. At the north-western corner of the village green next to the Miller How Café a single ribbon of tarmac leaves the housing behind, this was my guide into the hills. With tarmac under foot I wandered north, after crossing a cattle grid the lane turned right away from Allan Bank, a Georgian villa with wonderful views down the valley, one of Wordsworth's Lakeland homes. On reaching some whitewashed farm buildings the lane terminated to be replaced by a stoney track.

Onwards and upwards I climbed dry stone walls keeping me on track, steep in places. I soon left the track behind to ascend above the deep gorge cut by Wray Gill, this spectacular water course drains Brigstone Moss and the surrounding hills, it was the lower slopes of one of these hills I needed to head for, Lang How. The path I trod ushered me over it's lower slopes passed shallow Lang How Tarns then into stunning views to the head of Great Langdale and the pikes that rise from it.

Passed shallow tarns, over wet ground and rocky knolls, up low cliffs this delightful trod shepherded me. Under the slopes of Swinescar Pike then across Swinescar Hause before ascending Little Castle How, under the cliffs of Great Castle How and more small tarns I wandered to be halted by a small unassuming cairn. Some people love them, some hate them, in this case it was an assuring sign I'd reached an indistinct path junction, I perused over the map, once satisfied I turned right to start me descent to Easedale Tarn. The path unclear at first soon became obvious, it guided me down through some magical mountain scenery, depositing me on the shore of Easedale Tarn. I sat and drank coffee, chatted to other walkers before packing my bag and following the main trod along the banks of Sourmilk Gill back into the valley and the delights of Grasmere.

view route map.


Golden light over Grasmere seen from near Allan Bank.

Rising above frost veneered fields, Helm Crag.

Typical Lakeland farm with views to Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

Toiling up the Wray Gill path looking back to Helm Crag, Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

Nab Scar seen over the Vale of Grasmere with Wansfell Pike on the far horizon.

Passing above Wray Gill, looking to Fairfield, Great Rigg and Heron Pike.

At Lang How Tarns in the shadow of the hill they take their name from.

Stunning views to the head of Great Langdale, taking centre stage the Langdale Pikes.

Dark in the middle distance, Lingmoor Fell backed by the Coniston massif and Pike of Blisco.

Sunlight catches the still waters of Lang How Tarn.

Gain a little more height and Windermere Lake tilts into view.

Above Blindtarn Moss viewing Helm Crag backed by Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

Over frost covered lowlands, The Crinkle Crags.

Amazing views such as this welcome the visitor to the Blea Crag Ridge, Great Langdale and the dark mass of Lingmoor Fell.

From Great Castle How stunning views to Windermere Lake and the lowlands of South Cumbria.

Towards Blea Rigg from Great Castle How.

Heading through the beautiful wild emptiness of the Blea Crag Ridge looking to Helvellyn and the Dodds from this iced over un-named tarn.

Next on the agenda, Easedale Tarn.

A polished gem in a mountain setting, Easedale Tarn with this magical view for company.

Viewing the ragged heights of Blea Rigg, with Blea Crag to the left and Eagle Crag the right.

One of the delightful heights of Lakeland, rising from the frozen waters of Easedale Tarn, Tarn Crag.

Descending in the company of Sourmilk Gill, looking across Grasmere Common and Far Easedale to Gibson Knott.

The scene over Easedale.

Tarn Crag as viewed from near the Easedale Road.

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