Easedale Tarn and Codale Tarn return via Tarn Crag.

Start. Grasmere.

Route. Grasmere - Easedale Road - Easedale - Sourmilk Gill - Easedale Tarn - Eagle Crag - Codale Tarn - Tarn Crag - Greathead Crag - Stenners Crag - Far Easedale - Easedale Road - Grasmere.

Notes. This is a gem of a walk, a walk of two distinct halves, frequenting 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 bowl 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 ushered me out of Grasmere, I knew this was the right way a massive white painted sign on the wall told me so, when the road swung right at a small cops a rather more discreet sign pointed the way. Through the cops I wandered, over two bridges then through a metal gate, with a good path to guide me and the waters of Sourmilk Gill for company I headed to Easedale Tarn. Lying in a hollow between Tarn Crag and Blea Rigg Easedale Tarn is a stunning picturesque body of water, formed by a corrie glacier, it is believed the hollow filed with water 11.000 years ago.

Standing around taking photos my attention was drawn to the head wall of the valley still in shadow, a path climbs it, and I had to. I wandered through the valley thinking of an excuse not to go this way, as I couldn't come up with one I ascended the path. Steep in places, hands on in others, it was a lot easier to ascend than it looked. I soon reached leveler ground and a path junction, right is Codale Tarn, so right I went. Remote and high in the mountains, with considerable effort required to reach it, that's probably the reason few walkers come this far, it's a gem I sat a while enjoying the silence, just me and the cold mountain wind.

Next on the bill for today the 1.807ft high Tarn Crag, now, Tarn Crag is only the rock face overlooking Easedale Tarn but, old Wainwright applied it to the whole fell, and why not it's a superb ridge walk, today I'm a Wainwright disciple. From Codale Tarn I wandered north over quite a large slice of boggy ground, a faint path guided me out of the hollow then onto the summit of Tarn Crag. I was now heading south striding out over a wide grassy ridge, a number of rocky steps slowed my progress. Over Greathead Crag I wandered before descending through bracken to gain access to the main trod linking Easedale and Far Easedale.

After turning left I descended into Far Easedale, forded Far Easedale Beck at Stythwaite Steps (foot-bridge) then continued south. With the steep slopes of Helm Crag rising to my left and Easedale opening out to my right I stepped between the dry stone walls of a narrow lane, the lane guided me back into Easedale where I regained the tarmac of Easedale Road, all that remained to re-trace my steps of earlier.

view route map.


Helm Crag painted by the morning light.

Towering above the Vale of Grasmere, Stone Arthur seen across the pastures of Easedale.

The white water and thundering cataracts of Sourmilk Gill.

Views over Bracken Hause, the dip between Gibson Knott and Helm Crag, filling the gap Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

Nestled in a ring of mountains, Easedale Tarn.

Seen over Easedale Tarn, Tarn Crag.

Wide skies and handsome views from the saddle between Eagle Crag and Belles Knott.

Codale Tarn in it's natural cradle, a stunning silent place broken only by the mountain breeze.

A polished gem in a mountain setting.

Soaking up the view from Tarn Crag.

I've sacrificed a little height but the views are still stunning, seen over the ridge linking Calf Crag (out of shot) and Gibson Knott (almost out of shot), sunlit Steel Fell backed by the Helvellyn massif.

Looking back to the formidable cliffs of Tarn Crag.

Greathead Crag with stunning views over Easedale and Grasmere.

A wonderful play of light on the hills bordering Far Easedale, in shadow yet to be kissed by the sun Moment Crag.

Helm Crag in sunlight and shade.

The bridge at Stythwaite Steps with views up Far Easedale.

The raging torrent of Sourmilk Gill seen from the walled track that's ushering me back.

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