Saturday, 3 September 2016

Harrop Tarn and Thirlmere



This beautiful short walk begins at Dob Gill car park at the side of Thirlmere with a steep climb through the woods. It's a pitched path all the way to the upper falls but that doesn't make it much easier. The woodland is very dense so consequently its hard for the sun to penetrate so this adds the extra problem of it being damp all year round and very, very slippy. I was just thankful that I didn't have to come back down this way.

I only came across one human being on the entire walk and that was near the start where a chap was descending very gingerly and was being very careful where he placed his feet due to the slipperiness of the rocks. 

After much puffing and panting, I emerged from the woods and in to a clearing with a fabulous view of Dob Gill's upper falls. As you can see from the photo, the falls are beautifully framed by the surrounding trees and its one of those spots that you just don't really want to move on from. Add to that the sun had now broken through so things in my world were all good.

Its then a easy walk to Harrop Tarn; the hard work having all been done in the woods. Harrop Tarn is a classic glacial tarn in a high corrie with Tarn Crags around its south west shores. Its water comes from the Ullscarf catchment area above bringing with it much sediment which is gradually silting up the tarn as shown by the great swaths of sedge grass around its edge. At best it is only 4m (4 yards) deep. The outfall drops north west down Dob Gill to reach Thirlmere reservoir.

This tarn really is a hidden gem which thankfully not many people bother with. Its stuck in the middle of a rock and a hard place really. It's too steep and difficult for the leisure walkers but not demanding enough for the serious walkers who only seem to be interesting in Wainwright bagging and gaining height. The fells on the other side of Thirlmere are of more interest to them. It is a fabulous place for photography though.

The rest of the walk is on a forest road which is not every one's cup of tea. One good thing about them is that they are well constructed and you have no chance of getting lost as they all eventually lead down hill to the road. This one carried on uphill for a while before turning and heading back down to Thirlmere. When you do eventually emerge from the upper woods, you are treated to the most beautiful view of Thirlmere and the Helvellyn fells. 

The Lake District does this to you a lot. Just when you think the views are over for the day, you just turn a corner and then bang, a view to die for opens up. The only drawback of this walk is the final stroll along the road by the side of Thirlmere to the car park. Its only a narrow road with many bends so you are at the mercy of cars and their drivers for the last half mile or so. A small price to pay for such a beautiful walk.


Upper Dob Gill Falls.

Bridge over Dob Gill

Harrop Tarn and Tarn Crags.

Harrop Tarn and Tarn Crags.

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

Harrop Tarn and Tarn Crags.

Harrop Tarn

Bridleway to Watendlath

Harrop Tarn

Bridleway to Watendlath

Thirlmere forest

Thirlmere forest

Thirlmere forest

Thirlmere

Forest track

Thirlmere

Thirlmere

Forest track

Forest track

To Lochinver via Coigach

Again, I don't really think many words are needed for this blog. The photos tell the whole story of one of the best drives in the UK. ...