Alcock Tarn Walk, Grasmere.
Was in two minds to call this “A view with a seat” or “A seat with a view” for reasons that will become clear once we start on our walk.
This is what I call my early morning walk. In the Summer when the visitors are here, this is the perfect start to the day. Get up early and you won’t see a soul.
It is also the walk from Grasmere that gives a lot with not a lot of effort. The other obvious attraction is that every so often you will find a well placed seat. This makes it an ideal walk in my book. Time to stop and take in the view should never be over estimated. It’s not a race. Relax and enjoy.
So to start this walk we head through Townend Grasmere, past Dove Cottage Wordsworth’s former home. Arriving at what is called the duck pond, but sometimes is no more than a puddle, continue up hill to the left. The path to the right will take you on to the coffin route to Rydal. Another popular local walk. You will arrive at the gate to National Trust land, Brackenfell.
Continue on through wooded land and you will arrive at your next direction marker. Just in case there is any doubt, someone has written on it in pen.
Round the corner is a lovely little pool. I have been told this is where the packhorses stopped to drink.
Carrying on up hill you really start beginning to see some fantastic views. Helm Crag can be seen across the valley.
Just when you are tiring after a bit of an uphill stretch. Guess what? Yes it’s another bench.
Grasmere Village is set in a natural amphitheatre. From here we can see across to another of the most popular walks the Easdale Valley and Easdale Tarn.
And looking to the left Grasmere Lake has now come into view too.
Not far now. But what’s this? Yes my favourite seat of all.
Cresting the top of the hill after going through a cutting in the wall, Alcock Tarn appears before you.
It was originally a natural tarn and called Butter Crags Tarn. In the late 19th century Mr Alcock who lived in the Hollins further down the hill enlarged and damned the tarn to create a trout lake. Hollins is now the regional office for National Trust.
This photograph shows Loughrigg Fell from Alcock Tarn with Windermere in the distance. You can also see Coniston Water from here too. You are about 1,000 feet above Grasmere at this point.
Walking past Alcock Tarn you reach another little tarn with Butter Crag to your right. Just as you start to head downhill you get a fantastic view of Greenhead Gill with Stone Arthur to the left.
The path downhill becomes quite clear now, and it’s an easy walk down off the fell.
As you get a bit lower you will be able to see part of the pipe route carrying water to Manchester on your right.
Well that’s us at the last “seat with a view” of the walk. Just a short stroll down the left side of the stream. Don’t worry you don’t need to negotiate the stepping stones there is a little bridge at the end.
Carry on across the bridge and down the lane which will bring you out at the main A591 and the Swan Hotel
Now that’s another reason this is such a perfect walk. It literally takes you from one end of Grasmere to the other. At just over 3 miles, this is the walk I would suggest to anyone with limited time in the Lake District to get a lot of view for not too much effort, and don’t forget all these rest stops!.