Lakeland Walking Breaks

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Alcock Tarn

Alcock Tarn, on the fells above Grasmere


Alcock Tarn

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Click the pictures below to see more great views
Langdale to Grasmere
via Easedale Tarn
Grasmere to Langdale
via Silver Howe

Grasmere from Loughrigg Terrace

A circuit of Grasmere


Slater Bridge

School Knott Tarn

Windermere Walks

A selection of 8 walks around Bowness and Windermere

The Langdale Pikes from Loughrigg Fell

Around Loughrigg

A Boxing Day walk around Loughrigg Fell

Accommodation in


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Bridge House Hotel, a lake district hotel in grasmere

Bridge House Hotel



Alcock Tarn lies on the fells to the eastern side of Grasmere. The walk up to it is one of the finest medium level walks in the South Lakes area, and offers superb views across Grasmere and Rydal Water to Loughrigg Fell, as well as Easedale and the Langdale Fells. Helm Crag stands prominently to the North, while the white flash of Sour Milk Gill can be clearly seen. At the end of our climb Alcock Tarn awaits. In summer it is the perfect place for a fell side picnic. Unfortunately, on the day the following pictures were taken we did not linger long. A biting North wind and rain sent us back down the fell. Still, there's always another day.

We are starting out in Grasmere, and passing by the wishing well make a plea for the fine late autumn weather to continue. Unfortunately the coins that we threw in did not make any difference. Maybe I just don't know how to wish properly, as the weather turned cold and wet before the day was out. I want my money back!!!! No, seriously, it is all in a good cause. Maybe I'll pay double next time in the hope that my weather wish will come true.

We are taking the easy route up, via Brackenfell Woods, starting with a walk up the old road out of Grasmere, taking us past Mr. Wordsworth's fine residence, Dove Cottage. The above picture was taken some years ago at the beginning of Autumn. A certain someone forgot to take one on this trip!!

A quarter of a mile up the road and we get a glimpse of the views to come from this seat. It is a little early for a break, so a quick "lean and admire" will do.

The main road forks right here, along the "Coffin Route". We go left, along this wide track through Brackenfell Woods. There is a good reason why the track is so wide. It was built to take a horse and carriage. Back in Victorian Times Brackenfell Woods were a popular tourist attraction, and you had to pay to enter. Ordinary folk like you and I walked, but the wealthy took a horse and carriage from the village and enjoyed the woods in style.

Note the old iron pipes in the ground, and this small pond. It is in fact a kind of header tank for a water supply leading to a series of artificial waterfalls and streams in the woods, hence the Victorian plumbing. The water was piped from the stream that drains Alcock Tarn, into this pond, and from there down into the man made stream system.

As we leave the woods the views start to open up, offering this cracking view up Easedale, with Sour Milk Gill clearly visible. The only thing spoiling this photo is the skill of the photographer!

We've a brief period of sunshine, which was handy as this photo was taken from a seat situated a little way off the path above the woods, and provided a nice view whilst we enjoyed a drink.

A glimpse of the weather to come, as a single ray of sunlight beams into the Langdale Valley between Silver Howe and Lingmoor. In the background, Wetherlam also enjoys the benefit of the gap in the cloud. Meanwhile, where I am standing it is starting to persist with rain!


Shower over, and a little further up the fell, sunlight dapples the fells to the North. . Helm Crag is bathed in sunshine, but it does not last long as rain clouds continue to roll in and the wind picks up.

In places the path runs quite close to the edge, providing superb views across the valley to the village below.

We've reached the end of the pipework. This rock stands close to the path and within a short distance of the tarn. The end of the pipe can clearly be seen. The water below is Grasmere.

The weather is really starting to close in now, not so much showers, as a steady drizzle that was not forecast. Windermere can be seen in the distance as we make our way the final few yards to the tarn.

Alcock Tarn. You can see the waves on the water, what you cannot do from this photo is get an idea of the strength of the wind, or the rain and sleet driving into our faces. However, don't let me put you off with tales of bad weather. The photo on the top of the page is also of Alcock Tarn on an altogether more pleasant day, with warm sunshine and no wind. When it is like that, as it often is, then there is no better place for a fell side picnic.

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Don't forget to mention Lakeland Walking Breaks when contacting your chosen accommodation provider. The Lake District hotels and guest houses participating on this site are amongst the finest of their type in the region, combining a warm welcome and good food with superb facilities for the walker. So whether you prefer a comfy guest house or a country house style hotel, you'll be sure to find accommodation to suit your needs, and all within touching distance of the finest walking country in the world.