Eel Tarn, Eskdale

Name of walk Eel Tarn, Eskdale
Date of walk 2019-03-25
Distance walked (miles) 6
Duration of walk 6 hours 0 minutes
Weather Blue skies and sunshine
Peaks on walk None
Walked with Ged
Parking Trough House Bridge car park

Today Ged and I were going to Eskdale to follow a circular route up to Eel Tarn. A walk of six miles. It will include following the River Esk, crossing various bridges, two pubs, waterfalls, a mill, St Catherine’s Church and the awkward stepping stones back across the Esk.

01

View to Blackcombe from the layby outside Ireleth, where I pick up Ged. Superb weather today!

02

Once in Eskdale I park at Trough House Bridge car park, which is free, but be aware that from the turn off there is over 100m of winding single track road with no passing spaces. Reversing skills essential! Dalegarth Hall was built in 1599.

04

We follow signs for Gill Force and Doctor Bridge. The Doctor Bridge sign says half a mile....it isn't, it is a mile and a half! We cross the ford by the wooden bridge.

05

I have walked the path beside the River Esk before, so we take the higher one, which is easier walking.

06

07

The Woolpack Inn can be seen in the distance.

08

We take the gated path on the left just before we reach Low Birker Farm.

09

This leads to Doctor Bridge. Thankfully the sign back to Dalegarth correctly says a mile and a half!

10

The view down the Eskdale Valley.

11

We cross the main road and take the path down the side of the Woolpack Inn, signed Burnmoor and Wasdale Head. Its a bit too early to visit the pub!

12

13

The track up to Eel Tarn is easy to follow.

14

We pass an old peat hut.

15

We take a short break.

16

Ged admiring the views to Harter Fell.

17

We continue on the track.

18

Ged with Scafell and Slight Side ahead of him.

19

Eel Tarn is at an altitude of 650ft and is 6ft deep. Beyond the smoothed rock tors is Stony Tarn, we did toy with visiting, but will leave it until the summer when it will be warm enough to swim in. Left click to enlarge panorama, click again to return.

20

We stop for lunch.

21

A very small Ged on the right, shows how large the tarn really is.

23

24

Reflections.

25

We head to the far end of the tarn where we pick up the path down to Boot.

26

Looking across to Eskdale Moor with Whin Rigg beyond.

27

Great How and the route to Slight Side is to the right. Burnmoor Tarn is ahead, just beyond the dip.

28

Looking back to Scafell and Slight Side as we reach the wall.

29

Heading down to Boot.

30

Last view back before we take the signed, gated path, then tarmacked lane.

31

View to the peat huts which I visited with Fr. John last summer.

32

Very curious beasties!

33

Whillan Beck falls.

34

Eskdale Mill and waterwheel, and the 17th century packhorse bridge.

36

The mill and waterwheel from the bridge.

37

Boot.

38

We head for the Boot Inn and by chance meet up with fellow bell ringer Louise, David and Dot the dog. They have come on the La'al Ratty steam train. Bell ringers are usually found in churches, but pubs run a close second! We have a leisurely drink and catch up on news. Then we head off in the direction of St. Catherine's Church.

39

Looking back to Boot and the Brook House Inn.

40

St. Catherine's Church dates from the 14th century. It has two bells.

41

A bell on the window sill.

42

43

Tiny, compared to ours!

44

Just beyond the church are the stepping stones over the River Esk. Ged goes first.

45

The steps are widely set, so jumping is required. The 4th from the end comes to a peak....so balancing is required too! The stones can be avoided altogether by just heading back to the path passed on the way to the church.

46

We head back over the bridge and make our way back to the car park.

47

Views from Birker Fell road on the way back.

48

49

We stop at St. John The Baptist Church in Ulpha.

50

It has two small bells.

51

So tempting to give the ropes a pull! But I resist. Bird's nest on the beam.

52

There are records of a church here back in the 13th century.

53

The white painted walls have fragments of 18th Century decoration

Including stops for lunch and the pub, the 6.3 mile walk took us six hours. An easy walk on a lovely day when you are in no rush!

Jo.

 

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