A cinderella story: Greendale Tarn

Duration:Half Day

Greendale Tarn is tucked away in a quiet hanging valley between the steep craggy slopes of Seatallan and Middle Fell. The corrie that holds this secretive tarn faces southwest and catches the afternoon and evening sun making it the perfect destination for a short but energetic walk followed by a picnic. In summer you might also glance an Ouzel (the mountain blackbird) displaying over Seatallen. Slightly off the beaten track Greendale Tarn is a bit of a “Cinderella” location but if you make the effort to visit this gem you will be amply rewarded with a touch of real wilderness and views that will stick with you forever.

Start/Finish: National Trust Layby, GR NY150054

Distance: 5.8km (3.6 miles) | Time: 3.5 hours | Height gain: 365m

  1. From the Wast Water viewpoint head up the road a short distance to the junction, turn L and follow the pleasant road to the houses at Greendale.
  2. Just before the houses at Greendale a path strikes off R and climbs N up the fell side to enter Greendale Gill. Follow it beside the beck to a ford insight of the cascades of Tongue Gill Waterfalls.
  3. Cross the ford and then follow the path up the W side of Greendale Gill. After about 1km the gradient eases as the path nears Greendale Tarn.
  4. The long narrow tarn is littered with large erratic boulders which are worth exploring and to provide shelter if the wind is blowing. Despite its high mountain setting, Greendale Tarn is not devoid of life, it has a population of brown trout and on a summers’ day you can often see dapples in the water as they take insects from the surface. To return re-trace your steps back to the start.

Further Information

Strenuousness: 2/5 | Navigation: 1/5 | Technicality: 2/5

Terrain: Valley road, rough gill side path, tarn and hanging valley.

Maps: OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL6; Harveys’ Superwalker Lakeland Western (1:25 000); British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40 000)

By Andrew Porter

Ranger, West Lakes (Wasdale) I am a young & enthusiastic individual, who has been brought up in & lived in the Lakes all my life (Eskdale). I have a keen passion for countryside management and a personal interest in farming/ outdoor pursuits and most sports. My favourite tasks include walling, fencing & most hands-on activities, as well as working with working holiday groups/ volunteers ensuring they have a great time & experience with us. I aim to run National Trust farming based events/ experiences, where people can come along, try something new & learn about farming/ farming related tasks in the Lakes (Fell farming, Herdwicks, etc). All whilst having fun!!

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How to get here

Wasdale National Trust Layby

CA19 1

Ordnance Survey OL6
The English Lakes
South Western area

NY 148 051

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