This walk came about due to the constraints requested by the landowner of the Martindale Deer Forest, and the nearby loveliness that is Angle Tarn. After an out and back to The Nab - which is the preferred route, side-stepping the peat hags and general sogginess, looking over Angle Tarn from one of the grassy topped crags is such a refreshing antidote that we couldn't miss it out. In all a well rounded walk, a bit of everything, and leaving the car park in one direction you arrive back from the other.
The walk starts at the far end of the lovely village of Hartsop. A car park, just a patch of rough ground, sits on the very edge of the fells. Walking past the remains of the abandoned Myers Beck Lead Mine, the climbing soon starts. Man's hand in the landscape continues at Hayeswater Reservoir, currently being returned to a mountain tarn. Then a steep and damp climb up grass slopes to Rest Dodd which lies just off the Roman road of High Street. The Nab and its peat hags quickly follow. Skirting the slopes of Rest Dodd on the way to Angle Tarn the ground conditions improve and from here onwards mostly consists of good paths or tracks. In good weather a lunch stop on Buck Crag overlooking the tarn is thoroughly recommended. On clear paths the busy junction of Boredale Hause is reached, and then a steep descent on the aqueduct track brings you back to the minor road near the junction with the Kirkstone road. From which it is a short stroll back through the village to the car park.
Some people prefer to walk to The Nab when the ground is frozen solid and the peat hags unlikely to be problematic. However, the descent onto the ridge is very steep and a slip would be awkward in such a remote location. If anything, perhaps schedule it for during a dry spell.
This walk was surveyed just before the Hayeswater dam was removed during the summer of 2014. The footbridge over the outfall is to be removed and a new bridge installed where the bridleway crosses the outflow. Paths in the area are apparently going to be re-surfaced with the concrete and stone from the dam and earthworks.
In the summer months fields between the car park and the top fell gate may have cattle. These are a particularly aggressive dairy breed which you should not approach, whether you have a dog or not.
A small car park is at the farthest end of the village from the main road. It gets very busy at holiday times, as does the car park at Cow Bridge on the main road.
If you need accommodation we have details of 11 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Continue through the car park and go through the gateway onto the track past the sheep pens. Stay on the metalled track as it climbs to the cattle grid. Cross and immediately bear right to drop down on a rough track to the bridge over Hayeswater Gill. To the right are the remains of stone pillar supports for the water wheel and launder (water chute) of the Myers Head mine.
Over the bridge and swing left to climb steeply around the nose of Gray Crag. Continue on the track above the fell gate to arrive eventually at the dam.
Note: if the footbridge has been installed where the bridleway crosses Hayeswater Gill, then cross here and climb the grass slopes off the end of what remains of the bridleway.
Cross the footbridge below the dam and climb the grass slope above. The old bridleway hardly exists on the ground. Bearing left before the slope steepens further head for the wall to the left and join the gravel path just above the junction of stone walls. Turn left and go through the gap in the wall.
Drop down to the stepping stone across a gill, and then two more very minor beck crossings. Immediately after the third, which is barely 100m (110 yards) from the wall, turn right up grass slopes on a faint path heading between two peat hags. Reaching the broken down wall corner cross it and continue on the path. As the slope gradient eases, keep right and the small summit cairn of Rest Dodd soon appears. Another cairn resides over to the left across a shallow gully.
Continue on from the summit cairn, keeping slightly right heading NNE, as the path starts descending The Nab appears across a peaty hag infested col. Continue over a small bump on the already steep ridge down after which the gradient gets particularly severe. Nearing the bottom cross the step stile at the end of the wall slightly to the right. Beware as it is precarious and poorly built.
After the wall the path gradually gets wetter. Encountering the peat hags favour skirting them to the right. Largely it is a case of looking for the ways previous walkers have crossed the nasty bits and follow suit. Follow the path as it finally climbs clear of the hags and takes flight for the summit of The Nab.
Retrace your steps back across the ridge, taking as much care as on the outward crossing! Approaching the wall, just after the last small hag is passed, bear right on a faint path through the grass. Aim for the old stone stile now somewhat broken down, or one of the other broken sections of the wall. Cross it and bear right to follow alongside.
As the gradient steepens bear left away from the wall to steer between two small grassy bumps. Cresting the gap between them a clearer path can be seen bearing right and meandering down to join with the path to Angle Tarn. Reaching it bear right, cross the rough rocky ground to go through the gap in the wall. Continue ahead to Angle Tarn.
Keep to the path on the right hand side of the tarn and at its head swing left under Angletarn Pikes and then right to meander on a lovely, if narrow, terraced path.
Descend to Boredale Hause. The last bit becomes rough with occasional cairns confirming the route as it soon drops into a gully, or during rain the path becomes a beck.
Boredale Hause is unmistakable with its collection of manhole covers - the Hayeswater pipeline runs underneath.
On Boredale Hause turn left, then bear left to descend steeply on a well maintained track. Follow the track as the descent gradient eases and continues left around the fellside on the way back towards Hartsop. The track levels just above the fields of the valley, and eventually reaches the cascades of Angletarn Beck.
Bear left to cross the beck and go through the gate set in the wall. Follow the path next to a wall through Calf Close.
After 300m (330 yards) keep right and follow the narrowing path. Climb gently to a knoll and, continuing, go through another gateway into a narrow lane. At the other end of the lane bear left, then keep left to follow the concrete roadway climbing again gently to above Hartsop village.
Keep right and go through a field gate into the village. Turn left at the road and the car park is soon reached.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Brock Crags and Angletarn Pikes circular walk from Hartsop||10m (11 yards) away|
|Pasture Beck Round, from Hartsop||10m (11 yards) away|
|Around Hayeswater Reservoir||22m (24 yards) away|
|The Dovedale Round: Hartsop above How, Hart Crag, High Hartsop Dodd||0.8km (0.5 miles) away|
|St Sunday Crag and Grisedale Tarn||3.3km (2.0 miles) away|
|A visit to Place Fell overlooking Ullswater||3.3km (2.0 miles) away|
|Birks and Arnison Crag||3.3km (2.0 miles) away|
|Place Fell and a stroll alongside Ullswater||3.5km (2.1 miles) away|
|Glenridding Dodd||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
|Lanty's Tarn, Keldas, and Patterdale Circular||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
|Lanty's Tarn, Birkhouse Moor, Red Tarn, Catstycam||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|Helvellyn, The Classic Ridges of Striding and Swirral Edge||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|White Side and Raise, from Glenridding||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|Glenridding Dodd, Heron Pike and Sheffield Pike||4.6km (2.9 miles) away|
|Greenside Mine and Glenridding Beck Circular Stroll||4.7km (2.9 miles) away|
|Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass||5.0km (3.1 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011