According to local boy Wordsworth there are two immortal fish in Bowscale Tarn, and one of them can speak! Of course he was a pretty good story teller, but who knows maybe there is...
Bowscale Tarn is set in a fantastically remote setting. Hemmed in by crags, its outfall, Tarn Sike, just manages to escape the great moraine ridge dam holding back the tarn. Much of the route is a bridleway, a pony track built for the gentrified Victorians, starting from the hamlet of Bowscale in the parish of Mungrisedale between Keswick and Penrith. There is a small car parking area on the right hand side of the road just before it turns sharp right between the houses.
Apparently the tarn is quite a good depth, about
As a high mountain tarn the weather can change quite dramatically as it ably demonstrated whilst surveying this walk: going from a bit cloudy to full on hail storm in moments!
If you need accommodation we have details of 14 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
As the road turns sharp right between cottages, a rough track continues straight on. Signposted "Public Bridleway Bowscale Tarn", follow this track as it passes alongside some cottages and through the gate. Continue with the wall on your right, and the open fell side on your left. A number of small streams cross the tracks where unless the weather has been particularly wet you should be able to cross with dry feet.
Eventually the track deteriorates to a path, which splits. Take the right fork on a rising traverse to the right hand side of the dam. The path joins alongside the outfall of the tarn, and then the splendour of its setting is finally revealed as you turn the corner.
To return, follow the faint path along the left hand edge to the other end of the dam, bear left and head over the col. Drop down to the ascent track, turning right and follow it back to Bowscale.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Bowscale Fell||1.4km (0.9 miles) away|
|Carrock Fell and High Pike||2.3km (1.4 miles) away|
|Great Calva and Knott from Mosedale||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
|A Walker's Blencathra||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Souther Fell||4.5km (2.8 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