Nestling high in the mountains at the head of three valleys in a great scoop Grisedale Tarn has an atmospheric setting. Squeezed by the southern guardian of the great Helvellyn ridge - Dollywaggon Pike to its north, and the bulks of Fairfield and Seat Sandal to the south, its outflow treks north east through the long valley of Grisedale to the village of Patterdale.
Our walk cheats a little by starting higher on the other side at Dunmail Raise, where according to history, or is it legend, a great battle was fought in 945AD between the Saxon King Edmund and Celtic King Dunmail. Dunmail was killed and his crown taken up the steep path alongside Grisedale Beck and cast into the tarn lest it fall into Saxon hands, never to be seen again. It was said the crown was enchanted and gave the wearer a right to the Kingdom of Cumberland.
There is a layby complete with old fashioned AA box just over the top of the pass towards Ambleside with space for a few cars.
If you need accommodation we have details of 22 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
From the layby walk back up towards the crest of the pass for about 500m (550 yards) to the gateway and stile over the fence. Climb the stile to access the open fell side. Bear left into the ravine of Raise Beck and continue to climb alongside the beck.
Occasionally a wall appears on this side of the beck and it seems easier to be above it on the right hand side. Eventually Grisedale Tarn comes into view.
Return the way you came, back alongside Raise Beck.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Seat Sandal||2.5km (1.6 miles) away|
|Birk Crag, Harrop Tarn and Blea Tarn||2.7km (1.7 miles) away|
|Harrop Tarn above Thirlmere||2.7km (1.7 miles) away|
|Harrop Forest Circular||2.7km (1.7 miles) away|
|Allan Bank Woodland Walk||3.9km (2.4 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn, Codale Tarn, and Tarn Crag||4.0km (2.5 miles) away|
|Silver How||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|Easedale Tarn||4.1km (2.5 miles) away|
|Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag||4.2km (2.6 miles) away|
|Helm Crag||4.3km (2.6 miles) away|
|A circuit of Grasmere||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Alcock Tarn||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Heron Pike and Nab Scar||4.3km (2.7 miles) away|
|Grasmere and Rydal Water||4.4km (2.7 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