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Easedale Tarn (Grasmere)

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Location: Easdale Tarn / Near Grasmere / Cumbria.

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      24.08.2011 14:56
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      Mountain lake in the Lake District

      Luckily during our visit to the Lake District we had some fantastic weather so regularly outdoors. Having planned ahead, we had information printed out for a walk from Grasmere village (where we were staying) to the mountain lake, Easedale Tarn. The walk was less than 5 miles in total and described as 'easy', still a little more strenuous than I'm used to but definitely the best part of my holiday.

      Like much of Grasmere, there are few pavements so the start of the walk from the village is just walking on the road. Even for a Tuesday the roads were pretty quiet of traffic, mainly just other walkers. There were a couple of fields to walk through before reaching the bottom of the hill and I have to say I was quite disappointed when people hadn't closed the gates properly. I wouldn't have liked to mess with a herd of cows that day although a lot of them were content just sunbathing. Walking alongside the river the path is a bit like cobbles but with the edges of stone so you do have to really pay attention to where you're walking. A good pair of boots was definitely called for.

      As we started ascending the stones really helped as a lot of them were large and flat so much like walking up steps. The path was quite narrow at some points so spent more time looking at the ground than appreciating the view. The best place to stop for a rest was by the waterfall as there were a few big rocks to sit/lean against while still leaving the path free for other walkers. The main reason it's a good place to stop though is for the stunning view back to Grasmere with the river flowing, path, fields and hills. It's a very luscious green picture in July.

      From the waterfall there's still a good walk to be done but you leave the good views behind as you meander up through the hills. I was beginning to wonder when it was going to end until the landscape finally opened out to the very large lake. It was absolutely stunning and so incredibly peaceful. I'm not sure how busy it had been as we passed quite a lot of people walking back down the hill but by the time we arrived there were only around 4 groups scattered around the lake. One group was a good distance away around the side of the lake and there were a couple nearer us so we did hear a few people talking and sheep bleating but it got a lot quieter by the time we were leaving.

      We got ourselves a good place to sit on a large flat rock which I was glad of as I walked down to the water and found the ground rather wet and dripping into the lake. There were large stones and few smaller stones so wasn't a great place if you wanted to throw stones into the water but the landscape was perfect for photos. We must have sat there for less than an hour but the view seemed to change quite a lot with the hills and clouds casting shadows. I was glad to see the area was clean - no litter around. It was a shame to leave because it was so relaxing.

      Although you can walk back by crossing the river we just headed back the same way we came. It was a lot easier walking down and only took about an hour but I felt like my attention was focused even more on the ground than it had been on the way up. A lot of the steps were quite big and although I was being careful I still managed to hit my leg off a rock and get a big bruise.

      My fitness levels are pretty bad so I was extremely glad I'd taken a drink as well as something to eat. I'd nearly finished the 500ml bottle by the time I'd reached the tarn so had to leave some for the walk back. The temperature must have been in the mid twenties that day with a slight breeze so I was happy with just a t-shirt on but I'd definitely recommend taking something warm to wear if it's cooler. Out of all the people we passed there was a good age range. A lot of the walkers had good boots on and walking poles. I wouldn't really say I needed a pole but the boots were a must. It was good to see a lot of the kids we passed had their own cameras so were talking a lot of photos themselves. We even passed a couple of runners (mad!).

      The cost of that perfect day was just the cost of our lunch (and we were self catering so just made sandwiches and took a drink). It really was the best part of the holiday which we ended with a refreshing drink at one of the local pubs in Grasmere. Highly recommended.

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