Angle TArn, Ullswater

Angle Tarn - the best tarn in the Lakes?

1 May 2015

What is a tarn?

Angle Tarn

Tarns are small mountain lakes and we're lucky to have more than 100 of them in the Lake District. They come in many shapes and sizes but, for me, Angle Tarn near Ullswater is simply the most beautiful of them all.

The word 'tarn' comes from the Norse word ‘tjorn’ which means 'teardrop'. This is a lovely and very apt description as many are shaped just like that with the point  of the 'drop' being where the tarn is fed from a mountain stream.

Crowning glory

Alfred Wainwright says that Angle Tarn "ranks amongst the best of Lakeland tarns" with its "indented shore and islets". It is, he says "the crowning glory of the (Angletarn) Pikes" that over-look the tarn that gave them their name.

It is the most beautiful place and you get your first view of it virtually by surprise and this adds to the 'wow' factor. There's often a chance to see red deer here and just possibly a peregrine

The tarn itself lies on a broad ridge below the Pikes. The area offers massive 360 degree mountain views of the Helvellyn range to the west and the High Street range to the east. You'll feel completely surrounded by mountains in this beautiful wild terrain!

Guided walks 

We've got three walks in our programme that visit Angle Tarn so find the one that suits you best or, better still, do all three. One Tarn and Two Waters  includes Angle Tarn, lovely Hayeswater and Brothers Water. You'll learn why the lake changed its name because of a tragic event. 

Start the Steamer, Dale and Fell walk with a lake cruise on an Ullswater Steamer, then over Winter Crag and Beda Fell with lofty views down into the ancient deer forest of Martindale. There's a great chance of spotting red deer here.

It's a cruise on the lake to begin our Martindale and Angle Tarn  walk. Excellent low level views of red deer in Martindale so do bring your binoculars! Then up to Angle Tarn on a most beautiful and rarely used mountain path.

The walks all start from Glenridding and are graded 'hard' so be prepared for some steep ascents. The effort may take your breath away at times but the views will definitely take your breath away too!

I hope to see you on one of these very special walks.

Simon Brown, Voluntary Ranger and guided walk leader April 2015

Author: Belinda Turnbull

Volunteer Led Activity Coordinator
Lake District National Park

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