Loughrigg Tarn in the sunshine

Miles Without Stiles 41: Loughrigg Tarn Circuit


Route type: For all. A level path above Loughrigg Tarn and minor tarmac road return - OS Explorer Map OL7

Distance: 2.75 km or 1.7 miles

Start and end point: Either lay-by car park at grid ref. NY 345039 or two parking spaces at grid ref. NY 347039

Facilities: None on site. Café, pub and toilets at Skelwith Bridge 0.5 km away

Getting there: Car: From Ambleside take the A593 towards Coniston.After 2.5 km take a right turn onto a minor road and uphill to a road junction and parking.


This is a popular route with walkers and cyclists, providing superb views of Loughrigg Tarn, nestled in a bowl beneath the steep flank of Loughrigg Fell.

If you have parked at the road junction, take the signposted bridleway up a short steep section through the houses at Tarn Foot. Bear right and at a fork stay left and go through a gate.

To get to this point from the disabled parking, continue uphill for 100 metres at a 1:10 gradient.

This wide bridleway, newly surfaced by the National Trust, winds around and above the tarn and gives spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes. The surface of the tarn is carpeted with water lilies in the summer months. The tarn was also a favoured spot of the poet Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, he described it in 1811 as “round, clear and bright as heaven”.

Continue steadily uphill past The How and out to the tarmac road. For a circular route, turn left and follow the road back to your starting point but be aware there are no pavements.There are some short sections where the gradient is 1:7 but the tarmac surface is good. Just watch out for cars in both directions. Alternatively,to avoid the road, just turn around and retrace the route back along the bridleway.


Miles Without Stiles Route 41 Loughrigg Tarn Circuit map