Alcock Tarn walk

Walking trail

This walk is just under 6km from the Grasmere Church Stile shop. It does have some steep sections but with a bench partway up from which to enjoy the views which just get better and better. With the fantastic views and a great place to have lunch by beautiful little Alcock Tarn, this is a great walk.

A man walking in the Lake District while his dog enjoys a swim


Map route for Alcock Tarn walk


Grasmere shop, grid ref: NY337074


From outside the Grasmere Shop, turn left and follow the road through the village and up to the main road, cross the main road with care and follow the minor road opposite between the car park and the Swan Hotel. After approx half a mile (0.8km) turn right at the finger post signed 'Greenhead Gill and Alcock Tarn'. Follow the lane to the top with the stream tumbling alongside.


At the top of the lane, step onto the fell side and turn right and go over the bridge. Follow the path as it bends right and then left following the line of the wall. You will reach a bench from which you can take a breath and look out over magnificent views.


Continue on the ascending path following the wall then continue on the path as it leaves the wall and goes up more steeply, zig-zagging up the fell side. Continue climbing up to a rocky outcrop.

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Go left of the rocks to the cairn and then onto the flatter, often wet, flat area until you reach a metal gate and Alcock Tarn.

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The tarn provides a great place for a paddle to cool the feet and also a lovely spot to eat a picnic lunch. When the time comes to head down walk along the right-hand side of the tarn and head for a gateless gap in the wall.


Follow the path through the gap in the wall and start the descent over a short rocky section of path overlooking the vale of Grasmere. Take in the views as you descend. As the path goes steeply down, go through a gate past a bench and then a man-made pond (which dates back to this area being a gentleman's landscaped woodland garden).

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At the junction in the path turn left. Continue through the metal gate and through the woods until you reach the road.


Turn right and follow the road which will lead you down the hill. Turn right at the junction on to a minor road to take you past Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Trust Museum until you come to the A591. Cross with care and follow the B5287 back into Grasmere.

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Grasmere shop, grid ref: NY337074

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Alcock Tarn walk


This is a great circular walk on good paths and is steep in places. The top near the tarn can be wet and boggy in winter.

Alcock Tarn walk

Contact us

Alcock Tarn walk

How to get here

Grasmere Shop, Grasmere, LA22 9SW
By train

Windermere 9 miles (14.5km)

By road

From the north follow the A591 south from Keswick to Grasmere, follow the signs for Grasmere village from the main road at Grasmere. From the south follow the A591 north from Ambleside, turn into the village at the mini-roundabout as you enter Grasmere

By foot

The Grasmere shop is located just across from St Oswald's Church and the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop in the centre of the village

By bus

Service 555. In the summer months the open toppers are every 20 minutes from Bowness to Grasmere

Alcock Tarn walk

Facilities and access

  • National Trust shop in Grasmere