Stickle Tarn trail

Walking trail

The steep path from our pub Sticklebarn follows Stickle Ghyll all the way up the valley side giving plenty of excuses to take a breather and wonder at the dramatic waterfalls and rock pools cut into mountainside and the striking views across the valley towards Lingmoor.

A woman stepping on stones at Stickle Tarn


Route map for Sticklebarn Stickle tarn trail


Stickle Ghyll car park


Leave from the top end of the car park and head through a wooden gate behind Sticklebarn. You'll then pass between some stone walls on the left and a bird feeding station to the right. The stone walls are part of the remains of a fulling mill which was built here in 1453 to clean and felt wool. The mill would have been powered by water wheel using water diverted from Stickle Ghyll (you can still see a channel further up the path on the left which would have provided water).

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Bird feeding station


The trail very quickly heads uphill along a well defined path. An enormous amount of work has been done over the years repairing this much used path. The majority of the route is constructed using a technique called stone pitching.

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stone pitched path


The trail continues onwards and inevitably upwards. The scenery is dramatic so take every opportunity to pause, catch your breath and take in the views.

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Waterfall in Stickle Ghyll


After a while you'll approach a wooden footbridge over the stream. This is the location of the Stickle Ghyll hydro-electric scheme that is helping the National Trust in its aim to become a greener organisation.

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Hydro-electric scheme on Stickle Ghyll


Once you're over the footbridge you'll start to gain height fairly rapidly as the path becomes steeper and, in places, turns into short scrambles over rocky outcrops. Eventually, as the top ridge comes into view you'll cross back over the stream on to its left side.

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Stickle Ghyll crossing


A few minutes later as you come over the final rise, you'll see the rewarding sight of Stickle Tarn below the stunning backdrop of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark. These summits together with Pike O' Stickle once formed part of the outer rim of a massive volcano.

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Dam at Stickle Tarn


Stick around for a while and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Stickle Tarn. It's a great spot to dangle your bare feet in the water before retracing your steps back down the same path to your start point.

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Stickle Ghyll car park

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Stickle Tarn trail


Steep, well-defined, stone-pitched path with some short, easy scrambling sections up rocky outcrops.

Stickle Tarn trail

Contact us

Call us on 015394 37356 or email us.

Stickle Tarn trail

How to get here

Stickle Ghyll car park
By road

Take the A593 from Ambleside to Skelwith Bridge, then turn right along the B5343 heading for Great Langdale. You’ll find the Stickle Ghyll National Trust car park on the right-hand side just after the Sticklebarn tavern (approximately 4 miles from Skelwith Bridge on the B5343).

Stickle Tarn trail

Facilities and access

  • Refreshment stops: Sticklebarn and New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel at the start/end of the walk. Public toilets: Stickle Ghyll car park at the start/end of the walk
  • Public toilets: Stickle Ghyll car park at the start/end of the walk