Grey Crag and Alcock Tarn

Walking Grey Crag and Alcock Tarn from Grasmere

After initial dampness, Friday turned into a beautiful day, with very clear views across the Lake District. We set out from Grasmere on a morning’s fell walk to Grey Crag and Alcock Tarn, returning via Greenhead Gill. First up past Dove Cottage, on the old coffin route which comes in from Ambleside. Then northwards in the direction of the tarn.

Above Wood Close, the path becomes rocky and steep, with quite excellent views across Grasmere as we climbed. After a mile of ascent, we came to Grey Crag, a lovely outcrop of rock on the slopes of Heron Pike . Grey Crag deserves to be better known, for it is a superlative viewpoint, not only of the mountains of central Lakeland, but of down much of the length of Windermere, with glimpses of Coniston and Esthwaite Water.

Grey Crag above Grasmere

A hundred yards further on is Alcock Tarn, part natural and part Victorian reservoir, marshy and attractive. After a period of level walking the path descends rapidly, beneath Butter Crags, into the deep valley of the Greenhead Gill, with good dramatic views across to Stone Arthur. The Gill is a lovely, rocky beck of attractive little water falls, it banks offering splendid locations for tea breaks. Then a gentle descent by path and lane into Grasmere.

Alcock Tarn, with Windermere in the distance.

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