GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Alcock Tarn

2 miles (4 km)

Climb to this pretty tarn and enjoy wonderful views over Grasmere lake on this walk in the Lake District. The small tarn is very nicely positioned above Rydal and Grasmere. As such it's a popular and easily accessible climb with nearby car parks and bus stops on the A591 which runs below the site. Although it is quite a short climb the tarn is in quite a high position, reaching a height of over 1200ft or 365 metres.
The walk start from the good sized White Moss Common car park off the A591 near Rydal Water and Grasmere Lake. You can also catch the bus from nearby Ambleside or Grasmere to White Moss if you prefer. The route heads north to White Moss Common, passing Lady Wood and White Moss Tarn. You continue past Dove Cottage, through Bracken Fell Wood to Grey Crag. The final section takes you from Grey Crag to the tarn where you can stroll around the water and take in the magnificent views.
It's a good climb with tumbling streams and nice woodland trails. The route also passes close to Dove Cottage where William Wordsworth lived from 1799 to 1808. To extend your walk you could head east to Rydal Mount and Rydal Hall along the Coffin Route. Both Rydal Water and Grasmere Lake are also nearby, with waterside paths along them both.
An alternative route to the tarn is to start from the village of Grasmere and head to Dove Cottage and pick up the footpaths behind the cottage.

Alcock Tarn OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking

Alcock Tarn Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking


You could head into Grasmere and visit Tweedies for some refreshments in a lovely setting. The large pub has a very large beer garden with plenty of tables. It's a nice place to sit out and relax in after a long walk. You can find it in the village, near the lake, at a postcode of LA22 9SW for your sat navs.
If you head east from the car park you could visit Rydal Hall. The Hall has lovely gardens and a tea room with a delightful outdoor seating area and views over a rushing waterfall. Right next to it is Rydal Mount, another former home of Wordsworth. There's a delightful garden here and another nice tea room.

Further Information and Other Local Ideas

Just below the tarn is the noteworthy Dove Cottage, former home of poet William Wordsworth.During the period of his habitation, William wrote much of the poetry for which he is remembered today, including 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'. You can explore the fascinating old house and then browse the adjacent museum where you will find exhibits, manuscripts, landscapes and portraits. Stroll into nearby Grasmere and you can also visit his grave in the churchyard of St. Oswald's Church.


Alcock Tarn - - 5524

View of this classic small Lakeland Tarn

Alcock Tarn above Grasmere - - 797357

Alcock Tarn above Grasmere

Path from Alcock Tarn above Grasmere - - 1222070

Path from Alcock Tarn above Grasmere

Small reservoir on track to Alcock Tarn - - 1550899

Small reservoir on track to Alcock Tarn

Grasmere from near Alcock Tarn

Wonderful view over Grasmere village seen from slightly below Alcock Tarn on the western slopes of Heron Pike

Bridges over Greenhead Gill - - 1550911

Bridges over Greenhead Gill. The wooden bridge carries the footpath to Alcock Tarn, whilst the stone one is to a private property


GPS Files

GPX File

Alcock Tarn.gpx (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold>Download Linked File)

Memory Map Route

Alcock Tarn.mmo (On Desktop:Right Click>Save As. On Ipad/Iphone:Click and hold >Download Linked File)