If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you may have noticed that I’ve been a little quieter than usual so far in 2018. Is that because I’m starting to run out of hidden gems to discover in the Lake District? Absolutely not! Work and other things have rather taken over recently, but last week I decided to redress the balance and get out and explore. After all, all work and no gem-hunting makes for a dull blogger!
First on my list of places to visit was Blea Tarn, a small tarn situated at the head of the Little Langdale valley, near to the mountain pass into Great Langdale. According to the National Trust, this is an ancient trade route.
Blea Tarn is such a little gem for those of us who are not hardy hill walkers, or who have limited mobility, as the tarn is accessible by road, with a National Trust car park situated on the opposite side of the road.
When I say road, I do have to sound a slight note of caution however! I know from talking to many visitors to the Lakes over the years that the access from either direction, and particularly the mountain pass from the direction of the Old Dungeon Ghyll, wouldn’t suit every driver. It’s extremely narrow, and mostly single-track with passing places here and there. It’s also very steep in places. Many will be quite happy with this, but I wouldn’t want you to get a nasty surprise if this isn’t the sort of driving you would enjoy. A break in the Lakes is supposed to be relaxing after all!
Once you’ve reached the tarn, there are opportunities for beautiful photographs, and there’s a popular short walk (with benches) around the back of the tarn, through the trees and onto the open fell behind, which apparently has stunning views back towards the Little Langdale valley and Coniston’s fells. There wasn’t time to do anything more than drop by on this occasion, although I did get as far as the footbridge. The National Trust provide full details of the route here.
Blea Tarn is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and, according to the National Trust, the sediment contained within it hasn’t been disturbed since the last Ice Age, so is very valuable in research.
For more information about visiting Blea Tarn, visit the National Trust online.
Which is your favourite tarn in the Lake District, and what makes it special to you? You can leave your own recommendations for places other blog readers might like to experience by leaving a comment below – it’s always great to hear from you!