Blea Tarn in Little Langdale

Rory Calland
National Trust, Blea Tarn Trail

Tarns are by nature concealed, curious and cathartic. These secret little pools can usually only be seen, let alone accessed, by getting up high amongst the fells. Normally, at the climax of a long hike, one might reveal itself to a walker as a reward – Blea Tarn is a little different. Situated high in a hanging valley above Great Langdale, this pool seems just as remote as any other mountain tarn, only here, walking abilities don’t count for much as it’s easily accessible by road and there’s a car park about 100 yards away. The National Trust takes care of upkeep and does fantastic work, the path’s well maintained and suitable for all abilities.

The wonderful thing is that it’s at 600ft altitude, so even though you don’t have to make the hike yourself if you can’t, you still get the sensation of being up in the gods. The view across to the Langdale pikes is spectacular, and at certain times it’s not unusual to have the place to yourself. If you are the sole visitor the only other companions you’ll have will be the perch, pike and the brown trout who populate the water. Little Langdale was known as a hideout for smugglers, and it’s thought that the nefarious Lanty Slee distilled ‘moonshine’ in caves near here – you can imagine them swigging away here at the water’s edge.

Ancient glaciers have over long periods of waxing and waning, scooped out these pools from the Earth. Blea Tarn was carved out of the rock by glaciers shifting over from Great Langdale then getting cut off, this creates the ‘hanging valley’ effect where the relief from the glacier sits up above the main valley. This area is in fact an area of scientific interest due to its unique and explicit glacial history.

Blea Tarn TrailLangdale, ConistonLA22 9PG View map
Telephone: 03442491895 Visit Now

What's on near Blea Tarn in Little Langdale

Where to go near Blea Tarn in Little Langdale

The Merzbarn today, courtesy Littoral Arts Trust
Cumbria
Gallery
Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn

Tucked away in a remote corner of the Lake District is Kurt Schwitter’s Merzbarn, an artistic epitaph to the avant garde ‘godfather of modern art’.

Allan Bank, Grasmere, image courtesy of Visit Cumbria
Cumbria
Museum
Allan Bank

Once home to William Wordsworth, this historic villa now combines a small, informal art gallery with a giant indoor mural space.

Cumbria
Shop
Sam Read Bookseller

Award-winning small bookshop in the Lake District. Est. by Sam Read in 1887. Run by Will Smith and Polly Atkin.

Dove Cottage, Grasmere, image courtesy of venue
Cumbria
Museum
Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage is where William Wordsworth lived and wrote, and where the Wordsworth Trust continues that work today with poets in residence and public programmes.

Cumbria
Museum
Wordsworth Grasmere

From book launches to writing groups to poetry nights, there’s always something going on at Wordsworth Grasmere.

Cumbria
Museum
The Wordsworth Museum

Next door to Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s first family home, is the Wordsworth Museum, which houses an unsurpassed collection of the Wordsworths’ letters, journals and poems.

Forest Side Restaurant
Cumbria
Restaurant
Forest Side Restaurant

We love the fantastic Forest Side Restaurant. Attached to the historic Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere, this is one of the best places to eat in Cumbria.

Cumbria
Museum
The Ruskin Museum

The Ruskin Museum tells the story of Coniston in Cumbria – a place of copper mines and slate quarries, Swallows & Amazons country where Beatrix Potter owned farms and Stone Age fell walkers once dwelled.

LawsonParkFarm, courtesy of venue
Cumbria
Bed & Breakfast
Lawson Park Farm Cottage

Award-winning self-catering holiday accommodation that is not only beautiful but also supports the pioneering work of Grizedale Arts.

Culture Guides

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Cinema in Manchester and the North

From the latest installment in the Mad Max franchise, to silent movie masterpieces we highlight the best new releases and big screen classics showing near you this month.