Discover a Peaceful Tarn for a Picnic

Season:Summer
Duration:Half Day
Activity:Picnic spots

Dock Tarn is a nice peaceful place, hidden away in the fells of Borrowdale valley and surrounded by rugged moorland.

The tarn is a quiet place for a picnic and to watch wildlife. There is a small island, which has Rowan trees thriving on it. Due to the reeds growing in the tarn, it is a great habitat for dragon flies. The best time of year to see them is spring/summer. The surrounding moorland is good habitat for all sorts of wildlife such as red deer.

Further Information

Planning your visit:

In Keswick: The Moot Hall has a Tourist Information Centre. Keswick also has a range of hotels, Bed & Breakfasts accommodation, numerous cafés and restaurants as well as shops. You can also find a café and toilets at Watendlath. Further cafés and car parking in the National Trust car park can be found at Rosthwaite. Nearest petrol station is in Keswick.

How to get here:

From Keswick by car: Follow B5289 (Borrowdale road) through the valley. Drive through Rosthwaite until you see a sign post left for Stonethwaite. There is limited parking in Stonethwaite.

Walk to the Tarn:

Cross the bridge over Stonethwaite beck. Turn right following the Cumbrian Way to a sheep fold beyond which take the path to the left up the side of the fell towards the woods. Cross the high squeeze step stile through the wall and then follow up to Willygrass Ghyll to a fence and over the stile into the wood. Continue up the path through the woodland (steep terrain). Go over the stile at the top of the ghyll at Lingy End. Follow the path that weaves through deep heather which will bring you to Dock Tarn.

To return:

You can either return the way you have come or you can walk down towards Watendlath either bear right towards the farm ,toilets and café or bear left and left again dropping you down towards Rosthwaite and or the path back to Stonethwaite.

By Jack Deane

Estate Ranger for the North Lakes Borrowdale. I enjoy working in the lakes because of the dramatic landscape that surrounds you. Also every day is different.

Jack Deane's Profile Picture

How to get here

Dock Tarn, Borrowdale

Cumbria
United Kingdom

Ordnance Survey OL4
The English Lakes
North Western area

NY 272 143

Get Directions

Bus: Take No. 79 from Keswick to the Stonethwaite turning, then walk 1/4 mile to Stonethwaite. (please check times for this service at the Tourist Information Centre).

Traveline: 0871 200 22 33