Earlier this year, I decided it was time to visit the Lake District in Cumbria, UK. I had been thinking about going for quite a while but had been waiting for the weather to improve. The forecast for the coming week was clear and sunny so I packed my kit and set off. The place I had chosen for my wild camp was called Harrop Tarn. A tarn is a body of water left over from the ice age, in the case of Harrop Tarn it is quite small compared to some of the other tarns in the Lake District.
When I arrived at Thirlmere, the large man made reservoir which is the starting point of my climb to Harrop Tarn, I discovered that the road down to the chosen car park was closed. I would need to park my car at the Thirlmere Damn and walk the 4.5 miles to the car park where the ascent to Harrop Tarn begins. I was pleased that I had packed plenty of additional water as it was a hot and sunny day.
I set off on my walk at about 1 pm and it took me about 2 hours to get to the car park, I had stopped several times to take photographs of beautiful Thirlmere and to just take some water on board, I was aware that dehydration was a real possibility in the heat of the sun.
I arrived at Dobgill Car Park at about 3 pm, the trail to Harrop Tarn is signposted from the car park. The trail is quite steep and winds its way up past a small waterfall, the trail has in the past had some work done on it with stone laid along the route but it didn’t appear to have had any maintenance for some time, some of the stones were loose and required careful consideration. This walk would be quite tricky in wet conditions as the stones were quite slippery even in the dry. It is not a long walk and you are soon rewarded with the stunning view of Harrop Tarn. The tarn lies in a high corrie and is surrounded by impressive crags which provide a great deal of shelter, particularly from westerly or northerly wind, with coniferous woodlands almost completely surrounding the tarn.
It didn’t take me long to find a suitable spot for my tent, it was just on the tree line and was completely flat. this was quite a surprise as most of the grass surrounding the tarn was thick sedge and was marshy underfoot. By the time I got setup it was almost 5 pm and it was time for a sit down and a hot drink. It was extremely peaceful with not another person for miles and only the sound of the wind swishing through the trees to keep me comfortable. There were a lot of deer tracks but I wasn’t lucky enough to see any while I was sitting enjoying the ancient landscape.
A few hours later, after some food, the sun was starting to disappear behind the crags, it didn’t take long for the darkness to sweep over the tarn giving it a completely different atmosphere under the streaming silver light of the moon. It wasn’t long before I was asleep.
The morning was bright and sunny and the crags shone with a golden hue as the sun moved across their rough surface. I packed up my equipment and checked that I had not left anything behind. I quickly found the trail head and started to descend, looking down towards the car park I was overjoyed to see a couple of Roe Deer just standing there grazing on foliage. They eventually noticed me and started to wander into the deeper cover, but not before I had managed to capture them on video.
I eventually got back to DobGill Car Park and set off on the 4.5 mile walk back along the road running beside Lake Thirlmere. A couple of hours later I was back at my car.
Kit List for This Trip
Lowe Alpine Airzone Trek + 55-65
Luxe Hex Peak V4
Thermarest NeoAir All Season
Kathmandu Columbus Down Sleeping Bag
Alite Mayfly Chair
Alpkit Bruler Stove
Alpkit Splitta Table
Luxe Single Groundsheet
Alpkit MyTi Mug
Adventure Food Pasta Ai Funghi