Day 8 – Grasmere to Red Tarn

8.0 miles (via Thirlmere and Helvellyn)

I'm now itching to get back into the fells. Rested and battle plan drawn I leave Grasmere by the back door. Easedale Road to be precise.

My objective is Red Tarn which nestles under Helvellyn. But first it's up to Thirlmere.

The weather doesn't disappoint. It's chucking it down.


All things considered, I leg it up the A591 to a bridleway at Dunmail Raise stopping only to photograph an AA box, which has pretty yellow on it.

Descending now through Steel End to the shore of Thirlmere at Wythburn. Ominously, Buzzards circle overhead.

Crossing over the main road a forest path winds me up to a second bridleway. This will take me steeply to the summit of Helvellyn, but a coffee first.


Marvellous! My one really steep ascent and the hot August sun comes out. The views though, are fantastic.

At the top I sit chatting with a young couple. Low cloud wraps around us. What weather!

Swirral Edge awaits. I pick my way down gingerly, my heavier sack being extremely unhelpful.


Other campers have already pitched at Red Tarn. It's sad to see the rubbish, half buried or simply discarded.

I dine on Cup a Soups with extra pepper. Light to carry and tasty, they're ideal for camping.

Before lights out, I'm entertained by a couple trying to erect their tent. I think about offering help but don't want to get sworn at.

Coming down to Thirlmere.

View from path leading to Helvellyn.