Esthwaite Woodlands and Waters walk by John Edmondson

This varied full day walk from Hawkshead embraces the Grizedale Forest, Esthwaite Water and the beautiful tarns of Moss Eccles and Wise Een. The walk includes the less visited Goosey Foot Tarn and follows a delightful path beside Moss Eccles Tarn. Start from Hawkshead bus stop, which is near the car park (grid reference SD 353 979, postcode LA22 0NB, what3words: ///

Distance: 10 miles with 1500 feet of ascent.

Time: 5 hours

Terrain: Good footpaths and stony tracks.

Map: OS Explorer OL7

1. Cross the road to the Old Grammar School, pass the 15th century parish church and follow the path ahead beside a field. Turn right on path signed ‘Tarn Hows’ and left at a T junction. Walk uphill past Walker Ground and into Grizedale Forest. Go through a gate, continuing on the path bearing left over a footbridge, across a small stream, then uphill until the first forest track is reached. Turn left and after 100 yards take the footpath on the right to reach a forest track after 500 yards and turn left. Goosey Foot Tarn can soon be seen through the trees on the right. Turn right onto a short track leading to its southern end. This artificial tarn was originally a water supply for Hawkshead. Its name probably refers to its shape.

2. Return to the forest track and turn right. Turn left at a junction in 200 yards and keep left in a further 80 yards onto a downhill track. Forest tracks join from the right and left. Continue through Moor Top car park and picnic area. Turn right on the road for 70 yards then left onto a footpath descending towards High Barn. After 300 yards turn right at the footpath junction heading south to re-enter Grizedale Forest. On meeting a forest track turn left continuing due south to a junction at the ‘Stone Fox’.

3. Just before reaching the ‘Stone Fox’ turn left onto the track going due east, taking care to avoid the track that heads southeast. Descend to a minor road and turn left. After 80 yards take the footpath on the right to meet the Hawkshead to Newby Bridge road. Turn right then first left and go down the drive to the Trout Farm on the shore of Esthwaite Water. This natural lake is biologically one of the most productive of the larger Lake District waters, supporting a wide range of birds, fish, invertebrates and plants. Walk along the shore, through the car park and along a nature trail beside the lake. On meeting the road turn left and walk towards Near Sawrey. Take the first left and at the junction with the main road turn right then left onto the path signed ‘Moss Eccles Tarn via Access Land’. Follow the signed path to and around the Tarn. At the dam descend to a track and turn left.

4. Follow the follow the track passing Wise Een Tarn on your left and Scale Tarn on your right. Follow the bridleway and turn left at a junction with a main track. At the next junction turn left, signed Hawkshead, going uphill then descending to Colthouse Plantation. At the road turn left then right and left at Croft Head onto a footpath. Follow the field path crossing Scar Lane and returning to Hawkshead.