Lake District Walk: Stickle Tarn

We’ve just had a wonderful long weekend glamping in Great Langadale and on the Saturday we hiked up the Stickle Tarn. It is a lovely National Trust path which leads to breath-taking views of Langdale and Lake Windermere beyond. You can find more details of the route here. It is a challenging climb in places but with perfect scenery all the way up there’s plenty of opportunity to stop and take it all in.

We were lucky to have perfect weather for the hike – blue skies and sunshine without it being too hot. We set off from our campsite with Kitty on my back and Rick carrying the supplies. The campsite was just ten minutes up the road from where the route starts. The path, which has been repaired in recent years leads up along side a stunning waterfall. We shared it with some of the local Herdwick sheep which entertained Kitty no-end!

It heads onward to a bridge which crosses over the hydro-electric turbine. The National Trust is aiming to reduced the carbon footprint of all of it’s sites by 45% by 2020 and this is part of that goal. Definitely something we support!

At this point, around 30 minutes into the hike, Kitty realises she’s DROPPED HER BABY. Her baby is the affectionate term for her much loved comforter she’s had since she was a baby. Parent fail. Luckily this was a perfect place to stop an throw stones into the water and jump across the stones to the other side of the waterfall whilst daddy went back to rescue the baby. Poor Rick – it was at the very bottom!

Re-united with baby we regrouped and headed up the steepening path. It was starting to get busier which is to be expected on many of the Lake District walks on a sunny day. We saw people from every walk of life climbing, families like ours with little (some very little) ones in carriers, some young families with children aged 7 and up walking themselves, students, adult walking groups and even an elderly couple well into their 80s. That is the beauty of the countryside, it is for all and you can take it at what ever pace you like. Some families and the elderly couple didn’t make it all the way to the tarn but that didn’t matter, the views on the ascent made every step worth it.

It got pretty tough going with Kitty on my back just before the tarn so Rick took over the Kitty-carrying. We were trying to preserve Rick’s energy where possible as he was set to do a 70 mile cycle with 10,000ft of climbing the next day!

Over the top and we made it to the beautiful tarn with a backdrop of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark. According to the National Trust these summits combined with the Pike O’Stickle once formed the outer rim of a volcano.

It makes for dramatic scenery and the view fro the little hill adjacent to the tarn speaks for itself.

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We stayed a while at the top eating snacks, feeding ducks and hunting for the Gruffalo, currently Kitty’s favourite thing to do on walks since our Gruffalo Trail. Some walkers opted to head up to Harrison Pike after the tarn but we could tell Kitty was getting tried and no-one wants to risk the wrath of a grumpy toddler half way up a mountain! We took our time coming down, picking up litter which sadly accumulates as we went. There were also several dog poo bags sealed along the walk- not quite sure why anyone would go to the effort of bagging it then not taking it away. We drew the line at picking those up as some had been there long enough to have holes in!

Once at the bottom we had a well deserved beer for the adults and ice cream for Kitty a the Stickle Barn pub whist sitting around the outdoor fire in the sunshine. A perfect day! Do you hike with children either in carriers or on foot? Have you found any challenges hiking with children? We’d really like to inspire more families to get out there and give it a go and sharing experiences will certainly help with that. Please use the comments box below to share your experiences.

K

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