Angletarn Pikes, Bannerdale

After camping on the shores of Ullswater, at Waterside House campsite, we were spoilt for choice with walks in the locality.  After much deliberation we decided to go for Angle Tarn and Angletarn Pikes, on Martindale Common, with the hope of seeing some of the red deer.

We parked the car for free by the side of the road at Dale Head, grid reference 434165 on OS map OL5.  There is space for about 6 cars there.

The route we took headed south westwards, along a bridleway.  This path went up, up and up, but all manageable grassy paths.  Near the top you’ll pass an old ruin, from here, continue going up until you reach a small cairn which marks a junction.  Take the left path here and continue across the tops to Angletarn Pikes.

At this point we realised we had bitten off a bit more than we could chew.  It was a long, uphill slog, and we were flaking a bit in the heat.  The kids had started to talk about going back to the campsite, and we soon realised that we wouldn’t make it to the tarn itself.

So we took the sensible decision to do an out and back.  We had our picnic on the top, with some stunning views, especially across to Helvellyn and Striding Edge.  Then we returned the way we came.  For older children, it’s entirely possible to continue on the circular walk, heading down to Angle Tarn at GR 419144 and then back to the car at Dale Head by following the path next to the wall in the valley.

As it turned out, we did see the red deer, which made the trip extra special.  There’s something magical about seeing wildlife in its natural habitat.  Although we didn’t get good photos, and I’m not entirely sure the kids could see them, however hard I pointed, it was great to see them.

The out and back we did was approx 3 miles in total (with 1000 feet of ascent!)  The circular loop would be just shy of 4 miles.

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