Dalehead Tarn feels like it points in the wrong way. As you descend towards it logic would suggest that it drains north, towards the Newlands Valley. Instead the tarn sits just above the bottom of the valley, to the west of the upper reaches of Newlands Beck.It drains east, along a short beck that flows out of its south-eastern corner,
As our photo suggests, I've never been to Dalehead Tarn on a dry day! The rocky outcropping to the east of the tarn, with its series of stone walls, thus provide a rather handy shelter.
It is worth noting that the path from Dale Head to Dalehead Tarn doesn't follow the route of the right of way shown on the OS maps. Instead it follows the path that heads for Dalehead Crags then swings right to run down to the northern end of the tarn. It then curves around the north-easter corner of the tarn before joining the pat on the far side of Newlands Beck.
Grid Reference of centre: NY 229 152
How to Reach
Dalehead Tarn can be reached from Little Town by following the path that runs along the eastern side of Newlands Beck.
From Honister Hause it can be reached by following the normal Dale Head path, straight up the fell, then looking for a minor path that branches off to the right - this comes about half way to the top, at the point where the earlier steeper slopes begin to level out a little. Follow this path around the corner of the fell and then down to the tarn.
One can also reach the tarn from Rosthwaite. Follow the track that runs west out of the village. Cross the Derwent by either the ford or New Bridge, then take the footpath that runs west on the south side of Tongue Gill. This brings us past Rigghead Quarries, and eventually to the path down from High Spy. Turn left onto this path, follow it for a short distance, then turn right onto the Dale Head path to reach the tarn.
Our ascent of Dale Head visits Dalehead Tarn on the way down.
No becks flow into Dalehead Tarn
The short beck that runs east out of Dalehead Tarn quickly joins Newlands Beck, which then flows north down the Newlands Valley and eventually reaches Bassenthwaite.