Watendlath Tarn


Watendlath Tarn sits in a wonderfully wild location at the head of a classic hanging valley on the eastern side of Borrowdale. The combination of the small hamlet of Watendlath, its handful of fields and the wild fells that surround it, give this tarn a truly lovely feel.

Watendlath Beck is crossed by an attractive stone bridge right at the foot of the tarn. This leads to a right of way that runs past the western shore of the tarn. The best views of the tarn come from the surrounding fells - the path over to Borrowdale climbs up quite quickly, giving good views back towards the scene.

Watendlath has its own literary connections, and was the home of Judith Paris in Sir Hugh Walpole's Herries Saga.

Watendlath Tarn was given to the National Trust by Princess Louise, a daughter of Queen Victoria, in memory of King Edward VII.

The unusual name is Norse in origin, and means 'water end barn'.

There is a trout fishery in the tarn, apply to Tysons Cafe in hamlet for tickets.


Grid Reference of centre: NY 275 161
Altitude: 860ft


How to Reach

The obvious route to Watendlath Tarn is up the road from Borrowdale (leaving the Borrowdale road just south of the NT car park at Great Wood. This road passes the famous Ashness Bridge and then runs up to the hamlet of Watendlath, where there is a car park. There is also a permissive footpath that follows most of the same route.

The best route on foot is to come from Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, and follow the footpath that climbs over Puddingstone Bank to reach Watendlath. It is also possible to come over High Tove from the Armboth car park on Thirlmere. s


None of our walks visit Watendlath Tarn.


Bowdergate Gill flows into the tarn from the west.

Bleatarn Gill flows into the tarn from the south, after emerging from Blea Tarn.

Greenhow Hill and Roughknott Gill rise on the hills east of the tarn, but merge before reaching the tarn.


Watendlath Beck flows north out of the tarn. After running down the pretty Watendlath valley it drops over Lodore Falls to reach Borrowdale.

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