Harrop Tarn: 


1.1 mile

Why we love this walk

This is a fantastic walk for those with children who are keen explorers, my children’s imaginations went wild on the walk up to Harrop Tarn hiding behind each and every tree stump and overhanging branch! The walk itself is short, perfect for the little legs of the family, and the tarn at the top really is mesmerising. The highlight for the children are the stepping stones across a small section of Harrop Tarn, as with any water please be extremely careful!


Dob Gill Pay & Display car park, nearest postcode CA12 4TP. Please note toilets are available at this car park.

Starting point from Dob Gill car park.

The steep path up to Harrop Tarn

Looking back to Thirlmere

The Route:

Harrop Tarn can be found at Thirlmere, Keswick. We adore Thirlmere as it is often an overlooked part of the Lake District, if you’re lucky you can hide from the tourist crowds on many of the walks here. We have previously walked Raven Crag at Thirlmere, click here to learn more.

On this occasion we parked at Dob Gill Pay & Display car park, postcode CA12 4TP. There are many walks that you are able to enjoy at Thirlmere however, due to multiple storms hitting this area, many of the roads are often closed. For up to date information on any of the road closures around Thirlmere please head to the United Utilities website here.

Having parked at Dob Gill Car park we followed the sign for Harrop Tarn, this can be found in one corner of the car park. Having located the gate, and signpost, we made our way up the path. This route is extremely easy to navigate – follow the path all the way to the top, passing a beautiful waterfall on your left hand side as you go. After 0.5 miles the overgrown path will soon open out and you will see Harrop Tarn. The views are incredible. Here you are able to enjoy playing by the tarn for as long as your little ones would like – look out for the small bridge to cross and the stepping stones to enjoy. My children played for hours here!

There is the option to extend the walk and continue following the path further round Harrop Tarn. However, on this occasion, we retraced our steps and made our way back down to the car park. Please do take care on your way down as the path can be steep and the terrain is rough with many hidden tree roots!

Having reached the car park we decided to extend our walk slightly and walked down to Thirlmere Reservoir shoreline. This can be accessed through a gate on the opposite side of the road from Dob Gill car park. Again, please be careful as you are not allowed to enter the water here as it is too dangerous. We enjoyed skimming stones by the shore and finished our fabulous morning with a picnic.

Overall this is a wonderful walk for the whole family and the short distance also makes it manageable for those little legs of the family.

Harrop Tarn

Stepping stones at Harrop Tarn

The path back down to the car park.

hiking household