Scoat Tarn, Scoat Fell and Red Pike


Another weekend get together with old friends. Another top weekend at Church Stile campsite in Nether Wasdale. And once again the kids went to compete in the Nether Wasdale Sports, with some wonderful adults who ‘took one for the team’, whilst the rest of us escaped for a beano.

It was overcast, but surprisingly warm and a bit sticky as we started up the Nether Beck valley. I was soon well behind, as per usual, but one thing that can be relied upon in this group is frequent stops for brews, snacks, chatting and general lazing around.


As I often do, I took the opportunity to ‘plod on by’ as Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach never quite put it. This is a cracking walk in to the hills, and I just kept plodding, pausing frequently to take photos of the beck, admire Haycock dominating the view ahead and watch the antics of the wheatears and meadow pipits which were numerous on the hillsides.

I often thought I heard stonechats and when I spotted a pair bobbing about on some rocks not too far from the path, I felt relaxed about taking a longer break to try to photograph them, since I was still ahead of the peloton.

P5030240 P5030249 P5030260

From the head of the valley we took the very faint path off to the right, heading toward Scoat Tarn.


This cloven boulder is close to Scoat Tarn.


Scoat Tarn has a special place in my affections. We camped here on a couple of our May bank holiday weekend backpacking trips, many moons ago, when showers and comfortable sleeping arrangements etc weren’t considered essential for a weekend away.


From Scoat Tarn we took different lines, all making for the summit of Scoat Fell. The others were all gradually overhauling me now.


I chose to go well over to the left, giving some bouldery scrambling (of sorts) and nice views of Haycock again.


It was a bit of a surprise to arrive on Scoat Fell in a strengthening, and fairly cold, wind. The weather seemed to be closing in.



We were quickly over Red Pike and then began a long descent down the west side of Over Beck

Red Pike Scoat Tarn Map

The following day was pretty wet and eventually we decided to try the coast and spent the afternoon in Seascale. Our trip was notable for two reasons. Firstly, the wonderful Mawson’s Ice-Cream Parlour in the Bailey Ground Hotel, where they were very patient with our large, soggy party. I can’t attest to the homemade ice-cream personally, although I gather that it was very good, and A who often misses out due to problems with dairy produce, was very chuffed to have a choice of sorbets. I had the crayfish salad which was just the ticket. Secondly, we did a bit of windswept beach–combing and we found, well B found (his eyes are very sharp), several Sea Potato shells (like a sea urchin) and also a number of exoskeletons of the rather curiously shaped masked crab.

I thought I took some photos, but if I did, I can’t work out where they are now. Humph.

Seemed appropriate.

There are more photos, and an alternative take on events, in Andy’s post here.

Scoat Tarn, Scoat Fell and Red Pike

9 thoughts on “Scoat Tarn, Scoat Fell and Red Pike

  1. I remember taking my two up to Scoat Tarn about 25 years or more ago. Every year a particular blossom, shrub or flower seems to excel beyond its norm and that year it was the berries on the Rowan. This year it seems to be everything. Thanks for the memory.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      It’s a nicely remote spot. I’m currently wrestling with where to take my three for their first taste of wild-camping (and the logistics of doing that).

  2. That’s really weird, you know. I’d never heard of Scoat Tarn before, but less than 24 hours ago I was googling pictures of Sand Tarn (like you do, when you’re off sick and bored) and some photos of Scoat Tarn came up too. And then your post landed in my in-tray. Spooky…….

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      How’s this to pile coincidence on top of coincidence – I was rereading your post (sorry Dixie’s post) about camping at Sand Tarn only yesterday, because it’s one of the places I’ve considered taking our kids, and also because I was in that area last week and I wondered if, whilst you were there, you’d visited the marvellous Uldale Force. I almost posted a question about the water filters you were using – technology seems to have moved on since I was regularly back-packing.

      1. Yes, I seem to remember Dixie did write that post…… But that is just mega spooky! Sand Tarn would be a fantastic place for the kids, not too far to walk either. I haven’t been to Uldale Force though.
        My filter is this:
        James uses one of those Sawyer ones that everyone’s raving about, but although they both work, it seems to me they have different uses really. The Sawyer one is lighter and is good for filtering while drinking, but with mine I can very quickly sort 3 or 4 litres of water and be set up for the whole night’s cooking and drinking. Also, the Sawyer one works best with a flow of water, like a stream, whereas mine will take from still water just as easily, like a lake or a puddle. And if you look at that post again, you will notice that James did ask to borrow my filter when he wanted some water from a tarn….

        1. beatingthebounds says:

          Thanks for that. Uldale force is on the Rawthey which drains Baugh Fell, you must have been at least in the vicinity. It will feature on the blog sometime this year.

  3. You have more photos of the Scoat Fell day than I did. I enjoyed the day though despite the greyness. The Friday was much nicer, you’d have enjoyed it……..

    I can vouch for the ice cream, it was stupendous 🙂

    Backpack with the kids. Needs to be somewhere relatively close to the road but still with a sense of adventure. Sand Tarn would be excellent. Other good one would be upper Eskdale

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      TBH suggested Upper Eskdale. I thought that might be a bit far, but the kids would love the gorge, so it’s very tempting and there are plenty of places to pitch. Still contemplating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s