In Grasmere from the Broadgate car park: return to the main road and turn left past the Co-op, to the Cunningham’s Outdoor shop. Turn right into Easedale Road. From the Stock Lane car park: walk into the village centre, past the church, and outside the Cunningham’s Outdoor shop turn left into Easedale road. On the wall beside the turning is a large slate sign painted “Easedale Tarn” and an arrow. Follow this minor road past the Youth Hostel, houses and holiday cottages, and the bridge over Easedale Beck. As the road curves right, a footbridge crosses the beck on the left, opposite a post box is embedded in the wall. Cross this footbridge, over the slate bridge, and onto the track beyond. Whilst the surface is amazingly well engineered, it is as rough as old cobbled streets and quite hard work. Go through the gate and continue on the track. The river remains on your right. Through the next gate and into the field. Beware if there are cows with calves here. At the time of survey (July 2012) cattle were in the previous field separated by a fence. With the amount of pedestrian traffic about they are probably used to people and dogs, but caution would be wise. Bear right, and then left away from the track onto the path signposted “Public Bridleway”. The field gradually narrows with the river back alongside. Go through the kissing gate and onto the fell. The track starts climbing with a wall on the right hand side. After a while it bears left to climb alongside Sourmilk Gill. At the top of the gill the aspect suddenly opens and the tarn is revealed! Return by the same route.
Starting in Grasmere somewhere near the church, it being an obvious landmark, head out of the village on Stock Lane towards Ambleside – if you came out of the church you would turn left. Past the shops, and Stock Lane car park to the roundabout at the junction with the A591. Cross over and take the minor road with the 6’6″ width restriction. It directly passes Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth shop. Continue on as the road climbs gently. A small pond is found at the top of the rise, and just before the road turns sharply right behind a barn bear left to take the minor road signposted “Public Footpath to Alcock Tarn and Coffin Route to Rydal”. Past another tarn, called variously Skater’s Tarn, Wordsworth’s Tarn, or White Moss Tarn, the lane becomes a gravel track, which gradually deteriorates to a rough path in places. At Brockstones bear right. As the path meets a wall, bear left and keep high to avoid having to climb back up to the gate. Eventually, after 1.5km (0.9 miles), the path goes through a gate into a lane which drops into Rydal beside Rydal Mount. Turn right, pass the church and down to the A591. Turn right and walk along this busy road, there is a pavement on both sides, cross when it’s clear or just before the Badger Bar (about 100m (110 yards)) cross over and drop through the hole in the wall. Immediately you will see the Dipper Bridge footbridge over the river. This bridge was restored after Storm Desmond wrecked the old one in December 2015. Cross, and then turn right to follow the river bank. At the lake, bear left to go round the shore. Go through the gates and keep to the lower path by the shore, below Jobson Close. As you reach the old barn on your right, the path climbs quite steeply to a junction of four paths. Take the right fork which is narrow and immediately drops down to follow a wall. Don’t continue on the wider track that is Loughrigg Terrace. Follow the wall down to the footbridge over the Grasmere outfall and bear left to continue round the lake shore. Go through the gate, a smooth track is just above the water’s edge here. Keep following the shore line. After some distance the woodland to the right becomes fenced in fields. With stunning views across the lake the end of this path comes all too soon and you are forced to turn left up to the road. At the road turn right to head towards Grasmere village. There is a little traffic on this country lane so care will be needed where it narrows and on corners. There are still good glimpses of the view back down the lake and to the fells on the other side. You enter the village on Red Bank Road opposite the church.
Starting near the church head away from the village centre along Stock Lane towards Ambleside. Past the car park to the small roundabout at the junction with the A591. Do not walk along the A591 but cross the roundabout and take the country lane with the 6’6″ width restriction. Follow this past the Wordsworth Shop, Dove Cottage and up the hill. Just past the small overgrown pond at How Top, turn left signposted “Public Right of Way to Alcock Tarn and Coffin Route to Rydal”. After 300m (330 yards) or so, just past another tarn, called variously Skater’s Tarn, Wordsworth’s Tarn, or White Moss Tarn, bear right on a small track going downhill. This leads to the car parks at White Moss. Cross the busy A591 again and into the parkland beside the River Rothay. There are Public Conveniences here. In the parkland bear right, and then keep alongside the River Rothay. Before the gate into the meadows is a footbridge over the river to your left. Cross the bridge and turn right to follow the riverside path. It is narrow and relatively rough here with steep drops off the path although not a great distance. Go through the kissing gate onto access land and follow the cobbled path alongside the river. Eventually another footbridge is met just by the small weir at the head of Grasmere Lake. Bear left and follow the lake shore. Go through the gate, a smooth track is just above the water’s edge here. Keep following the shore line which gradually swings right. After some distance the woodland to the right becomes fenced in fields. With stunning views across the lake the end of this path comes all too soon and you are forced to turn left up to the road. At the road turn right to head towards Grasmere village. There is a little traffic on this country lane so care will be needed where it narrows and on corners. There are still good glimpses of the view back down the lake and to the fells on the other side. You enter the village on Red Bank Road opposite St Oswald’s church.
From Grasmere opposite the Cunningham’s Outdoor shop is Easedale Road, on the wall beside the turning is a large slate sign painted “Easedale Tarn” and an arrow. Follow this minor road past the Youth Hostel, houses and holiday cottages, and Goody Bridge over Easedale Beck. Continue as the road sweeps right, then left and across the pasture to the small hamlet at the foot of Helm Crag. Between buildings, turn right into the rough lane signposted “Public Bridleway Far Easedale Helm Crag Footpath”. At the top of the lane go through the gate and turn left. In 50m (55 yards) turn right onto the track signposted “Helm Crag”. Go through another gateway and bear first right, then left up on the zigzag path. Join the path alongside the wall which ascends a flight of engineered steps. At the top of the steps it takes a long zigzag, and has a new section of path. Climb to the col and at the cairn turn left. The path now gets a little scrambly at times, if it’s wet and greasy try the bypasses over to the left. Continue to the summit area which is a rather shattered affair with large blocks strewn around. Return by the route of ascent.