Lake District Directory from walkthefells.net

Thirlmere

 

Map

Imagine the news headlines today if someone in "authority" put forward the suggestion of demolishing one of the small Lake District villages and then flooding the valley to supply water to a city over a hundred mile away. Whether is was lack of opposition, or just the out and out power of the authorities. This is exactly what was allowed to happen in the past. The most famous example of this is the flooding of Mardale at Hawswater, and much less talked about is the loss of two small hamlets between Keswick and Grasmere. These were Wythburn and Armboth.

When driving along the busy A591 the only reminder that there was ever any sort of rural community here is Wythburn Church. The church remains to offer us a sad reminder that it once served a congregation who lived in the farms and cottages of these two hamlets. The population in the area must have been equal to many other places in the Lake District, as it was able to support two Inns the "nag's head " and the "cherry tree". There are now only 4 occupied houses in the parish. These are all at Steel End.


Photo gallery

 

It’s difficult to imagine what this area would look like now if the events of the 1880's and 1890's hadn't taken place. The most notable difference would be two natural lakes instead of one, man made lake. These were Wythburn Water and Leathers Water. The area has always been called Thirlmere, which means "the lake with a gap". This name was probably given because of the narrow strip of land separating the two lakes.

The fate of the area was sealed when in 1879 the Manchester Corporation bought both lakes, and probably most of the valley. They were bought with the sole purpose of flooding the valley to supply the city of Manchester with water. Construction began in 1890 and lasted for four years. Resulting in a rise of the water level by 54ft (16.5m).

This area now is one of the quieter parts of the Lake District, as far as "none walking" visitors to the lakes go. For most people Thirlmere is nothing more than a route you take through the centre of the Lake District.

For walkers this area has a split in popularity. On the A591 side of the lake you have two of the main routes up to the Helvellyn range. One from Thirlspot and the other from Wythburn Church. Testimony to this clam is that during the summer months these two car parks can fill up quite early in the morning. Whereas the Armboth side of the lake is usually much less crowded. The lure of Helvellyn obviously outweighs the more gentle walks offered from the other side of the water. On one hand Helvellyn is denying many people the desire to visit places like Harrop Tarn, High Tove, and even the secluded Launchy Gill Tarn, but on the other hand, I suppose we should be grateful to Helvellyn for this, as it allows you to walk in this area without meeting more than a hand full of people.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Here are a few options where you an start walks near Thirlmere
Car park, Dobgill, Thirlmere

In stark contrast to the eastern side of Thirlmere this is a wonderfully quiet area with a succession of car parks along the road between Wythburn and Thirlmere dam.

Dobgill car park is free, has ample parking, public toilets and a convenient route up to the central ridge via Harrop Tarn.

 


Car park, Swirls, Thirlmere

Swirls and Helvellyn fit perfectly into the same sentence. The chances are that 9 out of every 10 people who walk from here are heading up Browncove Crags onto Helvellyn summit.

The car park is in effect split into two by the A591. One has splendid views over Thirlmere and pays host to an ice cream van, whilst on the opposite side of the road you have the toilet block and the beginning of the path to Helvellyn.

Unfortunately the water company who own the land have installed a 'pay and display' machine in the car park above Thirlmere, so, the only free option here is to park in the long lay-by a little further down the road. Late comers will find it full !!

 


Parking spaces, Thirlmere Dam


I think I'm correct in saying this is the preferred parking spot for peak baggers who are intent on a quick there and back walk up Raven Crag. And while this is indeed the closest parking spot to Raven Crag, there actually considerably more routes to be had from here. To name a few, you could undertake a complete circuit of Thirlmere, head north to St John's in the Vale and High Rigg or even have a short walk onto Great How.

In or around August 2011 a pay and display machine was installed in this car park.

However, , , , if you continue a short way down the road towards the A591 you can park for free in a lay-by. The free parking spot is indicated by the higher of the two red arrows.


Choose a walk that includes this place
The number of walks to choose from is 28

20th November 2016
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.4 mile Hardly any ascent
A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Woods above A591 - Swirls - A591
 

1st October 2016
  Raven Crag and Great How 6.7 mile about 2000 ft
A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - Forestry tracks back to Thirlmere road - Thirlmere Dam - Great How - A591
 

1st January 2016
  Happy New Year from Thirlmere and Raven Crag 7.1 mile 1300 ft
A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - road as far as Launchy Gill - Road back to Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - Thirlmere Dam - Bridge End Farm - A591
 

1st August 2015
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.7 mile Hard to say
Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Dalegarth Hall - A591
 

26th July 2014
  Helvellyn to Stybarrow Dodd 10.2 mile 3700 ft
Swirls - Helvellyn Gill - Browncove Crags - Helvellyn - Helvellyn Lower Man - White Side - Raise - Ski Tow - top of Sticks Pass - Stybarrow Dodd - Sticks Pass - Stanah - Thirlmere shore path - Dalehead Hall - Swirls
 

9th March 2014
  Around Thirlmere 10 mile 900 ft
Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steel End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Dalehead Hall - Bridge End Farm
 

2nd November 2013
  A half dry walk around Thirlmere 10.4 mile 700 ft
A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Woods above A591 - Swirls - A591
 

13th July 2013
  Ullscarf, Armboth Fell and Thirlmere 9.3 mile 2600 ft
Dobgill - Harrop Tarn - Wythburn Fells - Ullscarf - Standing Crag - Bells Crags - Armboth Fell - Armboth - road back to Dobgill
 

7th April 2013
  Thirlmere from Dunmail Raise 11.2 mile 800 ft
Dunmail Raise - Homesdale Green Bridge - Wythburn - Dob Gill - Armboth - Thirlmere Dam - Dalehead Hall - Swirls - Forest path to Birkside Gill - Dunmail Raise
 

25th November 2012
  A short walk on the east side of Thirlmere 4.3 mile 500 ft
A591 Nr Bridge End Farm - Stanah - Fisherplace Gill - Swirls - Thirlmere - Dalehead Hall - A591 Nr Bridge End Farm
 

22nd July 2012
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.7 mile 1200 ft
Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Dalegarth Hall - A591
 

24th March 2012
  Walking the Lakeland Passes - Walk 4 - Puddingstone Bank and High Tove 13.5 mile 2800 ft
Rosthwaite - Puddingstone Bank - Watendlath - High Tove - Armboth - Thirlmere road - Wythburn - Greenup Edge - Stonethwaite - Rosthwaite
 

20th November 2011
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.9 mile 1200 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Fisherplace Gill - Stanah - A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam
 

30th October 2011
  Castlerigg Stone Circle to Thirlmere 10 mile 1500 ft
Castlerigg Stone circle - Goosewell Farm - Naddle Bridge - Tewet Tarn - St John's in the Vale Church - High Rigg - Long Band - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam - Shoulthwaite Farm - Rough How Bridge - Shaw Bank - Dale bottom fields - Nest Brow - Castle Lane - Castlerigg Stone Circle
 

29th August 2011
  Borrowdale to Thirlmere - High Tove and Walla Crag 12.7 mile 3000 ft
Borrowdale Road - Ashness Bridge - Surprise View - Watendlath - High Tove - Armboth - Thirlmere - Shoulthwaite Farm - Rough How Bridge - Shaw Bank - Dale Bottom - Nest Brow - Castlerigg - Rake Foot - Walla Crag - Cat Gill - Derwent Water
 

14th August 2011
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.5 mile 900 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Dalehead Hall - A591 - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam
 

27th February 2011
  A circuit of Thirlmere 9.6 mile XX ft
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Shoreline path below Dalehead Hall - Thirlmere Dam
 

17th April 2010
  High Tove, Blea Tarn and Armboth Fell 8.4 mile 1910 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - High Tove - Middle Crag - Shivery Knott - Blea Tarn - Bell Crags - Armboth Fell - Armboth - Thirlmere Dam
 

4th April 2010
  A circuit of Thirlmere 9.6 mile  
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Shoreline path below Dalehead Hall - Thirlmere Dam
 

14th February 2010
  A short walk from Thirlmere Dam 4.1 mile 1100 ft
Thirlmere Dam Triangle - Woodland Path to Raven Crag - Forest Track to Shoulthwaite Gill - Forest Track to Thirlmere Road - Smaithwaite - Bridge end Farm - Thirlmere Dam
 

28th June 2009
  A circuit of Thirlmere 10.4 mile  
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dobgill Bridge - Steel End - Wythburn Church - Forest track to Swirls - Fisherplace Gill - Stanah - Bridge End Farm - Thitlmere Dam
 

7th June 2009
  Great How from Thirlmere Dam 2.8 mile 1000 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Great How - east side of Great How - Bridge End Farm - Thirlmere Dam
 

15th June 2008
  A circuit of Thirlmere 9.6 mile  
Thirlmere Dam - Armboth - Hause Point - Dob Gill - Steele End - Wythburn Church - Woods above A591 - Swirls - Shoreline path below Dalehead Hall - Thirlmere Dam
 

17th May 2008
  Raining on Raven Crag 2 mile 1100 ft
Thirlmere - Raven Crag - Thirlmere (across the dam and back)
 

14th May 2006
  A short walk through the woods above Thirlmere to Raven Crag and an ancient hill fort. 2.8 mile 1437 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - Castle Crag (fort) - The Benn - Thirlmere Dam
 

17th July 2005
  Out of food, out of water and out of energy - A section of the central ridge and Thirlmere shore path. 10.35 mile 2549 ft
Dob Gill - Harrop Tarn - Bell Crags - Armboth Fell - High Tove - High Seat - Raven Crag - Thirlmere - Dob Gill
 

10th April 2005
  A walk from Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag and High Rigg. 7.9 mile 2185 ft
Thirlmere Dam - Raven Crag - Castle Crag fort - Shoulthwaite Farm - High Rigg - St John's in the Vale Church - A591 - Thirlmere Dam
 

14th February 2004
  Ullscarf, Calf Crag, Steel Fell and quite a few tarns. 8.9 mile 2490 ft
Dobgill Car Park - Harrop Tarn - Mosshause Gill - Standing Crag - Ullscarf - Greenup Edge Tarns - Greenup Edge - Brownrigg Moss - Brownrigg Tarn - Calf Crag - Steel Fell Tarn - Steel Fell - Steel End Farm - Dobgill Bridge
 



David Hall -
Lake District Walks