Tewet Tarn and St John’s in the Vale
Tewet Tarn, a wondrous spot to be. A small body of water, that in my opinion, quite frankly surpasses many of the large lakes for panoramas and calmness. Without walking too many minutes from a car park, just a small 1 mile ramble really, it can enchant and leave glorious images in the memory for a lifetime. A place for all seasons. Why, just looking north you have the great mountains of Skiddaw and Blencathra side by side. (click panorama below for larger version)
Of course, getting here for the ones who want a bigger hike can come from all directions. On a previous post I took you to the top of high Rigg, well from that summit, as you look across to these two mighty fine mountains above you can see Tewet Tarn right down before you. A worthy walk extension, plus you can make your way back round south via the valley. Or, as you look westwards you can see Castlerigg Stone Circle just a couple of miles away, possibilities are endless around here for walks.
By the waterside I find it lacking crowds, lacking noise and all the action is taken up by the odd sheep or birds swooping. I often see birds of prey diving in amongst the rocks around the edge of the tarn.
For a short walk, an evening stroll in the open, or when taking the small ones etc, the best place to park is by the charming and secluded church of St John’s in the Vale.
Near Threlkeld, turn off the A66 southwards on the B5322 just for about 2 miles. You will see a sign leading you up a very narrow track to the church. A lot of people do walk from down here in the bottom, it all depends if you have time or fancy a longer stomp Why not explore more of the valley too, it is very worth it.
St John’s Church, St John’s in the Vale (grade II listed building), is still an active Anglican parish church. Visitors are welcome to step through the gates and take a look around. It feels so far from anywhere perched high at the top of the road, with views down to the valley floor and the tiny villages scattered throughout, in the shadows of the mountains.
It is not known how long a church has stood on this spot but records date back as far as the 1600s at least. The current building replaced the previous one in 1845 but used much of the original stone and timer.
If you get chance to come to the lake district away from high season and during the week I highly recommend this area. Even on a blue sky Spring day like I had this day I saw nobody the whole time except a couple of people who came to just see the church.
Sun, water, reflections of mountains and clouds. History, charming architecture and peace and quiet. Not too many better ways to spend an hour or two in the great outdoors I tell ya!