Burnmoor Tarn

Burnmoor Tarn, on Eskdale Fell in Cumbria, England, is one of the largest entirely natural tarns in the Lake District. Its waters flow into Whillan Beck at the tarn’s north-eastern corner, which immediately turns south and flows into Eskdale, joining the Esk at Beckfoot.

Burnmoor Lodge, a former fishing lodge, stands by the southern shore and a medieval corpse road runs past the eastern shore where it fords the beck.

  • Corpse roads provided a practical means for transporting corpses, often from remote communities, to cemeteries that had burial rights, such as parish churches and chapels of ease.

The lake has two distinct basins close to the south-eastern shore and a maximum depth of 13 m. There are four main inflow streams to the north and north-west. The outflow at the eastern end joins the Hardrigg Beck which drains the slopes of Scafell and, in times of especially high flow, is partly diverted into the lake across a braided delta.

The tarn can be reached from three directions. The major path from Wasdale Head to Eskdale runs past the tarn (this was originally the corpse road along which bodies were taken from Wasdale Head for burial at Boot), which can thus be approached from either Brackenclose in Wasdale or Boot in Eskdale (Eskdale Mill is powered by the waters that flow from the tarn). It can also be approached from Miterdale by following either the valley bottom path, which runs up to Burnmoor Lodge, at the southern side of the tarn, or the path that runs up onto Tongue Moor and around Illgill Head on its way to Wasdale.

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Burnmoor Tarn
Burnmoor Tarn


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