>Details of Potter Tarn Round

>Had an enquiry asking for more infomation on my Potter Tarn round so I thought I would post the options here for everyone! All times are assuming start from the village of Bowston.

Start: Village of Bowston or alternatively from near Hagg Farm on the minor road between Burneside and Staveley.

Description: From Bowston follow the old tramline and minor road to Cowan Head. From the cottages, take the path that runs from the mill-pond until a footbridge is reached (often with a big PRIVATE SIGN on it). Go over the bridge onto the north side of the river. The other option is to take the path on the north side of the river from Bowston directly to this point. Running Time about 8 minutes.

From the north side of the footbridge, turn Left and run through woodland until path leads upto the minor road. From here turn Right, run along the road for about 200yds before a path strikes leftwards across the fields towards Side House. From Side House continue along a track until a path junction is reached on the flanks of Potter Fell. Running Time about 16 to 20 minutes.

Turn Right and follow the winding footpath, steepish at first up towards Potter Tarn, passing through gap in wall then through a gate and then over a stile before the Tarn itself is reached. Running Time about 26 to 32 minutes.

SHORTER RETURN OPTION 1: If time is short, a path runs Southwards from the Tarn back towards Hagg Farm, Cowan Head and Bowston.

Run past Potter Tarn, in front of the dam, using stepping stones to cross the water slide. Continue over over Stile and follow rising Path towards Gurnal Dubs. A boundary wall is cross at the top of the rise before a slight descent towards Gurnal Dubs and the ‘Boathouse’. Running Time about 33 to 42 minutes.

SHORTER RETURN OPTION 2: Running all the way around Gurnal Dubs takes about 7 to 10 minutes (its about a kilometer) from where you can retrace your footsteps or combine with the previous return option.

From the Boathouse at Gurnal Dubs, take the path on the north side of the tarn, following it around the edge (passing distinct Rowan Tree growing out of large boulder!). About 200 yards after this veer off leftwards and cut a cross to a track that runs North from the tarn. Follow this track and edge of boundary wall until a gate is reached. This leads to the Open Fell and what is now Open Access Land I think. Running Time about 42 to 53 minutes.

Go through the gate and follow the track around to the left, pulling up a short rise before the track becomes an indistinct path and the ground flattens out. The Path heads West, with the main summit of Potter Fell itself away to the North, before dropping down towards a stream, which is easily crossed, and then skirts towards an obvious corner in a boundary wall (with small outcrop behind). Running Time about 50 to 65 minutes.


The path skirts in front of this small outcrop with the boundary wall now immediately on your left before you descend towards Potter Tarn. The Path soons becomes a decent track, continue following this downhill as it skirts around to the Right until a gate on the left is reached. A short descent along a good path will bring you back towards Side House. From here it is possible to retrace your steps via Side House to Cowan Head and Bowston.


Total Running Time: 1hr 15 minutes to 1hr 30 minutes / 12.5 Km (approx)

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About Richard Talbot

An accomplished fell-runner as well as being a keen climber and mountaineer. Since 2005 he has worked for the UK based manufacturer Mountain Equipment and is currently Director of Product. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years.
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2 Responses to >Details of Potter Tarn Round

  1. duncan says:

    >Many thanks Richard, I appreciate your time in doing this & found it interesting & useful. Will look at nipping up there next week.Hoe the training is going well.

  2. Kate Rew says:

    >Hi RichardDo you ever see people swimming up there? I went in at the weekend (would you believe, taking a brief out from Kendal Mountain Festival) and want to write it up for my swim friends, but wondered what it's like in summer with the fisherman etc… Would like to connect a few runs to it for those that like it. I left my map behind so can't make full sense of your directions. Would you be able to help with a short version such as 'can be part of a 12.5km run that starts in Bowston and takes in Potter Tarn and xxxx' so people can get the bare bones and then work it out on a map? Thanks in advancekate

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