Oughtershaw Tarn

Oughtershaw Tarn

Oughtershaw Tarn is a fairly large moorland tarn situated between Woldside to the north-west and Deepdale Haw to the south-east.

Situated at an altitude of 550m it is less than a mile as the crow flies from the small hamlet of Oughtershaw in Langstrothdale. However, with no path or rights of way going anywhere near the tarn, it is not surprising that it receives few visitors. On top of the lack of path the tarn is also defended by some very moist and peaty terrain, especially to the north.

Oughtershaw Tarn from Woldside
Oughtershaw Tarn from Woldside

There is one weekend of the year when the tarn receives a couple of hundred visitors as it is on the route of the annual Fellsman race. Starting in Ingleton and finishing in Threshfield the Fellsman is a brutal high level 61 mile race for hardcore runners and walkers on terrain that is largely pathless. As many of the entrants are likely to pass by at night the majority probably don’t even see Oughtershaw Tarn or appreciate the views towards Ingleborough and Whernside.

My friend Paul contemplating the lonely setting of Oughtershaw Tarn
My friend Paul contemplating the lonely setting of Oughtershaw Tarn

I visited the tarn with a couple of friends on a long walk from Marsett over Woldside and Yockenthwaite Moor. At over 13 miles this was more than enough of a challenge for me. Of the seven tarns we passed during the course of the walk Oughtershaw Tarn was easily the finest and was definitely worth the bog trotting required to reach it.

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