Tarn Hows is a lake set amongst the attractive countryside between Coniston and Ambleside.
Whilst it is a very well known, and consequently busy Lake District visitor attraction, what is less well known is that the tarn used to be three smaller ones called High, Middle and Low Tarn. In 1862 James Marshall gained the land and set about building a dam to raise the level, and with other landscaping largely created the Tarn Hows we see today. Later he sold it to Beatrice Heelis, better known as Beatrix Potter, who passed it eventually to the National Trust for safe keeping.
For the less able you may be able to hire an off road mobility scooter, for more details see here.
The National Trust pay and display car park at Tarn Hows is quite large and has toilet facilities. Additionally during the summer months an ice cream van plies its trade.
From the car park return to the road and cross over to the other side. Take the path down towards the tarn. Ahead of you is a surprisingly well manicured grass viewpoint - it gets a hard life with picnics in the summer, and grazing geese or Belted Galloway cattle at other times.
The view is out across the tarn with Iron Keld and Black Fell beyond.
To continue bear left down the grass slopes onto the path and then keep right to go through the gate beside the tarn.
Follow this well maintained gravelled track, which meanders never far from the tarn on your right hand side, to the signpost beside a junction.
At the junction bear right to continue around the tarn.
Keep on keeping right. Just past the furthest point where the path swings quite sharply there's a bench, beside which you might find some bog myrtle. Rubbing the leaves between your fingers gives a lovely resinous perfume. It's said to ward off the midges and other flying insects too.
Continue round the tarn on the track. You pass a small plantation of conifers and the track climbs a little to be high above the tarn. The view then is out to the Coniston fells.
Arriving back at the viewpoint bear left up to the road and cross back into the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Tarn Hows, Black Fell, Holme Fell||56m (62 yards) away|
|Steel Edge and Wetherlam Edge, from Tilberthwaite||2.5km (1.6 miles) away|
|A visit to Cathedral Cavern from Tilberthwaite||2.5km (1.6 miles) away|
|Latterbarrow from Hawkshead||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
|Tarn Hows from Coniston||3.0km (1.9 miles) away|
|Wetherlam, via Lad Stones ridge and Black Sails||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|The Old Man of Coniston, from Coniston village||3.1km (1.9 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Coniston to Dungeon Ghyll||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|Coppermines Valley above Coniston||3.2km (2.0 miles) away|
|The Old Man of Coniston||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|Dow Crag and Goats Water||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
|The Old Man of Coniston, Brim Fell, Swirl How, Wetherlam||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
|Walna Scar, White Maiden, White Pike, with a visit to Blind Tarn||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011