Tarn Hows

Route: Tarn Hows

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 18th October 2017

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly 

Distance:  6.3 miles

Weather: Sunny, turning cloudy

Tarn Hows is a well known beauty spot – too well known it might be said – and if you prefer to walk in relative solitude it’s best to arrive early or out of season. The tarn is partly artificial, having been formed in the 19th century by merging three small tarns. I wanted to try out a different route today, and so we parked in the Monk Coniston car park at the head of Coniston Water (Waterhead)

After admiring the view along the lake we crossed the road and walked through rolling parkland, passing through the walled garden of Monk Coniston, owned by the National Trust. There then followed a long uphill walk through woodland which eventually brought us to Tarn Hows. There are two paths along the eastern side of the tarn, and we took the high level one which has vastly superior views, and is also much quieter than the lakeside path. We detoured at one point to walk along a rocky outcrop which enjoys glorious views over the tarn to the Langdale Pikes beyond

We then descended to Rose Castle Plantation and joined the path along the other shore which was rather too busy for our liking, and we were glad to reach the foot of Tarn Hows and start the walk back to Coniston Water. We followed deserted paths through the beautiful scenery of Yewdale, with lovely views of the surrounding Yewdale Fells and in the latter stages along the length of Coniston Water

The path gradually descended to Boon Crag Farm, where we joined the bridleway which leads into Coniston. We followed this as far as the head of the lake and from here it was a short stroll along a path beside the road back to the car park. By now the skies had clouded over but no matter as we’d been privileged to see Tarn Hows looking its best in glorious conditions

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