Tarn Hows and Holme Fell walk

Holme Fell

Route: Tarn Hows and Holme Fell

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 15th October 2020

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 7.1 miles

Ascent: 1,500 feet

Weather: Sunny

Today’s walk is a case of ‘buy one, get one free’ as the route combines two places of beauty, each of which is a worthy destination in its own right. Tarn Hows is one of the most visited spots in lakeland (so arrive early). It is partly artificical, being three tarns joined together in the 19th century. The Tarns were once owned by Beatrix Potter, who left the estate to the National Trust. Holme Fell is a low lying but rugged fell set in the midst of some wonderful landscape, and has superb views in all directions. I’d been saving this walk for a sunny autumn day such as today in order to see the scenery at its best

I parked in the National Trust car park at Glen Mary Bridge and made the short but quite steep climb up to the lakeshore path which runs around Tarn Hows, passing by several attractive waterfalls in Tom Gill along the way. I could have turned left on reaching The Tarns, which would shorten the route but would also miss the best scenery. Instead I followed the path anti-clockwise around The Tarns, making a short uphill diversion at one point to get a better view. On reaching a footbridge at the half way point of The Tarns I reluctantly turned my back on them to make my way over to the next objective, Holme Fell

I joined a path between dry stone walls, part of the Cumbria Way and, after crossing the road a little further on, started the gradual climb up to High Oxen Fell. This was initially along a narrow lane, and then a stony path. Eventually, after passing by the deep quarry at Hodge Close, I left the main path to start the ascent of Holme Fell. The going was straightforward, although there are some steep rocky sections below the summit which involve some clambering. I first visited the impressive cairn on Ivy Crag, which isn’t the highest point of the fell, and then made my way over to the true summit. The views from here are wonderful, especially those looking towards the Langdale Pikes 

I descended to Uskdale Gap and followed a path through the woods to Yew Tree Tarn, a lovely spot marred only by its proximity to the Coniston road. I walked beside the tarn, with the road on the other side, and from here it was a short stroll back to Glen Mary and the end of a wonderful walk

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