Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

Route: Tarn Hows

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 3rd November 2021

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 2.5 miles

Ascent: 300 feet

Weather: Sunny patches, clouding over midway

Tarn Hows is a well known beauty spot, perhaps too well known as it can be a little busy at times. The tarn is partly artificial, having been formed in the 19th century by the merging of three small tarns. When the Tarns and their setting came up for sale in 1929, they were bought by Beatrix Potter who sold the half containing Tarn Hows to the National Trust, and bequeathed the rest of the estate to the Trust in her will

We made an early start in order to avoid the crowds drawn here by the beauty of the place, especially so during autumn. We normally park at the Glen Mary car park, but today we parked nearer Tarn Hows, at the main National Trust car park. The tarn is a short stroll away from here. We decided to walk anti-clockwise and take advantage of the good light – the best views are from the eastern side of the tarn. This proved to be a good decision as the sky clouded over by the time we reached the other shore

Navigation is a simple affair – just follow the well made path around the tarn. This is an easy walk which could be completed in an hour at a brisk pace (but who would want to do that amidst such beauty?). On reaching Rose Castle we made a there and back detour to a superb viewpoint which offers good views of the Langdale Pikes beyond Tom Heights. This was the highlight of the walk, as good light showed the autumn colours at their best. From here we followed the path around the tarn and back to the start of a short but classic walk

For anyone looking for a longer walk, or seeking to bag a Wainwright, a visit to Tarn Hows can be combined with a climb up Holme Fell or Black Fell. There are numerous paths in the area giving rise to many possibilities – for a few more ideas visit the Find Walks page and search Tarn Hows in the Search Site box

Click on the icon below for the route map (subscribers to OS Maps can view detailed maps of the route, visualise it in aerial 3D, and download the GPX file. Non-subscribers will see a base map)

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