A walk to Tarn Hows

I really wanted to walk up the “Old Man”. I’d spent a good part of the week staring at it and it was challenging me to make the ascent. But a combination of factors, the weather, lack of practice and uncertainty about how I’d manage my sugar levels, (especially the weather), put me off. So towards the end of our weeks holiday, desperate to get out for a walk, and despite the weather, I decided to put on my boots and take the easier option of walking up from our cottage on the northern shores of Coniston Water to the “beauty spot” of Tarn Hows.


The walk took me through pleasant wodland


up to  the large tarn. It was actually created by James Garth Marshall, the wealthy owner of the Monk Coniston Estate in the mid-19th century. There were originally three small tarns which were dammed to create one larger one. Today the estate is owned by the National Trust and there are car parks close by making access to the easy walk around the lake (almost 2 miles).

The tarn itself is very pleasant but the views of the surrounding mountains are what makes it such an attractive spot for visitors.






When I arrived, while stopping to admire the view and refuel (I was surprised at how much my blood sugar had dropped) I could see the rain passing over the Coniston fells. Afterwards when I was part way round the tarn the heavens opened. I was very glad of the bargain waterproof over trousers I’d bought  in Ambleside a few days earlier!



Yet, even as I was standing in the pouring rain having circumnavigated the tarn I could see the Langdale Pikes, only a few miles away, lit up in bright sunshine.


My route took me through the Monk Coniston Estate. On the way back I chose a route that took me through the the grounds of the Monk Coniston Hall which itself is not accessible through to the public but the public path went through the old wakked garden that has been restored by the National Trust



and this old “gazebo”


and then down through fields of Herdwick sheep back to the lake





2 thoughts on “A walk to Tarn Hows

  1. Thanks C. The area would be even nicer on a sunny day. Herdwick sheep are a Lakeland breed. Beatrix Potter, who lived near Hawkshead and owned the Monk Coniston estate (she left it to the National Trust) used to breed them and used to win prizes for them! Her legacy required farmers on the estate to continue keeping them. And there are similarities with Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains. The Cumbrian mountains are more rugged though. Our Peak District, especially the Dark Peak south east and east of Manchester, and the Pennines, are more comparable in my view.

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