Tarn Hows

  • A picture perfect landscape
  • Wheelchair/pushchair friendly
  • Plenty of wildlife including red squirrels

First of all this is a beautiful spot; however if you have not a member of your party under the age of 5, over the age of 70 or with one leg it can be difficult to justify a visit! The walk is just so easy. This is National Trust land and therefore the parking is expensive but to be fair they do an excellent job in maintaining the paths and providing information on the local area. There is always a National Trust warden on site (to sell you membership) so they know that this is a flagship venue for them.

Beatrix Potter was the land owner who sold the Tarn to the National Trust and she certainly knew a picturesque site. It is a perfect slice of country, rightly described as ‘a beauty spot’ by Visit Cumbria, with wonderful views of the Langdale Pikes, set amidst woodland ad containing a nice variety of birdlife and small mammals. It is in fact an amalgamation of 3 separate tarns, rather without inspiration known as High Tarn, Low Tarn and Middle Tarn, which were joined in the 19th century by the damning of the exit stream and the beauty spot was created.

Recommend: Take the high road to the east of the Tarn for the perfect photo (in the morning).

Download GPX file

Tarn Hows map


All maps are copyright of Where2Walk ©2018

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL7 The English Lakes South East Buy Map
Start Point: SD 327997. The car park at Tarn Hows is really the only place to park unless walking from a distance. There is a disabled viewing car park above the tarn. It matters little which way round the walk is taken
Height to Climb: 12 ms (39 feet)
Terrain: An excellent path has been prepared suitable for wheelchairs/pushchairs
Eating & Drinking: Surprisingly and pleasingly there is no ugly tea shop near the car park, just a good information centre and toilets. Aim for Coniston or Hawkshead for refreshments
Similar Walks Nearby: Exploring Little Langdale
Latterbarrow & Hawkshead
A walk around Elterwater
Places to Stay:


  1. Jonathan says:

    Its a great little walk and a delight for those who cannot go further.

  2. C J Harrison says:

    We go often and enjoy wandering round.
    Maybe for a ‘hard-core’ walker its too easy but for a 32 year old, former pro rugby player, it’s a lovely place to go

  3. Michele & Sadie says:

    We are not under 5 nor are we over 70 yet and we have both our legs. However having completed a really tough walk a couple of days earlier this walk was just what was required to gently exercise our two aching legs. It’s true that it is not a challenging walk but it is absolutely beautiful and well worth an hour of your time.

  4. Margaret Johnson says:

    We have visited this area many times but today, a beautiful October day, we climbed the stile at the head of the Tarn & crossed the fell to the green road that took us to the bottom of Hawkshead Hill, up the steep road we went to a way marked path which took us back to the Tarn. What an adventure, my husband is 76 yrs of age & I am 71. (The dog slept all the way home!)

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