A circular walk around Tarn Hows

A Hawkshead walk posted on 05/02/18 by Sarita J. Update : 27/02/18

A gentle walk in a beautiful setting, enjoyable in any weather. The walk is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs and is not too long for little legs.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h50[?]
Distance Distance : 1.63mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 144ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 148ft
Highest point Highest point : 715ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 630ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Hawkshead
Starting point Starting point : N 54.395019° / W 3.028695°


(D) Park in the National Trust car park just above the lake. With your back to the car park, turn right up the road for about 30m and then left onto the footpath around the lake.

The path around the lake is wide and easy to follow, with beautiful views. Stay on the main path all the way down to the end of the lake, keeping an eye out for the two "money trees" - fallen trees, which have been decorated with thousands of penny coins.

(1) On reaching the end of the lake, make sure you bear right, to stay on the lake path, which then joins up with the Cumbria Way.

(2) The return journey along the northwesterly side of the lake can be a little steep in places, but the path is wide and well-maintained, and the compact stone surface makes it smooth. The views from up above the lake are stunning.

(3)When you reach the road at the end of the lake, turn right and continue 70 m down the road to get back to the car park. You will have great views along the way here of the Coniston hills and Langdale Pikes in the distance.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. mi 0 - National Trust car park
1 : mi 0.73 - alt. mi 0.73 - Bear right at end of lake
2 : mi 0.92 - alt. mi 0.92 - Bear right onto Cumbria Way
3 : mi 1.58 - alt. mi 1.58 - Turn right down road
D/A : mi 1.63 - alt. mi 1.63 - National Trust car park

Useful Information

There are toilets just beside the car park, and an ice cream van in summer.
The National Trust car park is a paid car park.
There are plenty of benches on the way around the lake to rest tired legs.
You can extend this walk by an hour or two by walking up from Coniston village. The walk is lovely with a combination of woodland and open views of the fells.

Click here to see how to reach the starting point.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

See map and elevation chart

During the walk or to do/see around

Tarn Hows is a stunning man-made lake, created in Victorian times. The tarns were created when a beck was dammed up, and the "hows" are the small rolling hills that surround it.

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