Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk

Walking trail

Walk from the head of Coniston Water to Tarn Hows via this picturesque route created by 19th-century industrialist J G Marshall to wow guests at his country estate.

Iconic views

Pass through Lake District farm and woodland, as well as the walled garden and tree collection of Monk Coniston Hall. Look out for lots of interesting wildlife while enjoying some of Lakeland’s most stunning views. You can also arrive in style by starting your day with a cruise from our Coniston Pier to Monk Coniston on board the Gondola. The 84-foot long steam-powered boat was restored by the National Trust in 1980.

Herdwick sheep, Coniston, Cumbria


Map route for Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk


Monk Coniston car park, grid ref: SD316978


Leaving Monk Coniston car park, take the path into the field opposite. Walk up the field to the black gates at the entrance to Monk Coniston grounds.


Entering the grounds walk up through the woods and into the Walled Garden which is currently being renovated. Look out for the small stone Gazebo which has information panels inside.


Leaving Monk Coniston grounds, take care crossing the road, as you enter the woodland. You'll soon cross a narrow bridge. As you walk through the woods many forestry tracks and paths adjoin but ignore these and stick to the main path, following signposts towards Tarn Hows car park.

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Arriving at Tarn Hows you can walk around the Tarn on a circular loop where there's a good path with seats. The 19th-century landowner, James Garth Marshall, created the Tarn and planted the many trees that shape this landscape.


Return to the main Tarn Hows car park and follow the one-way exit road towards Coniston. Take the first footpath on your right to Tarn Hows Cottage. Before you reach the cottage, take the first footpath on the left, this winds down the hill through fields to Boon Crag Farm. Enjoy the views out over Coniston Water as you go.

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When you reach the farm track at the bottom of the hill, turn left and continue past the farm and sawmill. At the road, turn right to join an off-road foot path which leads you back to Coniston Water. When you get to the lake, cross the road and walk left back to the car park.

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Steam Yacht Gondola


Monk Coniston car park, grid ref: SD316978

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Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk


Woodland tracks, a small section of road and farmland which may have livestock present. Can be muddy after wet weather. Several short sections are steep.

Option to do circuit of Tarn Hows lake, which is very accessible and has high-grade paths. It can be reached from a car park near point 4 on the map.

Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk

Contact us

Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk

How to get here

Coniston, Cumbria
By road

A593 from Ambleside. Pier is at end of Lake Road, turn immediately left after petrol station if travelling south from centre of Coniston village. Car parks at Monk Coniston, Coniston village and Tarn Hows.

By ferry

Catch the National Trust’s Steam Yacht Gondola from the pier in Coniston village to Monk Coniston Jetty (April to October).

By bus

Coniston Rambler (505) runs from Windermere, Ambleside and Hawkshead. X12 runs from Ulverston Monday-Saturday, connecting with X35 from Kendal and Barrow.

Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk

Facilities and access

  • Option to do a circuit of Tarn Hows lake, which is very accessible and has high-grade paths - see point 4