Tarn Hows Ranger Run in the Lake District

Running trail

This trail run starts alongside Yew Tree Tarn and joins the Cumbria Way around Tom Heights to reach the northern shore of Tarn Hows, finishing past waterfalls. Look out for local Herdwick sheep and Belted Galloway cattle. This route has been created in collaboration with expert trail runners and adventurers Jen and Sim Benson, as part of our Ranger Run Series.

This route has been created in collaboration with expert trail runners and adventurers Jen and Sim Benson, as part of our Ranger Run Series. Tarns Hows was originally three tarns until James Garth Marshall, owner of the estate in the 1860s, merged them into one large ornamental lake. Beatrix Potter bought the land to protect it in 1929 and today the National Trust manages this unusual landscape for the enjoyment of thousands of visitors each year. Current conservation work includes re-establishing Marshall’s original plan for the landscape and protecting the area’s rare habitats, including tree thinning using traditional horse logging techniques to reduce damage to the fragile and boggy terrain.

A view of Yew Tree Tarn

Map

Map of the Ranger Run around Yew Tree Tarn and Tarn Hows

Start:

Glen Mary Bridge National Trust car park, on the A593, LA21 8DP for sat nav

1

Leaving the car park head north on a path through woodland to the right of the road. Turn left here and carefully cross the road at the southern end of Yew Tree Tarn.

A view of Yew Tree Tarn

2

Follow the path around to the left, traversing the western edge of the tarn and forking left at its northern end to follow the edge of the woodland back to the road. Don’t cross; instead follow the path parallel to the road heading north-east and up the hill until you reach a path junction with the Cumbria Way which at this point is a bridleway.

3

Turn sharp right onto the Cumbria Way. Carefully cross the A593 and follow the byway south through woodland.

4

At a fork the byway heads left and the Cumbria Way (now a footpath) heads right. Continue on the Cumbria Way to reach the path around the northern end of Tarn Hows.

Tarn Hows

5

Turn left at the T junction, leaving the Cumbria Way and following the lakeside path around the tarn to the bridge and path junction in the south-western corner.

The south end of Tarn Hows

6

Turn left towards Tom Gill car park (signposted) and follow the path downstream past some waterfalls and back to the start.

End:

Glen Mary Bridge National Trust car park, on the A593

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Tarn Hows Ranger Run in the Lake District

Terrain

Not suitable for those with limited mobility. Dogs welcome on leads. The run is mainly off road and rugged in places so trail shoes are recommended.

Tarn Hows Ranger Run in the Lake District

Contact us

Tarn Hows Ranger Run in the Lake District

How to get here

Address
Glen Mary Bridge National Trust car park, on the A593
By road

Car park is located off the A593 Ambleside to Coniston road at Glen Mary Bridge. For sat nav purposes please follow LA21 8DP.

By foot

From Coniston (Holly How Youth Hostel) follow the footpath (and permissive bridleway) north-east, along the well-surfaced woodland track, past High Yewdale and Yew Tree Farm to Glen Mary Bridge.

By bicycle

Regional Cycle Route 37 (Ambleside to Coniston) passes via the property. Deviate from the route at Shepherds Bridge (end of Hodge Close Road), heading along the permissive bridleway to Yew Tree Farm. The car park is 109yd (100m) further along the A593.

Tarn Hows Ranger Run in the Lake District

Facilities and access

  • Dogs on leads welcome
  • Not suitable for those with limited mobility
  • Toilets available in the main Tarn Hows car park towards the end of the trail