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The view from Tarn Hows, Cumbria
The view from Tarn Hows, Cumbria | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris
Lake District

Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk

Walk from the head of Coniston Water to Tarn Hows via this picturesque circular route created by 19th-century industrialist J. G. Marshall to wow guests at his country estate. Pass through farmland and woodland, as well as the Walled Garden and tree collection of Monk Coniston Hall. Look out for an abundance of wildlife along the way while enjoying some of the Lake District's best views.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Monk Coniston car park, grid ref: SD316978

Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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 footpath which leads you back to Coniston Water. When you get to the lake, cross the road and walk left back to the car park.

Steam Yacht Gondola steams towards the camera, with a bride and groom in the bow and a tree-covered island behind
Steam Yacht Gondola on Coniston Water in the Lake District | © National Trust Images/Tiree Dawson

End point

Monk Coniston car park, grid ref: SD316978

Trail map

Map showing walking trail from Monk Coniston to Tarn Hows and back in the Lake District.
Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows trail map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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