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Tarn Hows Cumbria
Tarn Hows Cumbria | © ©National Trust Images Annapurna Mellor
Lake District

Tarn Hows circular walk

All the family can enjoy spectacular views of the high Lake District fells in every season, on this easy, accessible walk around a tree-lined tarn. With Tramper all-terrain scooters available to borrow, visitors who are less mobile can keep pace with their walking companions.

Total steps: 4

Total steps: 4

Start point

Tarn Hows car park, near Coniston, Cumbria

Step 1

From the car park, cross the road and take the left-hand fork following the track down to the lakeside. Pass through the gate and continue on the track in a clockwise direction around the tarn.

Early morning view across a lake surrounded by trees, with pink-tinged mountain peaks in the distance
Early morning at Tarn Hows in autumn | © National Trust/Paul Harris

Step 2

Follow the track as it continues around the tarn to a point where a path crosses the main route. Continue straight ahead around the tarn and back to the car park if you need a level, surfaced path, or are using a mobility scooter or pushchair. Otherwise, to extend the walk and take in more views, pass through the gate to the left of the track and proceed uphill to an upper track. Continue on this track in the direction signposted to Coniston, Hawkshead and Old car park until reaching the short stay Viewing car park.

Visitors walking along the woodland trail at Tarn Hows and Coniston, Cumbria
Keep right on the main track if you're using a mobility scooter or pushchair | © National Trust Images / Chris Lacey

Step 3

From the car park, cross the road and pass through the gate following a footpath across the field, keeping the tarn on your right-hand side. This path can be muddy in bad weather. An alternative is to follow the road back towards the main car park.

Step 4

Continue on the track as it passes downhill and up again, before descending back through a gate into to the main car park.

Belted Galloway Cattle Tarn Hows, Lake District, Cumbria
Belted Galloway Cattle Tarn Hows, Lake District, Cumbria | © National Trust / Paul Harris

End point

Tarn Hows car park, near Coniston, Cumbria

Trail map

Map of the circular walk around Tarn Hows, near Coniston
Map of the Tarn Hows circular walk | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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More near here

The view from Tarn Hows, Cumbria

Monk Coniston and Tarn Hows walk 

Walk from the head of Coniston Water to Tarn Hows via this picturesque route passing through woodland, farmland and the Walled Garden at Monk Coniston Hall. Look out for wildlife along the way including red squirrels, otters and hares.

DistanceMiles: 3.5 (km: 5.6) to miles: 5 (km: 8)
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Tom Gill to Tarn Hows walk 

An exhilarating way to arrive at Tarn Hows, via a challenging but beautiful woodland climb alongside Tom Gill and its surging waterfalls.

DistanceMiles: 1.6 (km: 2.56)

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We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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