Tarn Hows is one of the most-visited beauty spots in the Lake District. Visitors can revel in the spectacular surrounding scenery while strolling along the mostly level 1.75-mile (2.8-kilometer) path that encircles the lake’s shore. Many day trips and multi-day sightseeing tours make stops at the tarn, and include other Lake District highlights such as Hawkshead, Ambleside, and cruises on Lake Windermere. Tarn Hows’ connection to Beatrix Potter means it is often a stop on literary-themed tours too.
Things to know before you go
- Tarn Hows is a must for scenery and nature lovers, offering some of the most picturesque views in the Lake District.
- The circular lake-edge walk is wheelchair-accessible.
- Travelers with mobility issues can borrow mobility scooters; scooters must be booked in advance.
- There are restrooms at the tarn.
How to get there
Tarn Hows is situated between Hawkshead and Coniston. Look out for signposts along the B5285. Bus services between Hawkshead and Coniston drop passengers about a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from the site. The road to Tarn Hows is too small to accommodate large coaches, so many travelers come as part of small-group tours.
When to get there
Tarn Hows is very popular—particularly in summer—when the car park can often reach capacity. Getting a clear photograph can be difficult when it’s crowded, so come early in the morning to beat the rush.
Animal-Spotting at Tarn Hows
The fells near the tarn are a popular grazing spot for local livestock. While walking along the trail, look out for Herdwick sheep, a hardy breed native to the Lake District region. You’ll also see cows—often hardy Scottish Belted Galloways—roaming the pastures here, as well as numerous bird species from tree pipits to mallard ducks.
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