Tarn Hows, Lake District

Tarn Hows, Coniston

Tarn Hows is tucked away near the village of Coniston and offers an oasis of calm and natural beauty. It’s a man-made lake, created in the 19th century by merging several smaller tarns. Despite its artificial origins, Tarn Hows feels as natural as any other feature in the Lake District.

Easy Accessibility

One of the most appealing aspects of Tarn Hows is its accessibility. The gentle terrain and numerous paths make it a suitable destination for families and even those with limited mobility.

The Circular Stroll

At less than two miles long, the circular path around Tarn Hows is short enough for a leisurely afternoon stroll but long enough to offer varying and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, including the Langdale Pikes and the Coniston Fells.

Wildlife and Flora

The region around Tarn Hows is teeming with wildlife. From red squirrels in the treetops to Belted Galloway cattle grazing in the fields, there’s always something to see. Birdwatchers will also find plenty to keep them occupied, as the area is a sanctuary for various bird species.

A Photographer’s Haven

The area’s scenic landscapes make it a popular spot for photography. Whether it’s the reflections of the sky in the calm waters of the tarn, or the rich colours of the rhododendrons and bluebells that bloom in spring, Tarn Hows provides endless opportunities for capturing the perfect shot.

Seasonal Allure

While Tarn Hows is stunning year-round, each season offers something unique. Spring brings a colourful display of blooming flowers, while autumn transforms the area into a tapestry of russet and gold. Even in winter, the snow-draped landscape offers a different kind of enchantment.

Historical Background

The area around Tarn Hows has a rich history, which includes its creation by James Garth Marshall in the 19th century. He combined several smaller tarns to make what we now know as Tarn Hows, and the area was later acquired by Beatrix Potter, who eventually left it to the National Trust.


Tarn Hows is a perfect destination for families. Whether it’s a weekend picnic or a short hike, there are activities that people of all ages can enjoy. The well-maintained trails make it easy to navigate strollers and small children.

Conservation Efforts

As a National Trust property, Tarn Hows is the focus of various conservation efforts aimed at maintaining its natural beauty and ecological diversity. The Trust frequently carries out work to preserve the area and encourages responsible tourism.

Nearby Attractions

If you’re looking to extend your visit, there are numerous nearby attractions including the town of Coniston itself, which is rich in history and offers several dining and lodging options. The Coniston Fells and Coniston Water are also in close proximity, providing additional avenues for adventure.

In a nutshell, Tarn Hows encapsulates the Lake District’s tranquil allure in a relatively small but strikingly beautiful setting – it’s an exceptional destination that captures the spirit of the Lake District in a uniquely accessible way.


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