Tarn Hows  5.9 Miles

Tarn Hows map


At long last I've got round to putting up a second walk. This is a relatively easy excursion to pretty Tarn Hows. The steepest, longest slope is downhill but watch your step as this path is uneven in places. Spoiler Alert: no pubs on this walk - but you may find the ice cream van in the Tarn Hows car park!

Leave the cottage to the East, up the hill and through the gate towards High Oxen Fell. After a couple of hundred yards take the gate to the right and follow the path along the back of Parrock and Hodge Close quarries. As you reach the far end of the quarries follow the track as it bends left and follow it uphill and pass through a gate. After a few yards continuing uphill take the path which cuts back on the level to the left. This opens out into a little clearing with remnants of slate buildings to the left and a vertical, disused slate seam ahead (Welcome Nook Quarry). Our path lies up the hill to the right. At the top of this little climb you will be rewarded with the fabulous view of our local tarn in the foreground of Holme Fell. Enjoy the solitude. Have a dip!

When you are ready make your way around the right hand side of the tarn and then on to Uskdale Gap which is the saddle up and to the left. It is a bit of pot luck which route is least boggy. From the saddle there are paths to the right to the two summit cairns on Holme Fell (with great views for such a relatively low summit). Our path to Tarn Hows drops down the far side through Harry Guards Wood. This is that steeper descent that I mentioned.

Towards the bottom you will pass a few large boulders and then reach a gate. The path carries on to the left, down through another gate and then reaches a T junction behind Yew Tree Farm. A left turn here brings you to the entrance of the farm. (A right turn takes you to Shepherds Bridge at the bottom of the road up to Wythebank). To avoid walking on the main road (the A593) cross the road to pass through the gate just to the right. You can then turn left and walk through the field a couple of hundred yards to the Glen Mary Car Park.

Make your way through the Car Park and across the wooden bridge crossing the stream.

Glen Mary Car Park

Glen Mary Car Park

The path up to Tarn Hows is to the left of the stream. On the way through Lane Head Coppice your exertions will be rewarded with some pretty little waterfalls.


You won't be alone as you reach the top of the stream and the lake itself. Tarn Hows is very popular with the drive and stroll brigade. You can catch your breath on one of the boulders at the edge of the lake and congratulate yourselves on having got here under your own steam!

Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows

The path circles the lake. The way back to the cottage leads away from the left but the car park, which may or may not contain an Ice Cream van, is to the right. We tend to head off round the lake to the right (anti-clockwise) to maximise the Tarn Hows experience. There are a couple of signposts - follow "Skelwith Bridge & Langdales".

Tarn Hows Signpost home

The path away from the lake leaves from the North West corner. It meets a track where we turn left, making our way down the side of Tom Heights towards the A593 Coniston - Ambleside road.

Cross the A593 and continue on what is now a surfaced road. Follow this road towards High Oxen Fell (and Hodge Close!). The view to the right towards Lingmoor Fell, Loughrig and Helvellyn with Great How in the foreground is a hidden treasure. The road drops down to High Oxen Fell farm and with luck you will be treated to a splendid display of flowers adorning the cottage. The road beyond the farm has deteriorated over the years to a ragged track. Follow this as it winds up and down the short distance back to Wythebank passing the gate on the left where you set off along the back of the quarries a few hours ago.


Home. Put the kettle on!