Parking: Tarn Hows Car Park
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 1 – 1.5 hours
With views across some of the most epic fells in the Lake District, the Tarn Hows walk follows a picturesque, circular route around the water. This is a great walk for beginners, families with young children or dogs and wheelchair users. You’ll also find baby changing facilities and toilets at the car park, and mobility scooters are available from the National Trust.
Tarn Hows Circular Walk
Head out of the car park, across the road and follow the path until it comes to a fork where you’ll take a left, followed by a right at the next fork, which this will lead you down to the waterside. With the tarn on your right, follow the path until you come to a gate then turn right.
Just a few yards further along, you’ll see a sign towards Tom Gill waterfall. This takes a wonderful little detour through the woodland to a series of gushing falls. Please note, this isn’t suitable for pushchairs or wheelchair users. To continue the Tarn Hows circular walk, keep on walking along the shoreline.
Along the route there are lots of things to discover, from winding tracks through the woodlands and money trees to many species of birds and wildlife. Further along the route, you’ll come to another fork in the path, where you need to keep right around the lakeshore.
Continue along the path and pass through another gate as you head towards the northerly end of Tarn Hows. You’ll soon come to a bench where you can rest and soak up the tranquility and beautiful view over the water. A bit further along, a small wooden bridge reminiscent of the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff comes into view.
The Tarn Hows walk now heads back towards the car park. Shortly, you’ll arrive at another fork in the path. Take the path to the left that’s signposted to Hawkshead. As the path slowly climbs upwards, you’ll be greeted with panoramic views across the tarn, its central island and distant fells.
Walk through another gate and follow the next fork down to the right back to where you began. From here, follow the path up to the left which will lead you back to the car park.