Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows is a well known beauty spot in the Southern Lake District, between Conniston and Ambleside.  The area originally consisted of three smaller tarns, however these were combined in the late 19th century when the area was dammed and landscaped by James Marshall.  When the Marshall family wished to sell their estate in 1930, it was purchased by Beatrix Potter who later partly sold and donated Tarn Hows to the National Trust.  Today it is owned by the National Trust and it is a very popular destination due to its fine views of surrounding fells and the short scenic walk around the tarn, which is on a well maintained footpath.

Tarn Hows is drained by Tom Gill, and a short distance down a fairly steep path is Tom Gill Waterfall.  This falls about 10m into a small pool.  In addition there are several other smaller cascades in the gill, making it a delightful spot to combine with a visit to Tarn Hows.

Location and Parking

Postcode: LA22 0PP or LA21 8DP


(Note – the first postcode is about 0.6 miles from the Tarn Hows car park.  The second is for the car park at the foot of Tom Gill).

If travelling from the north, leave Ambleside by the A593.  After 1 mile, turn left at Clappersgate over a small bridge onto the B5286.  After 1.2 miles, turn right along a minor road, signposted to the Drunken Duck inn.  Follow this road for 3.8 miles before turning right at a triangular junction onto a single track road which is signposted to Tarn Hows.  The National Trust car park is reached in 1 mile.

If travelling from the south, leave Conniston by the B5285, and after 1.3 miles turn left onto the single track road signposted to Tarn Hows.

Alternatively, there is parking at the foot of Tom Gill on the A593 – the main route between Ambleside and Conniston.   Tarn Hows can then be reached by a 300ft climb, passing Tom Gill waterfall.

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