A guide to holidays in Tarn Hows
Once three separate tarns that were joined together in the 19th century, Tarn Hows is a large and spectacular tarn (reservoir) and one of the best-loved beauty spots in the whole of the Lake District. The tarn is especially popular in summer, but year-round it promises some of the most amazing views you will see in all of England, across the still water to the surrounding thick conifer woodlands and out to dramatic mountain scenery, making it the perfect location to base a Lake District holiday.
Tarn Hows once belonged to Beatrix Potter, who bequeathed the tarn to the National Trust following her death, and for decades people have enjoyed the gentle 1.5-mile walk that circles the edge of the lake, while there are also more delightful walks to be had in the surrounding valleys. Visitors can even test their map-reading skills and try their hand at orienteering with the map and course on offer.
There’s also plenty to explore within a short distance from this beauty spot, including the pretty village of Hawkshead. With its narrow streets, squares and 17th century buildings, it’s packed with old-world charm, and is also home to the Beatrix Potter Gallery, showcasing the works of one of the most popular authors to hail from the region.
The larger lake of Coniston Water is also nearby, and here you can enjoy many lakeside walks as well as leisurely cruises across the water, either on the vintage Steam Yacht Gondola or with Coniston Launch. Coniston village lies close by, with the towering Old Man mountain acting as a dramatic backdrop. From here you can soak up the local history at the Ruskin Museum, visit the former home of famous resident John Ruskin at Brantwood, or head for a memorable walk across the industrial landscape of Coppermines Valley. With so much to see and do within the local area, there’s no better place to base a stay in the Lake District than within easy reach of Tarn Hows.
If you’ve been inspired to visit Tarn Hows and explore the surrounding National Park, take a look at our full collection of Tarn Hows holiday cottages and start planning your perfect rural retreat.