Tarn Hows is one of the most popular little waters with visitors. It lies between Hawkshead and Coniston, simply sign posted ‘The Tarns’, a title probably harking back to when there were a number of smaller tarns called Coniston Monk tarns. Around seventy five years ago a local landowner built a dam and turned the marshy land into the one, larger, water. One story tells it was done as a gift to the mans wife and, standing on the fell above, looking down at one the prettiest of views, what a gift indeed. About a half a mile long, it is surrounded by rising fell and woodland with an easy path all the way around making, a suitable day out for all. There is easy parking run by the National Trust and they do expect, rightly, a small contribution. You will sometimes find a NT Landrover at the car park offering information. Also - sometimes - you will hear the merry chime of the ice cream truck, which seems a tad surreal when standing in the middle of wild, natural countryside. Tracks lead off up through the wooded fell side where a short easy climb will reward you with some fine views of the outlying hills and mountain. There are two islands, but boats are not allowed, however you can explore two good spurs that jut out into the water which make a nice place to rest for a picnic. The round route is only about an hour, but this is a place to ponder, stretching out the pleasure. After you visit you can reward your self with a fine pint and excellent meal at the nearby, famous Drunken Duck Inn.
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