24th January 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk No 6

Tarns around Holme Fell and Tarn Hows


Walk Overview
Time 9:30am to 2:45pm
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 9.9 mile
Ascent 1800 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Yew Tree Tarn - Yew Tree Farm - Shepherd's Bridge - Holme Ground - Holme Ground Tarn(s) - Hodge Close - High Oxon Fell - High Arnside Tarn - Knipe Fold - Wharton Tarn - Tarn Hows - Rose Castle Tarn - Tom Gill - Yew Tree Tarn
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Tom Gill, near Coniston

This car park is found just down the road from Yew Tree Farm; one of the Lake District properties owned by Beatrix Potter. Aside from this obvious attraction, the car park is generally used as a starting point for a walk to Tarn Hows. It may be further away from Tarn Hows than its main parking spot, but it is easier to get to and the walk past Tom Gill waterfalls is well worth the effort.

This is a pay and display car park.

Should you get here at a reasonable time of day, you may be able to get a free space at Yew Tree Tarn. This is found about 5 minutes walk from the main car park. There is a narrow path linking the two together.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Here you have a very paceful looking Yew Tree Tarn seen as we set out on a walk around the Home Fell and Tarn Hows area.

Yew Tree Farm sits in the shade while Wetherlam enjoys the winter sunlight.


From Yew Tree Farm we take the track to Shepherds Bridge. It's a lovely section of path this, but nowhere as long as I'd like to be.

Shepherds Bridge is soon reached and it's here that we turn right and make for Hodge Close.

For a short while our route came close to Yewdale Beck which was nicely lit up by the winter sunshine.

Wetherlam and Blake Rigg.

These aren't really what you'd expect to find here. I assume at one time these were houses for the quarry workers. Thinking about it, the bosses probably lived in the houses and the workers lived in the sheds.

This is the bigger of the two Holme Ground Tarns. It was partially frozen today and just as we arrived the rain began to fall.

Only minutes away is the smaller tarn which is held in place by two small dams.


Back at the big tarn again where the sun came out to brighten the place up.

Wetherlam was in view quite a lot on this walk. Here it's seen from Hodge Close Quarry.

Spoil heaps all over the place show to what degree the area was quarried in the past. From here I look across to Lingmoor Fell and to the left of that, you can see the tops of the Langdale Pikes.

Careful preparation? Not quite, , , , count them.

Hodge Close.

High Oxen Fell Farm.

Looking across to the eastern fells.

There's Wetherlam again.

A close up of Stone Arthur, Great Rigg and Fairfield.

"I've got an idea. Why don't we have our dinner in there. It's warm, it's dry, the seats are comfortable and we'll be out of the wind"

So we did !!

A sunny view over to the eastern fells.

and looking to the left we see Pike O'Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Lingmoor Fell.

What a brilliant name for a house.

Now we're on t'other side of the main road where we follow the track to High Arnside Tarn.


High Arnside Tarn.


High Arnside Tarn in front of Wetherlam.

On route down to Knipe Fold you get this somewhat different view of the fells above Ambleside. On the left you have the long rising ridge on Red Screes and on the right you see the more pointed Wansfell Pike.

Looking across to Latterbarrow and the wooded area found between Hawkshead and Windermere.

Wharton Tarn.

Now we make our way down to Tarn Hows. It's always nice to do a circuit of the tarn but the main reason for that today was to visit Rose Castle Tarn which despite being within tripping distance from Tarn Hows is actually separate. Anyway: you'll see that later.


Tarn Hows in front of the Coniston fells.

Rose Castle Tarn. If you don't like walking through waterlogged ground, mud or fighting on with felled trees & slippery tree roots you may want to come here at a drier time of year or you could put more effort into finding a dry route than we did.

Spooky or what!

This would make a great setting for a horror film. You know the type I mean, when a group of youngsters head out to spend the weekend in a lakeside lodge where they end up being killed one by one by an escaped murderer or mad axe man. With that in mind our stay here was brief.

Rose Castle Tarn seen from the Lodge.

There you go, a strip of land separating Tarn Hows from Rose Castle Tarn.

We continue our circuit of Tarn Hows.

It's a shame the walk is almost over but it was and we needed to walk down the side of Tom Gill to get back to the main road and Yew Tree Tarn.

And here we are back where it all started. The sun had been in and out all day today. More in than out I'm afraid but that did nothing to spoil what is a great lower level winters walk.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks