The Lake District Guide

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Gummer's How (2)
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More Ullswater Walks (1)
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Tarn Hows
Holme Fell
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Castlerigg Stone Circle

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Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows via Glen Mary Waterfalls - 2.75 miles

The pretty route up Glen Mary on foot is an extremely fine way to reach Tarn Hows for the first time or to see it all it a new way if you have already been there.

The start is by Glen Mary bridge. From Coniston take the Ambleside road. After the junction left at a mile and a half for Tilberthwaite, the road bends right, there is another left junction and a bridge is crossed. Then it bends left again to cross a little bridge, and there is immediately an open area among the trees on the right. This is where you park. (From Ambleside you take the Coniston road. After about four and a half miles there is a little tarn close to the roadside on the right. (Yewtree Tarn). A quarter of a mile on, the open place among the trees can be seen on the left.)

Walk to the beck and follow it upwards by the path on its right bank. This soon crosses a slate bridge over a little feeder beck, then follows the beck left. Soon you are alongside some pretty waterfalls. Take care if you divert to see them, as there is some very wet ground. The path now goes up rocks. Take care if they are wet. Above these waterfalls, cross the beck by the wooden footbridge, and follow the beck up on the other bank. There are some lovely tall oak trees in this valley. After a short while there is a more impressive waterfall. The path falls a little towards it by oaks that are clinging to the crag sides. Then the path rises and zig-zags to follow the beck. Near the top there is a large crag, with so large an overhang on it that one could shelter under it.

Keep to the left of the beck over rocky steps and you are soon by a little dam. Climb up the track to its top and you are at the tarn. Turn right and cross the little dam. The best views of the tarn are from the crags which you see beyond the tarn, forward and left, as you stand on the dam. Turn left at the end of the dam and continue on climbing steadily and cunningly not losing height as you go. You should then find a stile high in the fence just below the furthest car park. On the highest little crag is a simple boulder engraved with the names of the donors of the area to the National Trust - the Scott family who gave it in memory of Sir James and Lady Scott in 1930. Retrace your steps and this time go on to the road at the head. Follow the road, right past the car parks. After the last car park, and the finish of the wall on the left, there is a path up the hill to the left. Take this path and you will see several little craggy summits ahead. Choose one that has a good view of the length of Coniston Lake. Do not go as far as the cairn on the farthest point, as this is out of the way, and the view is a disappointment.

After viewing, turn right about and go back for some distance, then lose height to the left by one of the many little paths. If you can see Yew tree Tarn, by the roadside in the valley bottom, aim towards that. This should bring you back comfortably to the Tarn Hows road again. Turn left along the road. Go along it until you see the farmhouse of Tarn Hows on the right. As you near it you win see a road leading to it, through a gate on the right. Immediately right of this is a lane turning sharply right with the wall, downhill. Take this lane and it will bring you to the point where you parked the car.

More walks: Part 2 page 14 Part 2 page 13 Page 2 page 2 Page 2 part 3

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