Tarn Hows

Type; Natural, enlarged by damming
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Location; near Hawkshead
Accessibility; Access Land
Grid Ref; SD 331 999
Elevation; 498m (1636 feet)
Size;

122 x 75 m (400 x 250 feet)

Area; 15.7 hectares (38.75 acres)
Depth; 5m (16½ feet)
Meaning of name; tarn hills
Alternative name(s); The Tarns, Highlow Tarn


Originally three smaller tarns, Tarn Hows was created when they were dammed in the early 20th century with a small dam. A larger dam has since been built, not to raise the level further but to take the increased number of people walking around the tarn - for it is very popular, both because it is very pretty and because there is good road access and parking facilities. The tarn and surrounding land were bought by Beatrix Potter in 1929. She then sold the part containing Tarn Hows to the National Trust, and left the remainder of the estate to the Trust in her will.

The tarn is indeed lovely, with a number of bays and wooded islands to break up the water area. There is a good footpath running all around, so access is very easy.