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Tarn Hows
Tarn Hows - the path on the right runs along the dam of this man made lake. The outlet flows down Tom Gill near the right hand corner

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Route No. 343 - Sunday 23 May 2010
Knipe Fold, Tarn Hows circuit - 6km &
Knipe Fold, Hodge Close, Holm Fell, Yew Tree Fm,
Tom Gill, Tarn Hows circuit - 10km
English Lake District . . .

6km Route map and 10km Route Map from OS Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer OL7 The English Lakes South-eastern area


Setting off up the lane from Knipe Fold
Setting off up the lane from Knipe Fold

This morning the weather was fine and settled and from Knipe Fold (map ref.SD341994) we set off up a stony walled track from the hamlet climbing up the hillside. As we climbed there were lovely views across to our right towards Windermere.

Every year we have short break with a group of friends to do some walks in an attractive part of the country. This year we are staying in a large well appointed holiday cottage at Knipe Fold in the English Lake District.

Climbing the lane from Knipe Fold
Climbing the lane from Knipe Fold

Looking back over Knipe Fold from the lane
Looking back over Knipe Fold from the lane

Looking across the hills towards Lake Windermere from the lane above Knipe Fold
Looking across the hills towards Lake Windermere from the lane above Knipe Fold

Peter checking a seat carved from a tree stump
Peter checking a seat carved from a tree stump

Limousin beef cattle grazing near the lane
Limousin beef cattle grazing near the lane

Meanwhile I would take the rest around Tarn Hows to meet Peter's party later in the day. The temperature was rising and it was pleasantly warm as Peter's party continued along the walled track and my little party crossed the stile on our left to follow a path across some rough marshy pasture to the edge of Tarn Hows.

After about 1km we reached the top of the climb and the track passed along the edge of a forest plantation and began to drop down to an inlet stream to Tarn Hows. We crossed the stream and after about 250m we came to a stile in the wall to our left. Here our group split into two parties. My friend Peter would lead the stronger walkers on a longer walk.

Following the lane down towards Tarn Howes
Following the lane down towards Tarn Hows

Rock roses beside the lane
Rock roses beside the lane

Reaching the top of the climb along the lane on the way to Tarn Howes
Reaching the top of the climb along the lane on the way to Tarn Hows

Our first close up view of Tarn Howes
Our first close up view of Tarn Hows

Following the path around the NW side of the lake
Following the path around the NW side of the lake

Two Herdwick ewes visited us on our mound
Two Herdwick ewes visited us on our mound

As we reached the Western end of the lake, we found a shaded spot on a mound by the lakeside and settled down to have our packed lunch and wait for Peter's party to join us. It was getting hotter so three of our party volunteered to go to the Tarn Hows car park about 500m away to get some ice creams and very nice they were too.

Tarn Hows is a very pretty lake set in a bowl of woodland and sheep pasture. The land was part of the estates bequeathed to the National Trust by the author Beatrix Potter. The public has open access to this site. It's very popular for picnics as it's accessible by car and there's a gravel path all round the lake. We followed the path around the North Western side of the lake to it's Western end.

Fallen tree studded with coins hammered in as a good luck charm
Fallen tree studded with coins hammered in as a good luck charm

Returning to our shady spot with the ice creams
Returning to our shady spot with the ice creams

Another visitor to our shady spot by the lake
Another visitor to our shady spot by the lake

A family of geese on the lake
A family of geese on the lake

Looking down to Tarn Howes from the walled track
Looking down to Tarn Hows from the walled track

Fern & violets by the track
Fern & violets by the track

Pond by the path near High Close
Pond by the path near High Close

Large Red Damselflies mating on the pond
Large Red Damselflies mating on the pond

From there they followed a path heading South West past a disused quarry site with a pond and then through some woodland to the open hillside of Holme Fell leading up to Ivy Crag. It was a steep climb in the hottest part of the day.

When our group split into two parties this morning, Peter' party continued along the walled track down to the A593 (Skelwith Bridge to Coniston road). They crossed the road and followed another track on the other side of the road for about 1km to a hamlet called Hodge Close.

Finger post where my party turned left and Peter's party kept straight on
Finger post where I turned left and Peter's party kept straight on

Track through the woods heading for High Close
Track through the woods heading for High Close

Tadpoles in the pond
Tadpoles in the pond

Climbing up Holme Fell
Climbing up Holme Fell

The view down Coniston Water from the top of Holme Fell
The view down Coniston Water from the top of Holme Fell

Stunted oak tree growing from a crack in the rocks
Stunted oak tree growing from a crack in the rocks

Start of the path up Tom Gill
Start of the path up Tom Gill

Waterfall in Tom Gill
Waterfall in Tom Gill

From Yew Tree Farm they crossed the A593 again and took the path following Tom Gill, the outlet water course from Tarn Hows, up the hillside to the lake where we were waiting on our shady mound, finishing out ice creams.

From the top they followed a path down through the woods and across the fields to Yew Tree Farm. This was one of the Lakeland farmsteads that Beatrix Potter left to the National Trust. It was used as the film set for her home in her film biography although she did not actually live at this farm.

Yew Tree Farm given to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter
Yew Tree Farm given to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter

The path through the woodland up Tom Gill
The path through the woodland up Tom Gill

The path through the woodland up Tom Gill
The path through the woodland up Tom Gill

Some of Peter's party ooling down after their hot climb
Some of Peter's party cooling down after their hot climb

The water there is pretty cold even in high summer. After a short break by the lakeside we all continued along the path around the South Eastern side of the lake.

When they emerged from Tom Gill to the lakeside they were very hot after the steep climb and Geoff dropped his rucksack and dived into the lake fully clothed to cool off. I think it was very stimulating.

View along Tarn Howes from the SE side of the lake
View along Tarn Hows from the SE side of the lake

Looking West across Tarn Hows
Looking West across Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows from the path to Rose Castle
Tarn Hows from the path to Rose Castle

Rose Castle, a National Trust holiday cottage
Rose Castle, a National Trust holiday cottage

Track down the hillside from Rose Castle
Track down the hillside from Rose Castle

Track down the hillside from Rose Castle
Track down the hillside from Rose Castle

We followed the track down to a minor road at map ref.SD338991, where we turned left and followed the road for about 500m back to Knipe Fold and the end of our walk.

After about 500m, at map ref SD333999, we turned right up the path to Rose Castle, a National Trust holiday cottage, and continued along the track.

A last view of Tarn Hows before turning to Rose Castle
A last view of Tarn Hows before turning to Rose Castle

Track down the hillside from Rose Castle
Track down the hillside from Rose Castle

Track down the hillside from Rose Castle
Track down the hillside from Rose Castle

Blue Speedwells by the track
Blue Speedwells by the track

Wild Violets by the track
Wild Violets by the track

The lane back into Knipe Fold & the end of the walk
The lane back into Knipe Fold & the end of the walk

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