Start: Hawkshead Hill, Cumbria
End: Hawkshead Hill, Cumbria
Distance: 7 miles, including a full circuit of Tarn Howes
Ascent: Around 1,400 feet
Time: 4 hours – this is a walk for a picnic
Getting there: 505 bus from Coniston to Ambleside, runs every hour during the day. Ask for either of the Hawkshead Hill stops.
Food and loos: Hawkshead has some options, I also think there are loos in Tarn Howes car park but I didn’t see them to confirm.
Terrain: Easy and flat paths around the tarn, rougher but still straightforward walk up to the fell summit.
Difficulty: 1 – a short walk and that most people could complete.
This must be amongst the best, most beautiful, short walks in the Lake District. It gives you pretty much everything that makes this such an amazing place in one easily accessible walk – tarns, rolling stone walls hugging the fellside, a lovely summit cairn, 360-degree views!
There is a wide and even path all the way around Tarn Howes, suitable for buggies and wheelchairs. And seemingly a dog walking convention; more canines than cairns on this route! The route is so easy going because Tarn Howes is man-made. Some chap decided to join up three smaller, existing tarns; adding in landscaping and trees all around. The whole site is now maintained by the National Trust, but we still found evidence of at least one wild camp on the norther banks.
Black Fell is an easy walk from the tarn. There a couple of old drove roads to follow initially, before a short ascent up to the fell top. The views, and the wind, at the summit were incredible. I was expecting the great views of the Coniston fells, but I was surprised by the amazing views of Ambleside and Windermere.
A short walk with big views, and a great stretch if the conditions don’t favour a higher-level walk.