Tarn Hows

Top choice in The Lake District

Two miles off the B5285 from Hawkshead, a winding country lane leads to this famously photogenic artificial lake, now owned by the National Trust. Trails wind their way around the lakeshore and surrounding woodland – keep your eyes peeled for red squirrels in the treetops.

There's a small National Trust car park, but it fills quickly. Several buses, including the 505, stop nearby.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Lake District attractions

1. Beatrix Potter Gallery

1.71 MILES

As well as being a children's author, Beatrix Potter was also a talented botanical painter and amateur naturalist. This small gallery, housed in what were…

2. Hawkshead Grammar School

1.77 MILES

In centuries past, promising young gentlemen were sent to Hawkshead's village school for their educational foundation. Among the former pupils was a…

3. Ruskin Museum

2.27 MILES

Coniston's little museum explores the village's history, touching on copper mining, Arthur Ransome and the Campbell story. There's also a section on John…

4. Skelwith Bridge

2.31 MILES

Three miles south of Grasmere, Skelwith Bridge is little more than a knot of cottages along the banks of the River Brathay. Since the 19th century it's…

5. Coniston Water

2.53 MILES

Coniston's gleaming 5-mile-long lake – the third largest in the Lake District after Windermere and Ullswater – is a half-mile walk from town along Lake Rd…

6. Elterwater

2.65 MILES

Named by Norse settlers after the colonies of whooper swans that still swoop across its surface every winter, Elterwater (literally 'swan lake') presents…

7. Brantwood

2.78 MILES

John Ruskin (1819–1900) was one of the great thinkers of 19th-century society. A polymath, philosopher, painter and critic, he expounded views on…

8. Galava Roman Fort

3.42 MILES

The foundations of Ambleside's ruined roman fort, built c AD 79, can be seen just west of the Waterhead jetties. The land is now owned by the National…