When the weather is fine, its important to take advantage of it as much as possible in the Lakes, and its good to have a few fail-safe picnic spots in mind for a sunny day. Tarn Hows fits the bill perfectly, with its pretty tarn, stunning backdrop of the Langdale Pikes and the Hellvelyn range, and gentle circular walk for those feeling active (good for digestion!). However, no walking is neccessary, as the National Trust car park is just across the road, and benefits from an ice cream van and a van serving food and refreshments from the lovely Yew Tree Farm just down the road.
The word ‘tarn’ comes from the Norse ‘tjorn‘, which can mean either ‘small mountain lake’ or ‘teardrop’, while ‘hows’ comes from the Norse ‘haugr’ meaning ‘hill’; so, literally ‘hill tarn’ (or ‘hill tear’, for the more romantically minded). The Tarns and surrounding land were bought by Beatrix Potter when they came up for sale in 1929, and she in turn passed it on to the National Trust, who manage and maintain it today.
This popular beauty spot can get quite a lot of visitors in the summer, and it is important as a visitor to respect the landscape and help the Trust minimize the damage than can be caused by such large amount of people. Add this to your list of idyllic picnic spots, and enjoy!