Tarn Hows is one of the best known Lakeland beauty spots, and a good place for a fairly gentle walk on excellent paths with no stiles to climb. Allow about an hour and a half for a gentle ciruit of the tarns with a bit of time to sit and admire the views, and maybe let your dog have a little swim. Signs ask that you keep your dog on the lead as there could be grazing livestock in the area.
Tarn Hows is well signposted from Coniston and Hawkshead. The narrow road leading past the Tarns takes you to the main National Trust Car Park, and it was from here that we started Friday's walk.
Crossing the road, we followed the good path down to the Tarn and continued to follow the left bank of the Tarn through the trees. There were a few spots along here where other dogs enjoyed a nice swim but our dog (having recently taken to swimming at every opportunity) was kept nice and dry.
The path continues to the far end of the tarn before rising and sweeping back to the start point at a higher level. There are great views along here and if we had stayed for longer the obvious tree covered promentary jutting out in to the water would have made a good place for a sit down and a paddle!
Ice cream lovers (and their owners) might be able to enjoy an ice cream if the van is parked up in the car park.
We combined our trip with a visit to Coniston. The short walk from the village to the Lake and a short way along the shore provided a good opportunity to work up an appetite before having lunch in the Black Bull Hotel. The pub is very dog friendly (welcome indoors) and water and pats were offered on arrival. The food was simple but excellent and the portions were huge(the dog liked the cumberland sausage and fish). The dog's owners particularly liked the fact that the pub has its own microbrewery and serves some great beers!
Click here for the Black Bull website
Click here for National Trust information on Coniston and Tarn Hows
Doggy rating 6/10 (lovely spot but the lack of off-lead opportunities at Tarn Hows limits the score - the shoreline of lake Coniston may well provide better off-lead opportunities in places)