22nd February 2014

Tarn Hows, Black Crag, Hodge Close and Shepherds Bridge


Walk Overview
Time 8 to 11am
Duration 3 hr
Distance 7.3 mile
Ascent 1400 ft
Walking with On my own
Yew Tree Tarn - Glen Mary Bridge - Tom Gill - Tarn Hows - Iron Keld Plantation - Black Crag - Low Arnside - low Oxen Fell - High Oxen Fell - Hodge Close - Holme Ground - Shepherd's Bridge - Glen Mary Bridge - Yewtree Tarn
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Tom Gill, near Coniston

This car park is found just down the road from Yew Tree Farm; one of the Lake District properties owned by Beatrix Potter. Aside from this obvious attraction, the car park is generally used as a starting point for a walk to Tarn Hows. It may be further away from Tarn Hows than its main parking spot, but it is easier to get to and the walk past Tom Gill waterfalls is well worth the effort.

This is a pay and display car park.

Should you get here at a reasonable time of day, you may be able to get a free space at Yew Tree Tarn. This is found about 5 minutes walk from the main car park. There is a narrow path linking the two together.

Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


Yew Tree Tarn at 8am. Today I'm heading up to Tarn Hows, across to Black Crag and then around to Hodge Close. Unforeseen circumstances mean I'm walking on my own today, but this walk was in fact a plan "B", chosen because the high winds and forecasted heavy rain would not have mixed well with our plan "A" walk from Kentmere. I know the fells above Kentmere and indeed all the higher fells are going nowhere and they'll still be there when the weather eventually sorts itself out. I just wish it would hurry up.

It's hardly surprising there was so much water about today and if the forecasters are right, members of the Waterfall Appreciation Society should think about getting out for a walk in a couple of days time.

This is Tom Gill waterfall
and this is the side of the fell behind me

It was nice and peaceful at Tarn Hows today. I never saw any other people while I was here and despite the clouds whizzing across the sky, there was hardly any wind here at all.

I'm following an anti-clockwise route around the side of Tarn Hows. The path on this side is slightly higher so the views are arguably a bit better, although, if you're walking all the way around it doesn't really matter so you could do a clockwise route and still get the views.
"Get on with it for God sake"
"Yes, okay, I know I'm babbling on a bit, I just thought I'd tell you what I was thinking"

A view back along the side of the tarn.

I'll bet they got a surprise when the tree was cut down and they saw what was inside.

Blue sky, now that was a nice bonus.

I've no idea what it might be, but I can only assume this lane running between Knipe Fold and Oxen Fell High Cross must have a name. It was probably a busy route in the past and although we might describe it as 'rough under foot', this would have been as good as folk in the past could have hoped for.


Zooming in on Black Crag summit.

and not zooming in.

A close up of Low Arnside. I'll be down there shortly, but before that I'm heading to Black Crag summit.

Blimey, it looks a bit grim over there.

It blustery at the top and I'm looking across to the darker central and eastern fells.

Black Crag, , , , okay, perhaps I'm stating the obvious.
It felt much windier up here than the 13mph average the weather meter was telling me it was. In fact, since I bought the gadget just before Christmas, I've been surprised at how low the wind speeds are compared to the effect it has on the ability to stand upright. It is working properly because I tested it against a completely different make, and they both gave the same results. A simple form of calibration but a good one none the less.


A close up of a sunny Lingmoor Fell.

I might have been a bit wet underfoot walking across to the path but dare I say the sunshine actually felt quite warm in a sheltered spot like this.

Low Arnside.




You wouldn't need to buy curtains if you lived in this house. Just cut a tea towel in half and use that.

Just before reaching High Oxen Fell Farm I passed by this barn. Last time I was here I (we) took shelter in there from the rain.

High Oxen Fell Farm.

and again.

Land Rovers, built to last, superior off road capabilities, unstoppable, ,
, , until they meet a digger coming the other way.

Hodge Close Quarry. Yes, it's a long way down.

Hodge Close always feels like an area of abandonment and neglect, so the last thing you'd expect to find a few minutes walk up the road are these houses. I suspect they might have been quarry workers houses when the quarries were in full production.

First of all I’d like to apologise for lowering the tone of the website by using it to blatantly advertise my own company. However, this was too good an opportunity to miss, so I’d like to offer you this example of the good work done by me and the lads.

If you’d like a quote please feel free to get in touch at:-
David Hall Roofing Services
The Lake District

No job too big or too small. Specialists in traditional Lakeland slate roofs.

Holme Ground.

Yewdale Beck.

Shepherds Bridge.

The path leading to Yew Tree Farm.
And the same path leading away from the same farm.

This was good timing as it turned out. As I stood here a few drops of rain began to wet the top of my head. As I reached the car it was wet enough to run down the back of my neck. As I sat in the car eating lemon curd sandwiches I needed the wipers on to see out properly. On the drive past Thirlmere, I thought someone was throwing buckets of water at the windscreen. When I got home, , , , , the sun was out.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks