This shorter walk starts from the centre of Coniston village, and visits Tarn Hows, one of the most famous viewpoints in the Lake District, avoiding the heavy traffic on the narrow roads up to the tarn.
Length: 4.5 miles
Map: The English Lakes - South Eastern Area (OS Explorer Map Active) (OS Explorer Map Active)
We start at the bridge in the centre of Coniston.
1: SD 302 976
The bridge carries the main road through Coniston across Church Beck. Our route takes us down the side road that branches off from the main road just to the north of the bridge, passing by the church. Follow this road as it runs east out of the village, passing over Yewdale Beck. Outside the village a permissive footpath runs behind the hedge next to the road. Use this path, and follow it as the road runs towards the lake, then runs north parallel to the shore.
2: SD 314 980
At the northern tip of the lake the road splits in two. Our route follows the left hand branch (the main road), still using a permissive footpath to avoid the traffic.
3: SD 318 984
Just over a third of a mile past the lake, our path reaches a side road. Cross over this road and continue to head north along a footpath that runs through the trees, climbing up alongside a minor beck.
4: SD 326 990
Eventually this track joins a second track from the left. Continue north along this new track until you come to a junction - one path continues on to the north, while a second swings away to the left. Both paths lead to the tarn, but the right hand path comes to a better viewpoint, so take this path.
5: SD 329 994
This path eventually brings us to the road that leads to Tarn Hows. Turn left onto the road and follow it until the tarn comes into view. Leave the road to the right to explore the surrounds of the tarn.
After visiting the tarn return to the road, turn right, and follow it as it runs downhill, at first with spectacular views to the west and later running down a steep sided wooded valley. This is the road we crossed at step three, and brings us back to our permissive footpath. Turn right back onto this path and follow it back into Coniston.