Parking is available opposite the Farm at Glen Mary, Tarn Hows, Hodge Close and Shepherds Bridge. The walk can be started from any of these parking areas.
Sorry we are unable to offer car parking at the Farm unless you are a resident guest.
This walk is ideally used in conjunction with an ordnance Survey map - OL 7 is perfect.
This walk is moderately difficult with some uneven and steep terrain and the path surface could be wet and slippery in places. I would estimate it talking between 1½ to 3 hours depending on walking speed and time taken for stops. Please always wear stout footwear with good grip and be prepared for the Lakeland weather with warm and waterproof clothing.
From Glen Mary Car Park
Cross over the small wooden footbridge next to the National Trust ‘Tom Gill’ sign.
Follow the wooden footpath sign to ‘Tarn Hows’ go through the hand gate and follow the path uphill through the woods, take care near the top as there is a large slippery area of bedrock.
Tom Gill - this is the wooded valley carrying the outflow from the Tarn, look out for the small water falls on the right. The damp atmosphere is perfect for a variety of ferns, mosses and liverworts.
When you reach the waterside of Tarn Hows, turn left, follow the track north until you near the head of the Tarn. Tarn Hows was created less than 150 years ago by the Marshall family of Monk Coniston who owned the Estate, Tom Gill was dammed to create the tarn and hundreds of trees were planted, the area was then available for the public to enjoy.
Turn left at the junction of paths when you reach the wooden sign post marked ‘Arnside & Langdales’, follow this path until you reach a gate. Look out for the mountain views, Wetherlam dominates the view to the West, 763m and the Langdale Pikes can be seen to the north-west.
Pass through the gate on to the track and turn left following the footpath sign to ‘Oxen Fell & Langdales’ continue on this well surfaced track, when you reach tarmac turn left and follow this until you reach the main road.
Cross over the A593 and follow the tarmac farm track to High Oxen Fell also sign posted bridleway.
Pass straight through High Oxen Fell Farm yard to the gate at the far end, this leads on to another well made stone track, continue on this track passing through another gate on the way.
You will pass many Juniper trees, these are small shrubby evergreens that yield berries used for flavouring gin. Buzzards are often seen circling above Holme Fell and red deer can occasionally be spotted.
Look out for a wooden sign post on the right opposite a gate on the left, follow the sign pointing to ‘Holme Ground & Yew Dale’ through the gate and along a grassy track, passing Hodge Close quarry on the right.
Hodge Close Quarry – Once a long powered incline would be used to raise the slate from the base of the pit, it was an underground cavern until the 1980s when work began to take the roof off, there were many fatalities during this dangerous procedure. The quarry closed before the start of the second World War.
At the South end of Hodge Close quarry continue past the gate on the right hand side that leads to the quarry area. The path curves left, follow this uphill to another gate, continue through the gate and along this stone track.
You will go through another 2 gates before reaching a final gate that leads on to the tarmac Hodge Close road.
Turn left here, continue downhill and along the road, this is a quiet road but beware of cars.
Holme Fell – is the high rocky fell to the left of you, the fell is a mosaic of grassland, bracken, heath land, small mires and woodland, this forms an important habitat for many plant and animal species. Peregrine Falcon can sometimes be seen or heard!
When you reach the road bridge ‘Shepherds Bridge’ there is a wooden sign post for ‘Yew Tree Farm ¼ mile’, go through the kissing gate and follow this path.
The path passes through 3 gates and then skirts to the rear and north of Yew Tree Farm, look for the large Scots Pine trees.
Turn right through a kissing gate into the wooded area and follow the track to finally reach the front gate to Yew Tree Farm. Yew Tree Farm – owned by Beatrix Potter in the 1930s, the farmhouse dates from the 17th Century. The Spinning Gallery on the barn is said to have been used for drying fleeces and spinning wool.
At the main road turn right on to the road for a few yards before going left through a kissing gate and then left along the fence side. This allows you to avoid the bad corner of the road bringing you back to the parking area at Glen Mary.