Most visitors to England’s largest National Park know the main bodies of water in the Lake District: Windermere, Coniston Water, Ullswater, Derwent Water and so on, there are 16 bodies of water generally recognised as “Lakes”, although there’s no official definition of how big a Tarn must be before it becomes a lake and vice versa.
There are literally dozens of smaller tarns, some of which are so small they’re little more than ponds and can even dry up completely, disappearing altogether in hot weather.
Some are artificial, created for fishing or as a water supply, many are enhanced to a certain extent by the building of damns and quite a few have no name. Almost all of them can be found with the aid of an Ordinance Survey map and a walk, but there’s one which is so obscure, precious few photographs and no film footage whatsoever of it existed. Anywhere. Until now. And the amazing thing is – it’s remarkably close to the Lake District’s most famous island.
Running along the ridge between the Coniston and Rusland valleys, to the east of Coniston Water, is a long narrow hill called Top O’Selside. Sitting right on top of this, a mere few hundred meters from the shoreline of Peel Island but out of sight high above the road, is Arnsbarrow Tarn.
Very few people know of its existence, fewer still have ever visited it as the walk to it passes up through forest and fairly difficult terrain – but it’s there and it’s well worth the effort. You’re almost guaranteed to be the only person there all week, if not all month, and you’ll join the select few people to have ever seen it.
Oculum Storism officially shot the first-ever footage of Arnsbarrow Tarn during production of our intriguing film “Tales From The Southern Lakes”, learn about the notorious gang of thugs who terrorised this area.