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A beacon of curiosity

Posted 21 May 2012
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A beacon of curiosity
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A guided walk in the Lake District taking place last week may have only skimmed the surface of curiosity.

On May 19th, rangers led a walk from Broughton-in-Furness to the ancient settlement at Heathwaite, near the south-western shore of Coniston Water, followed by a fellwalk to Beacon Tarn.

The guide dispensed the usual wise advice that good walking equipment is needed, including the right footwear. Hiking boots and waterproofs will have fit the bill, while rucksacks will have been deployed to contain the necessary packed lunches and any extras.

The description of the walk may have produced enough interest, but this area has far more to it than that described. It is relatively off the beaten track - the main activity around Coniston water is centred at the north end of the lake, where the main boating facilities are, with the village and Tarn Hows close by. But that should not detract from what it offers.

For one thing, Beacon Tarn has a place in literary history, featuring in the film adaptation of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons - forever known as 'Trout Tarn'.

Another curiosity lies at the southern end of the elongated stretch of water, where one stream flows in just a few feet away from another flowing out.

The tarn also has the Cumbria Way stretching along its shore. This is not a national trail, but is a very scenic walk that enters the national park a few miles to the south and passes several other nearby tarns - such as Long Moss and Kelly Hall Tarn - on its way westward to the shores of Consiton Water, making its way northwards up via Tarn Hows towards the Langdales and beyond.  

But for a real curiosity, a much smaller tarn lies a few hundred yards away, just below Blawith Knott. Lang Tarn is a tiny stretch of water a few feet long, fed by a spring and emitting a small stream across boggy ground to the north. Its claim to fame being it's the smallest named tarn in the national park.

This is a part of the Lake District many people will miss, but it is not short on curiosity.  ADNFCR-2803-ID-801367384-ADNFCR