Discover: Beginners Lake District Photography Location Guide - Kelly Hall Tarn

March 29, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

This is my second installment of my Beginners Lake District Photography Location Guide and this location is certainly one that is particularly dear to my heart, it is the tiny but gorgeous Kelly Hall Tarn. The first place I ever visited for sunrise and a place I've frequented on many occassions over the years with it being a 25 minute drive from my home. Kelly Hall is fantastic as a sunset location and is best at golden hour when the warm evening sun lights the foreground. Sunrise can also good as the rising sun will catch the Coniston Fells and it is also excellent on a misty morning as well. This little tarn really is, for me and many other photographers, a highlight of the South Lakes and is a popular spot, but that shouldn't put you off as is a great place to meet like minded photographers and have a good natter while grabbing a killer image.

Kelly Hall Tarn catching the late afternoon sun: 

Kelly Above  (1 of 1)Kelly Above (1 of 1)

The tarn is situated on the side of Torver Common in the Southern Lake District. It is near the small hamlet of Torver, which boasts little more than some houses, two pubs and a Church and it is 3 miles south of Coniston Village. The tarn is very accessible and can be found across the road from Lakeland Land Rover garage (Grid reference:SD 288 932) on the A5084. There is a large parking area, which the garage uses to park some of the vehicles, but usually at the time of day us photographers will be turning up there is no problem with parking. To get to the tarn you will see a path off the carpark and a sign which says Torver Common and path with leads off towards the common. Follow the path, head through the gate and hop over the stream, then head up the hill, within a minute you will be at the tarn.......it really is that simple. 

Stormy Sunset over the Tarn:

Kelly Hall Tarn - Stormy sunsetKelly Hall Tarn - Stormy sunsetCrazy sunset skies of Kelly Hall Tarn, Torver. One of the most bizarre sunsets I've seen in a while, shortly after this the rain piled in for the evening.

There is no doubting the best view is looking out over the tarn towards Coniston Old Man and the Coniston Fells. For the size of the tarn there is plenty to go at from a photographic point of view. Due to the location and size of the tarn you usually are blessed with reflections, which works really well with the mountains and the collection of lone trees which line the far side of the tarn, giving plenty of interest to your shots. There is a little bit of foreground and in particular a big rock which juts out into the water, there is also plenty of rushes and you get lilly pads in the summer, to add further depth to your snaps. You can also get above the Tarn for a slightly different view point as there is a small hill behind and gives a great view of the old man. The common itself is also worth a bit of an explore and for a short walk you get great views over Coniston Water and the Coniston and Kentmere Fells. The far side of the tarn is also worth an explore, there isn't a path, but its only a minutes walk. There is a lovely set of three trees which makes for a nice little scene, like my image below. The tarn does get very boggy so wellies are an essential piece of kit to take with you. 

Three Trees - A lovely collection of contrasting trees at Kelly Hall Tarn: 

Kelly Three Trees (1 of 1)Kelly Three Trees (1 of 1)

This really is a little gem of a location and really is a great place to start honing your photography skills. Locations probably don't come more accessible than this one and afford so much parking, which is indeed at a premium in the Lake District. In my opinion this location is a must. Stay tuned for my next installment where I take you to one of the most picturesque Rivers in the National Park. 

Tim 


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