Loughrigg Tarn, England, United Kingdom

Lake Locations:

United Kingdom - England - England's Northwest -

Also known as:  Diana's Looking Glass

Loughrigg Tarn is a charming country lake set in northwest England’s Lake District National Park. The calm water of this peaceful lake mirrors wooded fells and the peaks of nearby Langdale Pikes. Found within easy driving distance of Grasmere Lake to the north and Windermere Lake to the south, Loughrigg Tarn offers a peaceful scene of simplicity and beauty to all who visit.

The Lake District (or Lakeland) is an ancient place built on bed rock dating back 500 million years with fells, valleys and lakes carved by the advancing and retreating of glaciers during each ice age. Loughrigg Tarn (meaning “ridge of the lough”) earned its name from its location at the foot of 1,099-foot (335-meter) Loughrigg Fell, a ridge at the end of High Raise Peak.

Small and shallow Loughrigg Tarn covers only 17 acres with a shoreline stretching just over half a mile. Set among Cumbria County’s hills, Loughrigg Tarn shores rise to meet grassy hillsides and rock outcrops. Protected from the winds, the lake’s calm surface becomes a reflecting pool for the green slopes and rocky crags that shelter it. Completing the photo-ready scene, Loughrigg Tarn shores are decorated with colorful water lilies and aquatic plants during the summer months. The scene was a favorite of William Wordsworth who in his “Epistle to George Howland Beaumont, Bart” described Loughrigg Tarn as “Diana’s Looking Glass” – “round, clear and bright as heaven.”

Although small in size, Loughrigg Tarn is a popular lake for shore fishing. The 34-foot (10-meter) maximum depth and 23-foot (7-meter) average depth are home to dace, tench, trout, perch, roach, pike and eels. Before casting a line, anglers are required to have an Environment Agency National Rod License accessible through their website and a daily or weekly permit available from neighboring Tarn Foot Farm. Parking for anglers is provided at Tarn Foot Farm. Lake use policies include no boats, no night fishing and barbless hooks only.

A car park is not provided at Loughrigg Tarn. Access to the shore is permitted by following a path leading from the nearby roadway. At the shore the path will continue to take visitors on a leisurely stroll around the lough. If you come for the view, consider climbing to the summit of Loughrigg Fell where you will be rewarded with a dramatic view of the Great Langdale Valley to the northwest and Ambleside and Windermere to the southeast.

Drive approximately six miles (10 kilometers) to Ambleside and you will discover a charming village resting near the north shore of Windermere Lough. Here you can immerse yourself in the history of the area. Local sites now maintained by the National Trust include Ambleside Roman Fort (a second century Roman Fort also called Galava), Hill Top (Beatrix Potter’s home), Beatrix Potter Gallery (formerly the office of Beatrix Potter’s husband) and Townend (a Lake District country estate built in 1626).

For Loughrigg Tarn anglers who are anxious to move beyond the lake shore and launch a boat onto the water, Lake Windermere lies at the southern end of Ambleside. Covering more than 3,600 acres (1,476 hectares) Windermere is England’s largest natural lake. Here you can freely enjoy power boating, water skiing, lake cruises or fishing in your own boat for pike, brown trout, arctic char, perch, roach and eels.

Located at the heart of the Lake District, the village of Grasmere and Grasmere Lake are about six miles (10 kilometers) north of Diana’s Looking Glass. The beautiful valley setting is the site of Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth’s home from 1799-1808. Wordsworth and his family are buried at St. Oswald’s, the community’s 13th century church, and the building where Wordsworth taught school is now a local business.

Extend your excursions from Loughrigg Tarn into the county of Cumbria, and you will find some of England’s most magnificent scenery offering endless outdoor adventures. Here you can challenge England’s tallest mountains (Scafell Pike is tallest at 3,209 feet or 978 meters), fish the deepest lake (Wastwater with a depth of 258 feet or 79 meters), or explore the 885 square miles (2,292 square kilometers) of Lake District National Park. From challenging rock climbs to wheelchair accessible paths, mountain bikes to white water runs, there are opportunities for everyone to enjoy some part of Lakeland.

The residents of villages, hamlets and market towns surrounding Loughrigg Tarn welcome visitors to Lakeland. Every desire and budget can be met by selecting a holiday rental from hostels, camping barns, bed & breakfasts (B&Bs), self-catering holiday cottages, inns, holiday homes and real estate properties surrounding Loughrigg Tarn. Whether you watch the day fade over a lakeshore, hillside or woodland stream when you wake near Loughrigg Tarn you will be greeted in the morning by the wonders and adventures of the Lake District.

Things to do at Loughrigg Tarn

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • National Park

Fish species found at Loughrigg Tarn

  • Brown Trout
  • Carp
  • Char
  • Eel
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Roach
  • Tench
  • Trout

Loughrigg Tarn Photo Gallery

Loughrigg Tarn Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Surface Area: 17 acres

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 310 feet

Average Depth: 23 feet

Maximum Depth: 34 feet

Water Volume: 405 acre-feet

Water Residence Time: 117 days

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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