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Talkin Tarn Country Park

Local legend tells that a village, overwhelmed by a catastrophic flood, lies deep beneath the waters of Talkin Tarn. At the dead of night, on midsummer's day you might hear the ghostly ring of the school bell calling children to their lessons!

Rowing has been a regular sport on the tarn since the 1850s. The annual rowing regatta still attracts oarsmen from all over the north of England. Rowers in Victorian times changed in an elegant timber framed building which once stood over the water on stilts. The handsome sandstone buildings around the tarn are boathouses built in the heyday of the sport. Today the tearoom occupies the main boathouse.

The name Talkin is derived from the Celtic "Talcan" meaning brow of a hill. The word "Tarn" is Norse in origin, "Tjorn" meaning tear drop or small lake. Old buckles, stone axes and urns have been found in the area.

Talkin Tarn is a kettle-hole lake, formed by the immense force of glaciers 10,000 years ago. Moving ice scoured and carved the landscape leaving drumlins (glacial sand hills) and a natural bowl which filled with water as huge blocks of ice melted. Today the tarn is fed by underground freshwater springs.

The woodlands provide a habitat for the red squirrel in one of its last strongholds in northern England. Birds such as garden warbler, pied flycatcher and redstart arrive in summer to feed on the rich insect and caterpillar life found in the green canopy. The clean clear waters are a rich freshwater habitat with perch, sticklebacks and predatory pike. Waterside soft rushes and grasses offer landing sites to the vivid common blue damselfly, the symbol of Talkin Tarn. In winter ducks and gulls flock to the open water to feed and roost in safety.

The oak trees around the tarn probably grew in ancient woodland. To enhance the views, Victorian landowners planted beech trees on top of the drumlins. More recently conifer stands were introduced to provide timber. Silver birch have colonised any cleared areas, being natural pioneers.

General Information:

  • Tearoom

  • Toilets

  • Education Cabin/Training room for schools and groups

  • Rowing boat hire (Easter to End September school holidays and weekends - weather dependant)

  • Fishing close season 15th March - 15th June inclusive (Also closed first Saturday in July for annual Rowing Regatta)

  • 1.3 miles circular walk around tarn

  • Choice of short woodland trails

  • Bird Feeding area

  • Regular events throughout the year

  • Gift Shop

  • Fully accessible facilities
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    1.5 miles south of the town of Brampton in North Cumbria. Close to the North Pennines AONB and Hadrians Wall. Follow the signs off the A69 at Brampton.

    Talkin Tarn Country Park Postcode for SatNav: CA8 1HN


    +44 (0)016977 3129 (Warden's Site Office)
    +44 (0)016977 41050 (Tea Room)

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