The natural beauty of Cumbria’s lakes inspired us to create a gorgeous range of Lake District Tarn Candles. Unique, natural candles, wax melts and reed diffusers blended with pure essential oils.
The journey to candle making actually started in 1993. Although there had been many childhood trips to the tourist sites around the Lake District with the family, it wasn’t until a group of university friends suggested completing Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk that a real love for Cumbria’s lakes and tarns took hold.
Years later, with many further visits to some of the more remote sites completed, our candle company was formed with a firm nod to some of the lovely mountain pools that often go unnoticed.
What is a tarn?
A tarn is usually described as a pool found in a mountainous region, but there are examples of lowland tarns too. Formed by glacial activity, tarns fill with water that filters down from mountains and hills. Some are high up and remote, but they still attract walkers and wild swimmers.
Most of the Tarn Candles range are named after tarns found high up in the Cumbrian mountains, but not all. Cinderbarrow, for example, our bay, lime and lemongrass blend, is found a few miles from the Lancashire-Cumbria border. It’s also close to the M6 motorway and the West Coast main railway line.
When we first visited this site, we were surprised, as it’s more wildlife wetland than what many think of as a tarn. Still, we loved the name and the fact that Cinderbarrow was still part of a beautiful landscape and an integral link in the nation’s ecosystems.
Wild swimming in tarns
Something that has always grabbed Team Tarn is the incredible diversity of the myriad pools that are known as tarns. Some are found in low lying areas, such as Cinderbarrow (above), some are midway up mountains, and others are nestled amongst the hills and fells – many much higher than others.
Bowscale Tarn is a modest but challenging walk up fells and crags lined with heather, bracken and beautiful wildflowers. It’s water slowly trickles down the valley, breaching a moraine ridge and into Tarn Sike before joining the river Caldew below. It’s not far from farms and cottages that form sleepy but hard-working hamlets, some with tiny not-to-be-missed cafes that keep hikers fuelled for the long walks ahead.
At the top of this particular journey, with steep walls surrounding about half of Bowscale Tarn, the modest water is perfect for a wild and chilly swim. On our last visit (blogged HERE) several adventurous bathers were taking a dip. One crazy fitness fanatic jogged to the summit, took a plunge, then jogged on into the distance while others were still enjoying sandwiches.
Challenging Lake District climbs
At the extreme end of tarn challenges are treks that demand sturdy walking boots, ample protective clothing, medical essentials, plus food and drink supplies. While Seathwaite Tarn isn’t equal to some of the most arduous Lake District climbs, it was a considerable trial the last time we tackled it.
Anything more than a few hours will test even the fittest, and with shifting slate and loose stone under foot, howling wind and lashing rain, our last visit to Seathwaite (blog HERE) took its toll on the four of us – and that included two relatively willing dogs!
We clambered over broken rock and followed winding paths around Goat’s Water that ultimately led to Seathwaite Tarn; we also met curious sheep and enjoyed views of The Old Man of Coniston. At the top, you look down onto the tarn itself that has, across the last century, been dammed and utilised as a reservoir. Not only beautiful, but tarns can also be functional and vital for both human and wildlife needs!
It was a tough but satisfying day out, with aching limbs our lasting souvenirs in the following days and weeks.
Stories about tarns
In the summer of 2022, with Covid restrictions largely lifted, we again ventured out to visit some of the tarns that carry our blend names. Mockerkin and Overwater tarns are not too far from Keswick, and these quiet waters, that mainly offer essential habitat for birds and insects, will be documented in future blogs…
To enjoy our full range of Tarn Candles, wax melts and reed diffusers, please return to the main home page HERE.