Talkin Tarn Country Park is a 180 acre park near Brampton in Cumbria. The centrepiece is Talkin Tarn, a glacial lake formed around 10,000 years ago.
It offers a wide range of activities for all the family including walking, fishing, rowing, and bird watching.
Boathouse Tea Room, Gift Shop, Rowing Boat Hire
The tea room and gift shop are housed in an attractive stone building at the northern end of the lake, close to the car park and main entrance. Nearby there’s a small children’s play area, some picnic benches, public toilets, and a rowing boat concession.
The tearoom serves light meals, snack, drinks and ice cream and is open every day in the summer, and from Thursday to Sunday during the winter.
The rowing boat concession operates at weekends and during school holidays, between April and October. The wooden boats, named after birds, cost £4.50 for 30 minutes.
Fishing is a popular activity at Talkin Tarn. The fish here are mainly perch, pike, and eels.
Day permits, costing £2 for adults and £1 for children and can be obtained from the site office or tearoom. An Environment Agency Rod Licence is also required.
Fishermen should also note that fishing is only permitted on the southern half of the lake and is not allowed at all between March 15 and June 15.
Wildlife and Birds
Red squirrels can be seen at the bird and squirrel feeding area near the Boathouse Tea Room. Other mammals visitors may come across include badgers, foxes, and otters.
The Bird Observatory, on the eastern side of the lake, looks out over the water and has posters to help identify birds. Sights in the summer could include chiffchaff, willow warbler, blackcap, redstart, mute swan, wood warbler, pied flycatcher, nuthatch, and great spotted woodpecker.
So many common blue damselflies can be seen here between May and August that the insect is incorporated in the park’s logo.
A footpath, just over a mile long, follows the water’s edge. The surface is hard and suitable for pushchairs. There are also three way marked trails, all starting from the car park.
Talkin Tarn Amateur Rowing Club
Talkin Tarn Amateur Rowing Club was formed in 1859 and is one of the oldest rowing clubs in the country. In 2011, after raising £300,000, the club opened a new boathouse and training facility.
The Talkin Tarn Annual Regatta, held on the first Saturday in July, attracts over 300 entries and is one of the largest outside London.
The park hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year. There are activities for children at Christmas and Halloween, sports days, photography and art exhibitions, family fun days, and more. For details see the Carlisle City Council website.
The park boasts a camping area with some basic facilities. It is only open to pre-booked, organised groups.
Location & Directions
Talkin Tarn lies 2 miles south of Brampton and around 9 miles east of Carlisle. To reach it from Carlisle take the A69 and follow the road for around 8 miles until the roundabout just before Brampton. Follow the brown tourist signs from here.
Parking costs £1 per day. There is no charge for using the car park before 10 am or after 6 pm. Annual parking permits are available for frequent visitors.