Two great walks from Coniston in the Lake District - Walk 1
A rain sandwich with a wide enough filling.
|The Old Man of Coniston|
Coniston was dripping wet on the Saturday morning when we were due to do a long walk. Over breakfast, sitting in the conservatory at the Sun Inn, the noise of the torrential rain hitting the glass was almost deafening...
By 11 o'clock the rain had eased to a fine drizzle and we were togged up in waterproofs and ready to go. The original walk was changed to a shorter one, keeping to the lower slopes of 'The Old Man of Coniston'.
The hardest part of the walk was trudging uphill to Walna Scar car park, where we would pick up our trail (we could have driven up but decided that walking would be better).
|Route from the Sun Inn up the lane to Walna Scar car park|
The gradient is very steep and we were soon huffing and puffing our way up the road. At one point we were surprised to see some alpacas in a field of sheep. There was plenty of mist at the higher levels so we were glad we had decided on a low level walk.
|Walking up to Walna Scar car park|
Once at the car park it was easy to spot the tracks including one up to the Old Man (to the right) and another straight ahead towards Seathwaite, which is the one we took. There was plenty of water around, the rain had made the ground soft and there were many streams gushing down the slopes.
|Path around the 'Old Man of Coniston'|
|Mist over the hills and plenty of water streaming downhill|
The footpath follows alongside the lower reaches of Old Man of Coniston, the mountain that overlooks the village at a height of 803 metres (2,634 feet). We followed the track until we could also see Dow Crag, next to the Old Man and above us to the right (778 metres) and spotted a vague path to the left heading in the direction of Torver.
Turning left we headed down hill through the ferns until we found a definite path. After a short while we came across Banishead Quarry, with a full waterfall pouring into the bottom of the quarry. It was a really unexpected and beautiful sight.
|Waterfall at Banishead Quarry|
The footpath continues downhill through the remains of a slate mine until it reaches some farm buildings where it eventually becomes a road that vehicles could use, although we didn't see any until we reached the bottom of the path near the main Coniston to Torver road (A593).
|From Banishead Quarry to Torver|
We were watched by curious sheep as we walked by. Luckily the weather brightened up, the mist lifted and the sun managed to find its way out from the clouds.
By the time we reached the Church House Inn in Torver it was quite sunny.
|Dow Crag to the left and The Old Man of Coniston to the right|
The footpath then heads down to the lake side and passes the 16th Century Coniston Hall before becoming a wide path to return to Coniston.
The sun shone down on us for the rest of the walk and it was lovely seeing children splashing about in the lake surrounded by the fells.
|Children enjoying Coniston Water|