The last full day of our mini Lake District break and my lovely wife agreed to walk up Coniston Old Man with me. Even though I had been to Coniston a few times in the past; on a first year undergraduate field trip, swimming in the lake and cycling along the quieter side of the lake, I had never walked up the Old Man.
We parked up in the town so that we could do the whole walk, rather than using the car park half-way up the hill. Setting off and the weather wasn’t too bad, although we both knew that it conditions at the summit could be very different. We managed to miss the disguised footpath next to The Sun public house and instead walked up the steep road to the Walna Scar carpark. From there we could follow the path as it joined what is known as the ‘Tourist’ path.
There were a number of other walkers, although it couldn’t be called ‘busy’. We slowly made our way up the steep path, stopping at the old mines.
As you can see from the photo the visibility wasn’t great. We continued up, overtaking some people, and being overtaken by others, until we were at the top and could take in the glorious views. Just kidding, we couldn’t see a thing and the wind was ferocious. We took a quick photo and started to descend the other side.
Helen was in charge of navigation and knew that the path round the back past Goat’s Water was less steep and was also likely to be quieter. She was correct on both counts as she expertly guided us onto the correct paths.
Soon we joined the larger bridleway between Coniston and Seathwaite, which was more popular, and we were now beneath the clouds and could see all of the lake and the fells beyond. We stopped to have lunch on a rock placed next to a sign indicating the Old Man. Obligatory photo of an old man standing next to the sign.
We quickly walked through the very full car park and returned to Coniston. In need of coffee and cake we stopped at the Meadowdore Cafe. As we did it started to rain. Brilliant timing and the first time that we hadn’t go absolutely soaked. A great day was had by all. Of course it might be nice to visit again when the views are better, or we could go off up a different hill. There are so many more that we haven’t walked yet.