31st May 2009

A summers day on the Coniston Fells


Walk Overview
Time 08.45 to 14.45
Duration 6 hr
Distance 10.3 mile
Ascent 3800 ft
Walking with On my own
Walna Scar Road - Brown Pike - Buck Pike - Dow Crag - Goat's Hawes - Coniston Old Man - Brim Fell - Levers Hawse - Swirl Band - Swirl How - Great Carrs - Fairfield - Grey Friar - Troutal Fell - Seathwaite Tarn - Bottom of Walna Scar Road
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Parking spaces, bottom of Walna Scar Road, Duddon Valley

If you intend to park at this spot you must be prepared to be disappointed. There's only room for half a dozen cars (if that) and when these are taken, there simply isn't any alternative than to go somewhere else. If you are lucky enough to get a space, this is a fantastic alternative for a route up to the Coniston fells.


Route Map

Duddon Valley, seen from the bottom of Walna Scar Road.

Well, that was a quick two weeks, and although some extra time away on holiday would have been very nice, coming home and getting back onto the fells is always most welcome. I know I'm more than just a little biased, but no matter where we've travelled to, we're always in agreement that nothing seems to match the Lake District, which really is one of the most beautiful places in the world.
What I didn't expect to come back to was such fantastic weather; not that I'm complaining.

Harter Fell looming large on the opposite side of the valley.


Duddon Valley with the Whitfell fells in the distance.

I must have been sheltered from the strong easterly wind all the way up Walna Scar, but once I reached Brown Pike it was a different matter. So much so that there were a few places on route to Dow Crag where I wasn't too keen to get close to the edge.

Looking back along the ridge to Buck Pike and Brown Pike, with Blind Tarn seen under the spoil heaps left over from the times when this area was extensively mined (and quarried).

Goat's Water in front of Coniston Old Man.
Notice the orange tent next to the tarn.

Almost at the summit of Dow Crag.
The path you can see on the right hand side of the picture is the one leading onto Coniston Old Man from Goat's Hawse.

A somewhat hazy view back along the ridge.

Dow Crag taken from the path just above Goat's Hawse..


Looking down to Low Water, Levers Water and a host of mine workings.

Coniston Old Man's summit trig point with a fine view across the ridge and over to the Lake District's big ones; including Scafell and Scafell Pike.
I had the place to myself when I reached the summit, but within the five minutes or so that I was here, there must have been well over a dozen other people turned up; time to move on I think.

Heading across the ridge to Brim Fell.

Surprisingly for such a gorgeous day like this, and in a generally popular area, I almost had the place to myself; fantastic.

Swirl How summit (the further cairn).

Greenburn and Little Langdale, each with its own tarn.

Grey Friar, my last summit if the day, seen here behind the site of the plane crash on October 22nd 1944. All eight airmen were killed when their Halifax Bomber struck the side of the fell.

Even with the wind on the tops it had been a far from cool day, but the afternoon was turning into a real scorcher as I began to loose height on Grey Friar. I'd just spent two weeks sailing around the Mediterranean where they were experiencing weather they normally get in August, and then I come home to this - I must be dreaming.

Seathwaite Tarn; full again after the work which was carried out on the dam last year.

Looking up towards the dam, Dow Crag and the Brim Fell ridge from the sheepfold next to Tarn Beck.


There was no hanging around next to the Dam today. The place was swarming with insects which seemed to like the dark side of the wall and which didn't seem to like me walking past and disturbing them.

Heading back down to the Duddon Valley.

One final picture; looking back up the track I'd followed from Seathwaite Tarn.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks