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Best Walks - The Old Man of Coniston

The Old Man of Coniston

Introduction to the Walk
Standing at 803m, The Old Man of Coniston is one of the most iconic mountains in the Southern Lake District and an excellent walk for all ages. There are of course a large number of ways up and down this summit, which can be combined with other nearby peaks. However this route is a superb circular route that can be enjoyed by the average person.

There is a large carpark at the top of the “Walna Scar” road, however it can get busy so you are best off arriving early to ensure you get parked.

The Route

Stage 1
From the Walna Scar car park, at the top of the tarmac road, exit the car park using the large obvious track that heads off in a South Westerly direction. The walking is very good underfoot on an excellent wide track. Pass the turn off to the right for the quarry access, instead keeping to the same track until you reach a large cairn.

Stage 2
Once at the cairn you will come to a junction with a path to the right, you want to take this path on the right, which steadily ascends up to Goat’s Water. This section of the route is on a rockier path underfoot and the height gain is noticeable, however you will soon reach Goat’s Water and views of the impressive Dow Crag, home to some of the finest rock climbs in England.

Stage 3
From Goat’s Water continue on the same path until you ascend into the col between the summits of Dow Crag and The Old Man of Coniston. At this point you want to head right, ascending the curving path first East, then South East to the top of The Old Man.

Stage 4
The descent down the “tourist path” is distinctive and easy to see in clear conditions, however if unsure or in the cloud make sure you take a compass bearing to ensure you follow the tourist path down. You will descend steeply from the top, first in a South Easterly direction, but the path soon changes to North Easterly and becomes a series of zig-zags.

Stage 5
Follow the Zig-Zags down to Low Water, whereby the path continues along an Easterly route to a col with The Bell. At this junction make sure you head South along the track, which will take you straight back to the Car Park at the top of the Walna Scar Road.

Map of the Route


Walking can be a dangerous activity, all information provided here has been done so free of charge and we can take no responsibility for the accuracy of that information. Please make sure you do all your own research and understand how to equip yourself and know how to use a map and compass before undertaking any walk.
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