24th July 2011

A circuit of Coniston Water


Walk Overview
Time 07.10 to 14.00
Duration 6 hr 50 min
Distance 14.8 mile
Ascent 200 ft
Walking with Jennifer
Beckstones - Sunnybank Cottage - Water Yeat - Bouthery Bridge - High Nibthwaite - road along eastern side of lake - Brantwood - How Head - Coniston - Coniston Hall - shore path to Sunny Bank - road to Beckstones
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Beckstones, Torver

This is just a small car park opposite the garage just south of Torver. The car aprk is only a stones throw away from the lovely little Kelly Hall Tarn.


Route Map

I've thought about doing a full circuit of Coniston Water for years now, but I kept putting it off because there was always somewhere else grabbing my attention. So, earlier this year I decided to wait for that perfect summer day and give it a go, whatever else I missed out on.

You wouldn't believe it would you. We'd drove through gorgeous early morning sunshine to get here and then, when we reached Coniston, it was like this. Not to worry it can only last so long and I knew we were in for a lovely day once the sunshine burned off the cloud.

Anyone having an early walk up onto the fells would have had a real treat this morning.

The sun was beginning to break through, , , at last.



There goes the cloud; retreating up the other end of the lake.

If I win this weeks euro millions jackpot I wonder what they'd say if I knocked on the door and made them an offer.

O dear, , , this is a shame, , , now well have to turn back , , ,OK that wasn't exactly what I said, but what did you expect me to type here?
When we turned off the main road at Water Yeat my heart sank when I saw the road closed (for safety reasons) sign. After a few moments of utter disappointment, I thought we can at least carry on a little bit further, 'just' to take a look. It was obvious that other people had been walking around the edge of the fence, so we did the same and managed to cross without any loss of life or limb.

I know we shouldn't have, but we did and there was no harm done.

Now that we were safely where we wanted to be, we followed this minor road down the east side of the lake.
There was quite a bit of road walking today, but needs must, and if the road is as quiet as this one we don't mind anyway.
The fells in the distance are Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man.


Approaching High Nibthwaite.

A close up of Coniston Old Man.

Time for a quick bite to eat at the end of the jetty just outside High Nibthwaite.




Tranquil sums this up without me even trying to say anymore.
The black dots at the bottom of the left hand side are insects. Obviously they were enjoying the warmth as much as we were.



As we made our way along the road, the Coniston fells remained in site on the opposite side of the lake, but the view was changing all the time.


Brantwood; was the home of John Ruskin from 1871until his death in 1900.
Brantwood has been owned since 1951 by the Brantwood Trust, which is now part of the Ruskin Foundation, created by Lancaster University. Their policy is to keep alive the memory of John Ruskin, and to actively promote the relevance of his work to the modern world. The house contains a large collection of drawings and watercolours by Ruskin, and much of his furniture now returned to the house, is on display in the public rooms.



Making hay while the sun shines.

Once we reached the main road outside Coniston we were able to walk along this path rather than the road itself.

In the centre of Coniston.

This is the track that leads from the village to Coniston Hall.


It was show day today at Coniston Hall and the place was packed with people and a continuous line of cars were making their way into the grounds of the hall. Needless to say they couldn't have picked a better day for it.


A close up of Brantwood.



Following the route of the Cumbria Way.




We left the lakeside now and headed up to the road across the aptly named Sunny Bank.

And that was a circuit of Coniston Water.

Was it worth the effort? Absolutely, I just wish I'd done this years ago instead of putting it off.

Should I have gone onto the fell tops on such a nice day and done this in poor weather? No, it was the weather that helped make the walk as good as it was. Almost 15 miles in dull or wet conditions wouldn't have been much fun at all.

Would I do it again? Definitely.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks