The Old Man of Coniston

It’s always a bind having to update the blog after you left the location you want to write about. So I’m “thumb-typing” this one from the comfort of my armchair, a few days after leaving the Lake District. After our previous adventure we packed up the Chucklebus and headed to the south of the lakes at Coniston Water.

Coniston CC Site. Located just south of the village of Coniston, is a sprawling well laid out Caravan Club main site. It has 250 pitches set in a heavily wooded area 200 metres from the west side of Coniston Water and boasts full facilities. We stayed during the Easter Bank Holiday and it was full to the brim.

The Pitch

The Pitch

However because it’s so big( 5-6 mins walk to get to reception), it didn’t feel full. The site has a well stocked shop and several Motorhome disposal areas. In terms of WIFI…zilch on 3 Network, they do have CC Wifi, but it’s pretty dire and not worth the cost. That might change if the CC Club get their IT programme sorted out properly, still a long way to go though.

Having spent the first night bitching about the lack of Wifi, we decided that next morning we would climb “The Old Man of Coniston”. So after an early breakfast, we were en-route by 9am, with the intention to be”Job Done” by 3pm. This turned out to be a good call as the sun was bursting by 11am, by which point we’d completed most of the uphill bit.

The well disguised Caravan Club Site viewed from the summit of Old Man.

The well disguised Caravan Club Site viewed from the summit of Old Man.

The 800m feature dominates the immediate area of Coniston and is a magnet for walkers. It’s well covered in Wainwrights Guide Book, which is a must for anyone wanting to walk the area. He suggests the tourist route approaching from the Coniston side via Low Water. However the best, most scenic and easiest route is to approach the summit from the south along the Walna Scar Rd, alongside Goat’s Water, then up onto Goat’s Hawse and to the summit. You can then descend down the tourist route past Low Water. It’s an easier climb, much less busy and can be done in manageable stages….As we descended I felt sorry for the hordes making their way up the very steep tourist route, kids in tow, up steps and scrambles. For us it was a bit like using some quiet country lane to get to the top of the hill, then having to join the M25 to get down!

“Time spent on map recce is time seldom wasted”. 

Old Man

We really enjoyed the walk up, the steepest part was the trog from Goats Water up onto Goats Hawse, at the end of that cheeky stage I was breathing thru every orifice, but the views were worth it. Take a flask, the Hawse is a natural brew-stop and those over 40 will need one!

The view back to Goats Water from Goats Hawse

The view back to Goats Water from Goats Hawse

We then followed the ridge to the summit, which of course then became a race between good and evil, England V Ireland, man v women and ultimately Me V “The Other Half”. The problem was she didn’t tell me I was in a life or death struggle, I simply got caught up in a “Stop n Chat” with some old boy who insisted on telling me about his bloody dog. So seizing the moment she sprinted off, never to be caught….I was a broken man…my 24yrs of infantrymanship, scattered to the 4 winds by the wily irish vixen!

The "Other Half" spurts ahead in a crafty effort to reach the trig point first!  #fewmin

The “Other Half” spurts ahead in a crafty effort to reach the trig point first!
#fewmin

Eventually I managed to shake of my obstacle to victory and walked to the top. The views in all directions were fantastic, well worth the effort.

The last of the snow

The last of the snow

Looking down towards Low Water and the way home!

Looking down towards Low Water and the way home!

The climb down was actually quite tiring, the route off the peak is very steep in places, and of course I was having to keep hold of the Mutts, who was still on “Lock-Down Level 1” after the sheep incident at Cats Bells and still keep an eye on the large groups of people making their way up. In some places it’s safer to come slightly off-path to descend. After you reach Low Water, the route eases considerably and the crowds thin out.

Our total route for the day was about 7 miles, as we walked directly from the site. Overall a great day out, the weather certainly enhancing the experience.

The following day we walked a mile or so along the well laid path into the village of Coniston, where we enjoyed a good pint and nice meal at the Black Bull pub. On the way back I spied a CL site in the back of someones large garden. Our next visit to Coniston will involve that site, as its closer to the village and still within a stones throw of Coniston Water.

That is all!

2 Comments

Filed under Trips - 2015

2 responses to “The Old Man of Coniston

  1. I do find reading of your travels a great deal of fun, as well as the posts being informative, and the phots are great. Thanks.

  2. All sounds very energetic – I’d’ve managed the short walk to the pub! Beautiful views.

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