The Coniston Skyline.

Start. Coniston.

Route. Coniston - Coppermines Valley - Hole Rake - Wetherlam - Prison Band - Swirl How - Swirl Band - Levers Hawse - Brim Fell - The Old Man of Coniston - Goats Hawse - Dow Crag - Buck Pike - Brown Pike - Walna Scar Road - Coniston.

Notes. Coniston Old Man on a Bank Holiday Monday was bound to be busy, I think every other tourist to visit the village has their sights set on it's summit, and why not? it's a wonderful place to be, stunning views and all that. I decided on the quieter approach ascending Wetherlam before heading south to meet the masses.

My day started heading along the tarmac lane to the right of the Black Bull Hotel, I passed the Ruskin Museum before ascending into the Coppermines Valley. On the right just after the single arch of the Miners Bridge a track leads up the fell side, I followed this ascending to Hole Rake. I crossed the rake on an obvious path stepping onto Wetherlam's south ridge, a delightful way up the hill, this relatively easy climb soon saw me standing on the rocky summit. Following the path west above Keld Gill Head I descended to the Prison Band, this exciting easy scramble carried me upwards to reach Swirl How's fine summit cairn.

My route was now laid out before me, a long airy ridge walk with superb views in all directions, terminating at the very busy summit of Coniston Old Man. The walk was not over just yet, Dow Crag with it's fingers of rock reaching to the sky was my next port of call. I descended to Goats Hawse before climbing to Dow Crag's rocky summit, another airy ridge walk followed, crossing the heights of Buck Pike and Brown Pike before descending to the Walna Scar Road, road in name only the upper section of this track is a real ankle breaker, take your time, I walked on the grass as much as possible. Eventually the surface improved before I passed through a gate to begin the steep descent over tarmac back into Coniston.

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The Yewdale Fells seen over fields alive with Buttercups.

Clouds cast shadows over the face of Brim Fell, seen from the Coppermines Valley.

About to enter Hole Rake looking back to Coniston Water.

Sunlight catches the long ridge leading to Black Sails, in shadow the steep ascent to Swirl How.

Views for miles and miles.

The promise of the challenge to come, the Prison Band leads to the summit of Swirl How.

In shadow Wetherlam Edge with views into Little Langdale.

Gracing the skyline to the north-west the highest ground in England, to the right Scafell Pike and the left, across the ridge of Mickledore Sca Fell.

Descending from Wetherlam's stoney summit with views to the Langdale Pikes.

On the Prison Band viewing Levers Water and Coniston Water.

Brooding in shadow the Sca Fell massif, seen over Great Carrs.

Views taken from my brew stop on Swirl How, to the left Coniston Old Man, the right the impressive face of shattered rock leading to the pyramid like summit of Dow Crag.

Above Great How Crags looking east....

....and to the south my route up Brim Fell.

On Levers Hawse looking to Coniston Water, vanishing into a blue/grey horizon Morecambe Bay.

From the summit of Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, not just a playground for walkers and climbers.

A stunning but hazy view from the summit of Coniston Old Man.

The ever popular summit of Coniston Old Man, there are even more people behind me, and lots more sitting under the brow of the hill out of the wind, I think it's time I left.

Goats Water backed by the fingers of rock that make up the eastern face of Dow Crag.

Well that's one way onto the hill, unfortunately not for me.

The other face of Dow Crag, Harter Fell and Green Crag seen down the gentle western slopes, just short of a few sheep.

The rocky summit of Dow Crag as seen from Buck Pike.

Seen over The Cove, Coniston Old Man in sunlight and shade with Dow Crag to the left.

The Bell backed by Wetherlam.

Seen from the tarmac of the Walna Scar Road, Yewdale, the buildings hidden in the trees are Coniston Village, nearly down.

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