Steam Yacht Gondola Lake Bank to Coniston
The walk takes you up to 200m above sea level on clearly defined paths with some short, quite steep climbs and easy descents. Conditions underfoot can be wet at certain times of the year but the views are more than rewarding.
The route then follows the lake shore path and is very straightforward but also has wonderful views. The timings given are for a fit pensioner, so please adjust to suit after the first couple of stages and allow for various breaks.
Distance: 0.6km, Time: 10 mins. Walk past the ticket office and up the narrow path to the road. Turn right, passing the entrance to Crake Valley Holiday Park. As the road sweeps right on a gentle decline, look out for the footpath on your left. This point is confirmed currently by two signs by the National Park regarding Blawith Common.
Lake Bank jetty
Don't rush to leave Lake Bank. It has a magical quality all of its own with wonderful views up the lake. To the south-east is High Nibthwaite with an Anthony Gormley statue just visible in the field this side of the village.
Distance 1.1km, Time: 28 mins. A short steep climb takes you in a south-westerly direction. On the ascent, ignore a track going off to your right, between the two sets of telegraph poles. At the top of the climb, ignore a track off to your left and descend straight ahead. This takes you down to a more defined track coming in from your left (Water Yeat). It is here that you turn right and cross Tarn Beck on a small slatted bridge.
Distance: 0.4km, Time 9 mins. A steady climb begins to level out. Ignore a track going right across the beck. Simply carry on ahead with the beck on your right. This brings you to the south of Beacon Tarn.
Beacon Tarn is a South Lakeland gem, provoking childhood memories of swimming and fishing in the summer and skating in the winter! There are great views north to the Coniston Fells.
Distance: 1.0km, Time: 28 mins. Joining the Cumbria Way, head around the far side of the tarn (the west side) ignoring the various tracks to your left and head north along the edge of the tarn, to its northernmost point. This area can be very wet underfoot. Continue north, slowly climbing to the high point.
At the north end of the tarn you could always make a detour to the summit of Beacon Fell, a short steep climb rewarded by stunning views. If you do this, be sure to re-join the trail where you left it!
Distance: 1.4km, Time: 28 mins. Ahead and below you is a large 'moss'. As you descend, leave the moss on your left side. As you reach the far end, the larger Stable Harvey Moss is visible ahead. Beyond it, you may see a small disused reservoir which is a guide to the general direction. Towards the end of the descent, bear left at a fork in the trail and pass below a small rock outcrop. Keep heading for the lane which serves Stable Harvey, joining it at a fingerpost pointing back towards the route you have just done.
Distance: 1.7km, Time: 30 mins. 60m up the lane is another bridleway sign taking you left away from the lane. Pass the two ash trees and continue straight ahead toward the twin poles. The gentle descent sweeps right; on reaching a small marker post, go left reaching another marker post almost immediately. Go right over the beck, soon ignoring a track off to the left (to the reservoir) and head down the left hand flank of the valley. This brings you to Torver Beck with its wooden bridge. Follow the path to the road ahead.
Torver Beck Bridge
Torver Beck runs into Coniston Water at Sunny Bank. The bridge is a delightful spot for a breather. If the weather's nice you might want to go for a quick paddle.
Distance: 5.9km, Time: 100 mins. All the hard work is done! Cross the road and follow the path down to the lake at the Sunny Bank jetty. Simply follow this delightful shore footpath which takes you all the way back to your start point. Ignore paths taking you away from the lake other than when approaching Coniston Old Hall campsite. After Coniston Old Hall, bear right. After the second gate as you are heading directly towards the village, bear right on the obvious track taking you to Lake Road. Turn right and 5 minutes later you could be enjoying a well earned cuppa in the lovely Bluebird Café. Well done - we hope you enjoyed the walk.
Coniston Old Hall
Built in the 15th century, Coniston Old Hall with its distinctive round chimneys, was the seat of the Fleming Family. It is now owned by the National Trust, although is not open to the public.
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