Coniston - Holme Fell

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The walk is to the north of Coniston, through an attractive woodland by a permitted path, followed by more open land rising to the rocky summit of Holme Fell. After passing some tarns, Tilberthwaite Ghyll can be seen at close quarters by a short detour, before a stream crossing takes you into a shallow valley below the flanks of Wetherlam. This area is full of old mine-workings, with a great deal of visible remains and the walk makes use of tracks constructed by the miners for their own use. These have sunk back into the bog in some places, but for the most part make for very easy walking. There are numbers of waterfalls on the final stretch into Coniston.

Please note on some parts of this hill walk a compass or GPS may be required to aid navigation. Please also take the recommended 1:25 000 scale map.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - South East


Birds, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Mountains, National Trust, Pub, River, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
28/10/2021 - Jim Grindle

I have checked carefully the length of this walk using technology that didn’t exist when it was created but I found only the slightest difference. I used a program that allowed me to click round the route with a mouse on a digital OS map and I did it several times. I cannot explain the huge difference in distances but I did notice that if 11.18 miles were 11.18 kilometres then that would equate to 7.4 miles. Was the GPS set to metric instead of to imperial I wonder? Jim Grindle

21/10/2021 - Mike Dickinson

21st October 2021. My wife and I completed this walk today during a break in the weather on a lovely sunny day. You could class us as seasoned fell walkers and fairly fit for late 50's. We use a GPS aid for our walks and it's fairly accurate and calibrated. This is not a 7.4 mile walk, it's 11.18 miles. We would not even class it as moderate due to the scrabble elements of several of the climbs up difficult slippy rock terrain and its overall length, this should be upgraded to a strenuous level walk. On many of the paths the park staff have been placing several tons of LakeLand stone and some of these are boulders 6" to 12" in size which make it punishing on the ankles. Ridiculous size of aggregate. I must also mention that across the disused dam wall there is a tree fallen across the wall which can be climbed over but beware of the loose dam stones which are covered in moss and extremely slippy. I lost my footing and almost fell 10 feet and hurt my back. We had walking sticks and correct footwear on. Extremely dangerous. The walk took us over 6 1/2 hours to complete and further than we would normally select a walk for pleasure. It was a beautiful walk with great weather but described incorrectly, it could really catch some members out and cause a tragedy. Mike & Sharon Dickinson.

16/07/2014 - Robert Hughes

This walk appears to have been improved since 2005 (as described in previous comments). As well as outstanding views from Holme Fell in particular, but also close up to Coniston Old Man on the final descent – there is also opportunity to explore fascinating quarry workings on the ascent from Tilberthwaite. It does seem to fall into the broad moderate category in that there are some places where the paths are not so clear – but, overall the route was not difficult to follow. Some sections are steepish but not difficult and there are longer interludes of more level ground between for respite. There were no fallen trees nor was the ground too boggy to tackle - though it's probably best to do this route on a clear summer's day rather than after rain. These additional navigation points might help. WM4-6: The woodland path has been upgraded and extended so that you can now avoid the main road altogether - join it before you reach WM4 by cutting up between the two groups of houses on the minor road. Then just before WM5 keep on the upgraded path which then joins the minor road just before WM6. WM7: There is no longer a gate here nor a short length of wire fence - there is however a yellow arrow pointing the way. Soon after this you pass through a kissing gate straight after which you should keep next to the wire fence on your left for 20m - after this the path ahead is clearer. WM9: Both arrows are now yellow - though the next arrow to the tarn is white. Follow the left arrow between two boulders and the follow the upwards tracking path. WM11-13: There are a plethora of paths around the summits of Ivy Crag and Holme Fell so you do need to keep the landmarks in mind as you go between these WMs. I missed the second tarn after WM15 but it wasn’t a problem as all descending paths meet the stony track and wall mentioned in WM15. WM16/17: The “structure (water filter?)” is not obvious but the junction of paths where your route doubles back is. WM 24-25: Having crossed the beck at WM24 there are again various paths – you want to bear left (not bear right as I did) so that you keep the beck you have just crossed in sight to the left albeit below your height. If you do bear right then you will come to a footbridge – go no further, but turn left and you’ll re-join the correct path soon enough. Finally there is now good parking at the Sports Centre on the minor road between the A593 and B5285 on the North East side edge of Coniston.

12/10/2005 - anita lowe

Anita and Chris Lowe - Did this walk after one night of very heavy rain so very muddy in parts and over-flowing becks which are parts of path ways. A very demanding trek. On parts of the walk were large fallen trees blocking pathways making it difficult so had to divert from the guide making it very difficult to follow. We missed the water feature where we had to double back so ended up in a quarry and could not find the steps as instructed. Would like to try this in the summer when it is dry. View of Coniston at the top of Holme Fell fantastic.

20/02/2005 -

Sorry Jim Grindle but I didn't consider this walk to be moderate although very enjoyable. I found it hard going in some areas.

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