Old Man of Coniston Hike

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Where: The Old Man of Coniston hike from Coniston in the Lake District of England
When: July 2014
Weather: Really Hot
Height: 2,634ft

The Old Man of Coniston, or Coniston Old Man, is the highest mountain for hiking in the south side of the Lake District in Cumbria in England.

The hike to the mountain can start right from the centre of the village. The image below is from the north end of the Main Street, where many hikers park, free of charge, next to the dyke there. The centre of Coniston is about 150ft above sea level.

There is also a large car park up on the hillside, up Station Road, at about 650ft above sea level. Road Map

Large Image . Coniston Page

Old Man of Coniston

The image below is from the north end of Coniston Main Street. The parking on the left here is only for an hour or two. The parking across the road is free all day, but there is only room for about 8 cars.

The hiking trail starts from about 200 yards down this street, just past the white building down there.

Coniston Main Street view

The image below is of the Lakes Cottages in the centre of Coniston, with the road here leading up to the Sun Inn.

Lakes Cottages Coniston

The image below is of the Sun Inn about two hundred yards up from Coniston Main Street. There is a sign on the building there showing the walking trail round to the right past the Inn. That trail leads up through woodland to a bridge. The trail up to the mountain starts at the bridge.

If you drive up to the top car park, follow the road to the left here, then straight up a steep hill via the single lane Station Road. It is so steep, it may be first gear for a while.

The Sun Inn

The image below is of the car park up on the side of the mountain at about 650ft above sea level. This is a large car park, so there should always be spaces.

The main tourist trail to the Old Man of Coniston is straight along the bottom of the mountain there for about one mile. This part of the trail gains little height until it joins the main tourist trail running up from Coniston .

Coniston Old Man Parking

The image below is of where the top car park trail meets the hiking trail leading up from Coniston centre. Follow the main trail here as it winds its way steadily up the mountain, avoiding any smaller trails leading off to the left.

Coniston Old Man Trails

The image below is of one of two quarries you pass on the main trail up. You can just see the summit cairn from here, where the white line is.

The next step of the trail is up to the Low Water tarn at about 1,800ft.

Coniston Quary

The image below is across Low Water with the summit cairn up there below the white line. This is the steepest section with the trail winding up to the left, then up the east side, about 830ft to go.

Large Image

top section

The image below is looking down from close to the top at Low Water. This image gives a good view of how steep the top section is.

View Down

The image below is of the summit cairn on top of the Old Man of Coniston.

Old Man of Coniston summit

The image below is of the Trig Point on top of the 2,634ft Old Man of Coniston, looking north to the 2,611ft Brim Fell. I decided to take the easy trek across to Brim Fell, then down a grassy path to Low Water, as shown by the white lines below.

This is an easy route back down in clear weather, but best follow the main path back down if visibility is poor. You will also see a number of other trails back down, over other mountains if visibility is good.

Coniston view to Brim Fell

The image below is of the cairn on the 2,611ft Brim Fell looking north. There are more mountains straight out that can be hiked for the really fit hikers, with good trails between them.

I started back down just past the cairn to the right, then followed the grassy trail from there back down.

There is also a trail over to the left, west, to the 2,552 Dow Crag range that takes you back to the top car park from the west. Dow Crag Large Image.

Brim Fell Coniston

The image below is heading down the east side of Brim Fell looking at Levers Water. The trail back down to Low Water leads round to the right just below this point.

You will see some other routes down from here if the weather is clear.

Levers Water

The image below is of the grassy path back down to Low Water. This was a fast and scenic route back down. Maybe best to avoid this route in cloud though as there are a few rocky drops in places.

That is the main trail at the far side of Low Water running back down to Coniston and the top car park.

Low Water

The image below from passing the two slate mines on the main trail back down. You can see the trail leading down into coniston there, and the trail leading to the right to the top car park.

Coniston Mine

The image below is from the main trail leading back to the top car park. It was in the 80s by this time, so was glad I had set out early in the morning and got to the top before it got too warm.

Coniston Old Man Car Park

The Old Man of Coniston Map below shows the main routes onto the mountains.

This was a real nice hike with great views, and a number of interesting routes that can be taken with a few visits.

The route back down over Dow Crag looked really interesting. Back down over Yew Pike looked tough and eventful.

Make sure and take an Ordnance Survey Map and Compass on these hikes, and know how to use them, as in cloud, these mountains can be deadly. In Winter, make sure you have Crampons and an Ice Axe, and know how to use them.

Large OS Map

Old Man of Coniston Hiking Map