My Regular Walks – Coniston Lake Shore

I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite walks.  I plan on setting up pages and maps for my regular dog walks, but here’s one via the blog.

I live in a beautiful area of SW Cumbria close to the Lake District National Park.  This is an area of hills and lakes which is breathtaking when the weather’s good.  When the weather’s bad it’s still gorgeous, just a bit damp!

This is what I call my Coniston Lake Shore walk.  It’s a walk with heritage and history.

This walk starts at a village called Torver.  There are two good pubs in Torver by the way if you’re ever there.  A friend of mine is a chef at the Church House Inn.  He owns a massive Rhodesian Ridgeback called Taylor – and that’s how we met of course.

The walk takes you from Torver down a farm lane and past an old mill which is stunning.  From there we pass Beckstones House and head down the main road for a short distance.  After about half a mile we are on the shore of Coniston Water.  This is where Sir Donald Campbell set the world water speed record in Bluebird.  At the head of the Lake there is actually The Bluebird Cafe.

It’s absolutely gorgeous there.  The dogs love it.  The path hugs the lake shore for quite a while and is sheltered by natural woodland (oaks, beeches etc).  To one side you have the view over the lake and the other the hillside with its rocky outcrops and bracken. 

This walk is great on hot days because you get shade and access to the lake for the dogs to drink and cool off.  It’s also good for when the cloud level’s low and you can’t get a view from the hill tops.

Coniston lake is used quite a lot by outdoor centres so we often see children and students learning to sail, or building rafts, and generally having a great time.  Unless it’s pelting down with rain!

As you come northwards towards Coniston you see Brantwood House on the other side of the lake.  Brantwood was owned by John Ruskin.  Ruskin was an author, poet and social thinker who wrote a vast number of books and essays.

We leave the lake shore at Coniston Hall campsite and head for the village.  By now you can see the Old Man Of Coniston (a 900 metre hill) and the village nestled right below.  My favourite haunt is the Meadowdore Cafe.  It does fabulous big slabs of cake, and good food at decent prices.  The dogs usually get fed some flapjack or meat and potato pie.

After refreshing ourselves at the cafe we walk to the old station.  This was where the copper ore from the mines was shipped to the port at Millom.  The railway line no longer exists but you can walk along parts of it.  There is work being done to try and have the whole section from Broughton to Coniston re-opened as a footpath and cycle route.  That would be fantastic! 

From the old station we follow the permitted path down the old line bed which gives some nice gimpses of the lake.  Then we cross the road and carry on along the permitted route back to Torver.  It’s a short route back and does have one stretch of road walking – but not much.

After this the dogs are glad to leap into the car and snooze as we head back home.

For information on the Lake District National Park go to http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/index

For photos I recommend a browse around Andrew Leaney’s amazing walking site  www.leaney.org

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