Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dow Crag

OS Map: The English Lakes South Western area (1:25000)

Start Grid Reference: SD 302975
Walk distance: 9.5 miles 
Time: 6.5 hours (approx.)
This is a walk that is easy to follow, skirting the Old Man of Coniston, climbing above Goat's Water, ending with a ridge walk overlooking the northern peaks of the Lakes, before descending back to Consiton from where the walk started.

It is one of three walks we carried out in early March 2010 during a long weekend in the Lakes. All three were found in the publication 'Walks around Coniston' published by 'footprint' (see Dow Crag Walk in a larger map
The first part of the walk along starts between the beck and the Coppermines Cottages office in Coniston. After about a mile, passing beside the Sun Inn, you reach open land and a car parking area. The Old Man of Coniston is on your right and you skirt it for about another mile on a clearly marked track. This is the Walna Scar Road. After going through two rock gate posts, leave this track by taking the path to the right, which rises to Goat's Water.

The path leading up to Goat's Water
Goat's Water stands at about 1500 ft and, when we were there, covered in ice.
Goat's Water
After a short steep climb, for us through snow and ice, we finally reached the ridge.
Top of the ridge
From here you can reach the top of the Old Man of Coniston by taking a short walk in an easterly direction. The path is easily visible.
We settled for lunch overlooking the more northerly peaks of the Lakes.
Northerly view from the ridge
For us the ridge walk was difficult because of the ice and snow, but the views were magnificent.
The ridge from Dow Crag
After Brown Pike, the walk descends to a saddle, where the Walna Scar Road is regained.
From here it is possible to retrace your steps all the way back to Coniston, but there is an alternative. After passing through the rock gateways again leave the track. There is no obvious path, but if you look into the distance, you will see one that passes by some water pools. Further on, you will see a stile over the stone wall. This leads to a disused railway line behind the Ship Inn. Turn left on this and follow it back into Coniston.

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