Hiking around Coniston Water


Walks around Coniston Water and its surroundings are so phenomenal that hundreds of books have been written, poems have been penned and paintings, well, painted. In the beating, mountainous heart of the Lake District, each and every hiking adventure here will leave you with lasting memories. 

The Lakes have a magical ability to possess ramblers and as you explore the hikes near Coniston Water, you’ll soon find out why. This picturesque lake is five miles long and half a mile wide, overlooked by the wonderfully named Coniston Old Man. Not a bus-pass-possessing gentleman, the Old Man is an iconic mountain and hiking to the top provides exceptional views across the valleys and fells. 

You can start long-distance trails from Coniston Water or base yourself here and spend days or even weeks discovering the many routes in the surroundings. Before you know it, you might be penning your own poem or setting up a watercolour easel.

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A huge variety of trails

Up in North West England, just south of the Scottish border, the Lake District has a vast network of walking trails. You could spend as long as you want putting one foot in front of the other here and this majestic landscape digs its claws in quickly, refusing to let you stay away for long. 

The best hiking trails around Coniston Water are also some of the best in the country. Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the lovely village of Coniston, right on the edge of the lake and set into the gentle hills. Fill up your water bottle and get going on one of the many trails up behind the village to the famous fell of Coniston Old Man and its family of spectacular neighbouring fells. 

With the multitude of stunning paths to follow, you can make your walks around Coniston Water as short or as long as you fancy. You’ll get increasingly beautiful views throughout your hikes up but lower walks are just as pretty with forests and lakeside trails. 

The unique landscape of the Lake District

The Lake District is famed for its impressive landscapes and hikes around Coniston Water are a perfect example of the incredible geology here. This valley was glacially-carved and Coniston Water was left behind, a long ribbon lake. This lake formation, found through the national park, is part of what gives the Lakes its unique geology. The volcanic rocks here are why the region was historically mined for copper and iron, helping the valley cement its importance as far back as Roman times. 

The nearby slate quarries are also fantastic places to explore on foot, now verdant and captivating. With lakes, mountains, mines and woodlands, there’s plenty of wonderful landscapes here to keep you more than occupied. 

Exploring the culture of Coniston Water

The children’s author Arthur Ransome was so enthralled with Coniston Water that it became the basis for the setting of his classic novel, ‘Swallows and Amazons’. If you’ve read the series or seen the films, the lake here will make you feel like child explorers all over again. 

Polymath and world-renowned art critic John Ruskin also fell in love with the Lake District and, specifically, Coniston Water. He bought a house here, Brantwood, in his fifties and cherished the lakeside views. This extraordinary man was a great social commentator, writer and artist and you can explore Brantwood’s fantastic gardens as you hike in the area.

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