The Old Man of Coniston

The Old Man of Coniston

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 54.37106°N / 3.12304°W
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer
Additional Information Elevation: 2635 ft / 803 m
Sign the Climber's Log

Getting There

Suitable Maps

Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50000 Sheet 90
Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure 1:25000 Sheet 6
Harvey Maps Superwalker 1:25000 Lakeland Central

Coniston is easily found about 45 mins after leaving the M6 AT Jcn 36.
Follow the A590 to Greenodd then A5902 to Torver turning right to Coniston
To acsess the Old man there are many routes. The closest and most convenient for the less agile is Walna Scar Road althogh
the fell is more comonly climbed from Coniston village via Church Beck and the mines there.
Coniston sunset

Walna Scar example........
From Coniston Village take the lane up past the Sun Inn. This soon narrows and begins a steep climb out of the village with improving views across the Coniston Fells. The metalled lane ends at a gate (grid ref. 289970) which provides access to the open fell and the Walna Scar Road. Follow the Walna Scar Road, a wide track, as it heads roughly west across open country. Progress is relatively fast on an easy rising gradient

Overview of The Old Man

Walna Scar Road

At 803 metres (2276 feet) the Old Man of Coniston is a small mountain, but a challenging enough climb for an average walker.
It is the highest point in the Furness Fells, and the seventh highest mountain in England, ordered by relative height
A reminder of more troubled times

The fell is sometimes known by the alternate name of Coniston Old Man, or simply The Old Man.
Clouds gathering over Old Man

The Arid landscape of Dow Crag.Dow Crag

The fell is normally climbed from Coniston village via Church Beck and the mines. Alternative routes include the south ridge, which ascends the mountain from the Walna Scar Road, a track that leaves Coniston from the southwest.
The summit also provides views of the Langdale Pikes and the Scafell range.
It is also combined with local peaks and ridgwalks to provide a large and varied itinery.

Rarely are you likely to have the summit of the Old man to yourself. It is a popular climb for many visitors at all times of the year and does offer some superb views in all directions especially in the northern sector. Some of the descent paths the first sections in particular have suffered badly from erosion and are not so pleasant.

It may lack in height but it makes up for it in views, offering a great view of two beautiful lakes and Goats Water (tarn), the cliffs of Dow Crag seen here on the Left.

This area saw extensive quarrying and mining. That, of course has ended but the landscape is consequently scarred. As you ascend or descend the Old Man you pass through some of the old workings with ruined buildings and equipment scattered on either side. There are many paths and tracks and these increase in number as you descend. This can be very interesting and in my opinion does not detract from the beauty of the place. Young and old spend much time scouting the area for hidden treasures. But it should be made clear that old mines and the holes and debris that come with them can also be very dangerous places.

There is enough interest for a fair few walks in the area whatever your style of ascent. For the rambler its a great and well positioned fell with many varied routes both direct, and via its neigbours.
For the scrambler it has also some interest with well known routes on Dow crag, Church Beck and Brim fell.

So, in all, it’s a great example of a Lakeland fell, with much to offer.
Just remember it is because of that, it also succumbs to changeable weather all year round.
I have seen the route between the summit and Goats Hawes totally impassable without crampons because of Ice, more than once.

There is also a beer brewed by the Coniston Brewery that is known as Old Man.I can of course recommend it too! But I prefer the Coniston Bluebird, its a great pint!

The top

An ice encrusted summit cairn.


Add Camping text here.

External Links

Here are some linke from the area

A first class few sites with recent pictures


Ane Bowkers Mad about Mountains

A real good site with LOADS of pictures and walking info of the Lake District Leanys Lakes

Coniston Webcam

Local web info and cams



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The Lake District (UK)Mountains & Rocks