Running in Coniston
The fells and trails of the Lake District abound with opportunities to take your running to new heights and achieve euphoria. And where better to base your experience than this remote retreat offering a 500ft head start on the ascent of the Old Man of Coniston.
Route info: wildrunning.net/83 - Around Coniston
Distance: 8 miles/13km
Start/Finish: Walna Scar Road car park, LA21 8HD
Terrain: Trail, path, ridge
Ascent: 714 metres
Navigation: Moderate (dependent upon visibility)
Good for: Ascents, wildlife
A stunning run around Coniston Fells, with its thrilling ridge path between The Old Man of Coniston and Swirl How, and the lone trail linking Swirl How with Wetherlam, the Prison Band. This classic loop takes in the summits of Wetherlam, The Old Man, Great How (Swirl Band), and Brim Fell. From the car park, head N towards Crowberry Haws and Stubthwaite Crag. A steep climb W brings you to tranquil Low Water before gaining the summit ridge at the Old Man of Coniston. Follow the clear path of Prison Band, then drop down to Levers Water over some technically challenging terrain. Pass Kennel Crag, Grey Crag and Low Water Beck before returning over a footbridge to the start.
CAUTION: Navigation can be extremely challenging in poor weather.
Running is really celebrated here. Attend Coniston Country Fair in July and cheer determined locals as they run from Coniston Hall to the top of the Old Man and back in under an hour. That’s no mean feat! Those favouring organised races over lone adventures are spoilt for choice in summer with a 10K, 15K, children’s trails and marathons happening throughout the season. Organised by Lakeland Trails, the marathon around Coniston Water (June) has been described as the most scenic trail marathon in Britain. Expect a carnival atmosphere here with race commentary, live music, food and drink.
As the sun sets on a superb day, return to the hostel to relax with refreshments and enjoy a comfortable night’s stay in this cosy mountain hideaway.
Download (from the YHA website) and read your Wild Running guide here.
What makes it special
Other things to do nearby
The spectacular voyage gives you views of mountain scenery, secluded bays and the delightful wooded islands.
Here at Ambleside Climbing Wall there's an indoor climbing wall, bouldering room, and cafe. There's also a room dedicated to climbing gear, which can be hired.
Take in the scenic views and gardens down to the shores of Windermere. See the house first created by William Gaddum, a silk merchant from Manchester, as his family's 'summer house'. Brows
Go Ape has several locations across the UK where you can climb and fly through the trees. If it's adrenaline fuelled family fun you're after then look no further.
Full of her favourite things, the house looks like Beatrix has just stepped out for a walk. Don't miss the lovely cottage garden.
Watch otters swim from the underwater tunnel, stroll through the tropical rainforest and explore the seashore discovery zone.
Take a walk through Miss Potter's famous tales, complete with animatronics and walk-through scenes from her stories. Don't forget to exit through the gift shop!
Visit the barely-changed home of famous Romantic poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. You'll find plenty to inspire you in the museum too.
A range of information on local walks is available from the hostel - just ask at reception and our friendly staff will be able to recommend a great walk for you.
With Claife Heights right opposite, the hostel is a perfect base for exploring the area by mountain bike.
The Lake District was made for wild swimming and with this hostel right on the edge of England's largest lake, Windermere, it would be rude not to.
One of the most beautifully located theatres in England, hosting film and literary festivals throughout the year.
Cruise the lake stopping at the lakeshore jetties where you can change boats, or enjoy the 50 minute trip around Derwentwater.
The Altura Trail which puts altitude into mountain biking or there's a Go Ape! with it's high wire forest adventure course.
Spectacular view of the ospreys flying to and from their nest and, most amazing of all, catching fish from Bassenthwaite Lake.
For underground tours and the popular Via Ferrata. Edge along ladders and bridges to reach a summit viewpoint over Buttermere. Visit the website