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
Routes to the Old Man and Weatherlam start from the front door.
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There's low level bridleways with easy wooded terrain for youngsters, while the more adventurous can take on the challenge of Walna Scar Road or the north face trail in Grizedale Forest.
The circular route around Coniston Water is perfect for easy, relaxing rides. Take on the high altitude buzz of Hardknott and Wrynose passes from the hostel. The Fred Whitton Challenge aro
Exhibition including the Ruskin collection, the copper mines, slate, geology, farming and Donald Campbell's Bluebird. Visit the website
This lovely area is great for water sports, so whatever mode of water transport takes your fancy, take the plunge and enjoy some fun on, or in, the water! Gorge scrambling in Church Beck is on the
To see Coniston Water and the stunning fells hire a motor boat, canoe, rowing boat or sailing boat and explore. Take a break at the Bluebird Café right on the edge of Coniston Water. Visit the w
Enjoy a beautiful boat cruise on Coniston Water, staying on the boat for the full cruise or getting off at a jetty to explore. Or just use the service as a ferry to get between where the differe
The gondola is the perfect way to view Coniston's spectacular scenery. Sail to Monk Coniston jetty and then walk to Tarn Hows. View the Yacht's National Trust website
Discover the home of John Ruskin.
Tom Ghyll (or Gill) is a lovely stream with two waterfalls. A trail runs alongside the stream and the path then leads up to Tarn Hows. Start at the Car Park on the A593 by Glen Mary Bridge.
A network of quarries above Little Langdale - best known for the main chamber, which is 40ft in height and lit by two windows. Visit the Visit Cumbria website Walkers, see the National Trust Hod
The fantastic Hardknott Pass circuit takes you over one of the highest and hardest cycle passes in Britain, then cycle down the Duddon Valley and return to the hostel via Birker Moor.
Fly 200 metres across the top of the Grizedale Beck and marvel at the forest canopy from 18m up a Douglas Fir. YHA members get 10% off outdoor adventures with Go Ape (all activities and locations,
Go Ape has several locations across the UK where you can climb and fly through the trees.