Two great walks from Coniston in the Lake District - Walk 2
Continuing the rain sandwich.
In complete contrast to Saturday's start we woke on Sunday to beautiful warm sunny weather. In fact our breakfast in the conservatory of the Sun Hotel had to be disturbed for us to move outside because it was too hot inside!
The previous evening, while we were enjoying dinner the The Black Bull pub in Coniston, we decided that the next walk would be a high level one if the weather was fine. I should also mention that the pub has a microbrewery (The Coniston Brewing Company) and brews the famous Bluebird Bitter here, which I tried and liked.
We first had to check out of the hotel but they kindly let us leave the cars in the car park for the rest of the day while we had our walk.
Today's route follows the footpath signs to the Coppermines Valley and Waterfalls then up to Weatherlam (763 metres), returning past Levers Water.
Heading up the road from the Sun we took the first turning to the right following the waterfalls signpost and this leads past some cottages and then into woods where you can hear the water flowing and we heard people laughing, squealing and having fun in the water. A little higher up we could see what the commotion was all about - a group of people were canyoning down the waterfalls.
|Waterfalls on the way to Coniston Coppermines|
Our footpath crossed a bridge which joined with the main track coming up to the Coppermines Youth Hostel and we turned left to continue up the hill.
|From the Sun Hotel following signs for Waterfalls and Coppermines|
Before reaching the Youth Hostel and a handful of cottages the footpath turns to the right to go up the fell. It soon splits into two and we took the higher path on the left, following this slowly up the hill (shown in red below).
|Red route out, blue route return|
We were soon overtaken by some hardy mountain-bikers carrying their bikes on their backs.
|Mountain-bikers heading up to Weatherlam|
The footpath is quite easy to follow at first but eventually becomes quite indistinct and we ended up squelching through a few boggy patches on the way up. Looking back the way we had come there is a fabulous view down to Coniston Water.
We weren't the only people to lose the footpath, we met other walkers who asked us where the path was. It seems the best plan is to just keep heading up with the lake to your back..
|Looking back to Coniston Water|
|Following the red path to Wetherlam|
At the top we could see lakes in other valleys, Windermere to the east was certainly one of them. As we approached the top of Weatherlam we started to see other mountains to the north.
|The top of Weatherlam looking north|
At this point we realised that the clouds were gathering and the air was getting cooler. No rain yet though, thank goodness.
Once again we struggled to find the footpath, but eventually worked out a way down from Weatherlam towards The Old Man of Coniston. The path was a little tricky underfoot, with loose stones and hidden dips. We had a couple of slips on the way down. We skirted around the northern side of Black Sails fell until we saw a crossing of footpaths, the one straight ahead would go up to the Old Man, the one to the left (which we took) would go down to the side of Levers Water.
|Footpath down from Wetherlam to Levers Water|
It took us longer than expected to reach the tarn, the path was difficult in parts with the loose stones slowing us down.
|Heading down Black Sails fell towards Levers Water|
It seemed quiet at the waters edge, a little moody because of the dark clouds forming above. The breeze had picked up and water was splashing over the edge to add to the waterfalls below.
From the Coniston end of the tarn the path is easy to see and we followed it down, passing the quarry and a number of waterfalls in Levers Water beck on our right until we reached the Youth Hostel. Here we spotted some of the walkers we had passed on the trail.
We retraced our steps down to the Sun Hotel and arrived just in time as the heavens opened and the rain began to fall.
We had managed to have two really good walks over the weekend in between the rain sandwich!