The Old Man of Coniston, at 803m, is an ideal first mountain. It’s high, it’s raw, it’s rugged. You feel like a king when you make it to the top, and although it will get your heart going, there’s nothing technical or exposed. The easiest way up takes you past the tranquil Goat’s Water – a natural amphitheatre with impressive precipitous cliffs – before it hoists you up to the summit cairn where you’re greeted with views in every direction. From Morecambe Bay and the Scafell range in the distance, to Dow Crag and Low Water below. Waterfalls and the remains of abandoned quarries set an intriguing atmosphere for the descent, but this won’t be the last time you visit the Old Man. Once you’ve climbed it, you’re sure to be back for more: we recommend the Prison Band and Swirl How via Levers Water route to the summit next time!
How hard? The going is on rock paths which are rough at times, but with no real difficulties or exposure. There is a decent amount of ascent though, and conditions can change quickly, so you’ll need to be able to navigate yourself along the right paths in poor visibility.
Start point Main car park in Coniston opposite The Crown Hotel (SD304976)
Distance 11km/6¾ miles
Time 4-5 hours
Best map OS Explorer OL6
Get the route - click here
(* Don’t forget you can get half price Digital OS Maps with a Trail magazine subscription!)