An easy circular walk taking in the Brown Pike, Buck Pike, Dow Crag ridge from the car park at the end of the Walna Scar road. Although overlooked by the taller "Old Man" the ridge gives fantastic views down into The Cove, Goats Water, and north to the unmistakable profile of the Scafells round to Bowfell and the Crinkles. On a clear day Morecambe Bay can be seen over the southern tip of Coniston Water.
The area has a rich if industrial history. Walna Scar road was built to connect Coniston with the Duddon Valley and the quarries on either side. The Cove was quarried for slate, spoil heaps below Brown Pike show of quarrying there. One of the buildings used to store explosives was used for many years by climbers as a bothy before the weather took its toll.
This walk takes you to the top of the following hills: Walna Scar, Dow Crag, Buck Pike - Seathwaite Fell, and Brown Pike; and includes 1 Wainwright Outlying Fell, 1 Wainwright, 4 Birketts, 2 Nuttalls, 1 Hewitt, and 1 HuMP.
If you need accommodation we have details of 28 properties offering rooms near the start of this walk. Here are some examples:
Walk height profile
note that gradients are usually grossly exaggerated
Start by following the Walna Scar track at the far end of the car park, which is at the end of the tarmac road above Coniston. The Old Man is on your right as you meander westwards. Ignore the sign pointing up hill to the Old Man and remain on the track which occasionally becomes steep and rough in places. At the time of walking restoration work was in progress to fix some of the badly eroded sections.
Just before the summit of the pass is a stone shelter.
At the top of the pass turn right, north east, on to the clear raised path heading for the ridge. The path, gradual at first, steepens before approaching the prominent cairn of the first top: Brown Pike. There is also a shelter here. Continue along the path following the crest of the ridge keeping away from the precipitous drop to your right. Bypass paths skirt around the rocky boulder peaks if you don't wish to clamber over to the summits. Dow Crag is particularly rough with large boulders and big gaps to catch out the unwary.
After leaving Dow Crag the ridge becomes rounder in profile with the path to the right hand side of the crest and is marked with cairns. Follow it down to the saddle of Goat's Hawse.
At the saddle turn right again for Goat's Water. The path is at the low point and marked by a small cairn. The path here is engineered although a little rough, and stone steps lead easily down towards the tarn. Continue down to the tarn, and along the left hand side. Don't be tempted to head uphill in search of an easier path as the boulder scree becomes steep and loose! The shore path is stable and reasonably clear. After leaving the tarn, on the clear path, some short sections have steps with a drop of a couple of feet to negotiate but they aren't troublesome.
The path skirts round the left hand edge of The Cove avoiding the wet central ground, and drops down to rejoin the Walna Scar road. Turn left to return to the car park.
If you like this walk then why not try one of our other nearby walks:
|Walna Scar, White Maiden, White Pike, with a visit to Blind Tarn||same start point|
|The Old Man of Coniston, Brim Fell, Swirl How, Wetherlam||same start point|
|The Old Man of Coniston||100m (110 yards) away|
|Coppermines Valley above Coniston||1.4km (0.9 miles) away|
|Cumbria Way - Coniston to Dungeon Ghyll||1.4km (0.9 miles) away|
|The Old Man of Coniston, from Coniston village||1.5km (0.9 miles) away|
|Wetherlam, via Lad Stones ridge and Black Sails||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|Tarn Hows from Coniston||1.6km (1.0 miles) away|
|A visit to Cathedral Cavern from Tilberthwaite||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Steel Edge and Wetherlam Edge, from Tilberthwaite||4.4km (2.7 miles) away|
|Tarn Hows, Black Fell, Holme Fell||4.5km (2.8 miles) away|
|A stroll around Tarn Hows||4.6km (2.8 miles) away|
Unless otherwise stated the text in this walk is the copyright of Hug Solutions Ltd trading as The Hug and the photographs are the copyright of Elizabeth Oldham. Hill data is derived from Database of British and Irish hills which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Maps contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2011 and paths © OpenStreetMap Contributors,CC-BY-SA, 2011