Coppermines Valley above Coniston

The Old Man of Coniston and its surrounding fells are well known for their ancient and modern mining and quarrying scars that dot the landscape. Coppermines Valley is this, concentrated into one small area. The valley floor is covered by tell tale spoil heaps, and foundations of long gone buildings. If you look carefully even remains of old leats can still be found which were used to transport water from becks and reservoirs high in the fells to where it was needed in the valley to generate power, or used in processing. Now only occasionally does the crump of blasting explosives confirm that at least one quarry in the valley lives on and is still worked.

It may not seem to be an obvious valley to walk, but a middle-level walk around the valley sides is a fascinating and perhaps eye opening wander into the past.

Coniston is closely associated with two people. John Ruskin lived at Brantwood on the eastern bank of Coniston Water which is now owned by the National Trust and Donald Campbell who died on Coniston Water whilst trying to set a new water speed record on 4th January 1967. The Ruskin Museum in Coniston has a dedicated wing built specially to house the remains of Bluebird K7, called of course the Bluebird Wing, which was opened in 2008.

This walk starts at the Coniston Tourist Information Centre, next to the Lake District National Park Authority pay and display car park. The sports centre also allow all day parking for a small fee.