Coppermines

A taste of the high fells, with photogenic waterfalls and fascinating industrial relics.

Technical sheet
No. 24878292
A Coniston (Cumbria) walk posted on 04/08/22 by Lauren Brown. Update : 04/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h05[?]
Distance Distance : 6.97km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 380m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 380m
Highest point Highest point : 440m
Lowest point Lowest point : 60m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Lake District
Location Location : Coniston (Cumbria)
Starting point Starting point : N 54.369082° / W 3.075032°
Download : -

Description

Start: Crown Inn, Tilberthwaite Avenue, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8ED Tel: 01539 441243

(D/A) From the front door of the Crown Inn pub, turn right past the church. Bear left over the bridge across Church Beck and turn immediately right. Follow the narrow road past Meadow House. Immediately after the Sun Hotel, turn right (signposted to the Old Man and Levers Water). Pass through a farmyard onto the track beyond, which shortly crosses a side-stream of Church Beck then runs alongside the main beck.

(1) Shortly after Coniston Waterfall you reach the Miners’ Bridge. Follow the path ahead, still with Church Beck on your right. As the spoilheaps of the coppermines come into view, the path veers left and starts to climb the valley side, and the summit ridge of the Old Man (not on this route) comes into view. After a couple of gates through walls, the path climbs to meet the main path curving up from Walna Scar car park (away to your left).

(2) Turn right at the junction and then, shortly after, right again (leaving the main route up the Old Man). The path runs along a terrace below a juniper-hung crag on the left. It then passes above a quarry before passing over rocky ground and descending to the Pudding Stone, a prominent boulder next to Low Water Beck.

(3) Here there is an option for a Shorter route:

Cross the footbridge and take a rough path off to the right, downstream with the beck on your right. The path descends steeply by a series of small falls then bears left, leaving the beck, to run below Grey Crag. At the far end, cross another beck via a gated footbridge below the Levers Waterfalls and bear right past a mine adit on the left. Take the lower of the two tracks beyond, initially heading toward the bottom of the valley, then shortly leave it to follow the grassy course of an old leat on the left, which takes a fairly level path across the left-hand side of the valley, above the Paddy End water treatment works. When you meet another path at the foot of Tongue Brow, drop down to the right through a rocky breach in the leat, and rejoin the longer route at waymark 5 to bear left round the should of land.

If taking the longer route that is mapped here, cross Low Water Beck via the footbridge and climb the pitched path ahead. The path, alternately rocky and grassy (and boggy in places), leads up the slight ridge to the right of Boulder Valley to a minor col, where Levers Water comes into view. Descend half-left, passing above a fenced-off mineshaft.

(4) Turn right onto a minor path that passes below the same fenced shaft. The path then drops to pass the impressive slit entrances of two old mines (A). Beyond the entrances, the path descends to the shore of Levers Water and runs along to the dam. Ford the spillway, then take the descending path to the right. This heads down towards the Coppermines valley with the cascades of Levers Waterfall away to your right.

(5) When the main track zig-zags right towards the stream, rather than following it round, continue ahead on a narrow path. At the foot of Tongue Brow, this path drops down and right over the rocky remains of a collapsed mine leat. Bear left, round the shoulder of land, onto a rather rocky path that descends towards the prominent house and waterwheel. Pass under the aqueduct that would have carried water to the top of the waterwheel, then bear right past the wheel. Bear left and exit the Coppermines complex beyond the copper-painted slab. Keep left by the white-painted Youth Hostel then follow the main track down the valley, passing the footbridge to the terraced Irish Row on your left.

(6) Beyond the hydro scheme, the track descends to the Miners’ Bridge. Keep on down past Coniston Waterfall, then follow the descending track as it leaves the beck and leads above walled-off woodland before crossing a cattle grid.

(7) Ignore the path off to the left, signposted to Yew Tree Farm and Elterwater, continuing down the main track which shortly becomes a tarmacked road. Pass the rear of the Ruskin Museum to reach the main road. Turn right then left to return to the Crown Inn. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 60m - Crown Inn
1 : km 1.02 - alt. 156m - Miner's Bridge
2 : km 2.14 - alt. 304m - Junction
3 : km 2.74 - alt. 340m - Low Water Beck
4 : km 3.43 - alt. 435m - Fenced Mining Shaft
5 : km 4.68 - alt. 253m - Foot of Tongue Brow
6 : km 5.83 - alt. 152m - Hydro Scheme
7 : km 6.44 - alt. 98m - Track above Woodlands
D/A : km 6.97 - alt. 60m - Crown Inn

Useful Information

Start: Crown Inn, Tilberthwaite Avenue, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8ED Tel: 01539 441243

Notes: Rocky ground and significant ascent, though the shorter walk stays a little lower.

Shorter Route Option Available at (3)

Find more information on Walks From the Door.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(A) The dramatic mine entrances above Levers Water were the starting point for the re-exploration of the old copper workings during the 1980s.

Other walks in the area

Walker
distance 2.38km Vertical gain +14m Vertical drop -14m Durée 0h45 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

A stroll through the village and down to the lake.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 13.96km Vertical gain +100m Vertical drop -96m Durée 4h15 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

A long but mostly level walk, with an extended unbroken section along the lakeshore.

Walker
The Saddle of Coniston
distance 4.26km Vertical gain +208m Vertical drop -205m Durée 1h50 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

A lovely, gentle walk, climbing up alongside the waterfalls of Church Beck to the quarry at the end of the Coppermines valley, returning via the saddle with beautiful views of Coniston village and the lake. You can end the walk with a well-deserved pint in one of the cosy village pubs. A great walk to start your holiday or to do with children.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 28.52km Vertical gain +1466m Vertical drop -1452m Durée 12h20 Difficult Difficult
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 6 Wainwrights, 3 tarns, and 1 pub.

Organisation / Walking Club / Mountain guide
distance 21km Vertical gain +465m Vertical drop -413m Durée 7h20 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

The YHA is a great institution and I guess most fell walkers have stayed at a hostel at some time in their lives. Funny how they were created "to help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them on their travels". Here's a collection of routes starting or finishing at a YHA in The Lakes. Along the way are 1 Wainwright, 5 tarns, 1 pub and a ferry.

Walker
distance 12.73km Vertical gain +629m Vertical drop -672m Durée 5h25 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

A pleasant hike, to the west of Ambleside, across hills overlooking Windermere and Coniston Lakes.

Walker
Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs, a circular walk
distance 13.03km Vertical gain +811m Vertical drop -812m Durée 6h00 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Coniston (Cumbria) - Cumbria

A fabulous circular walk starting from the Tilberthwaite Valley. Best done in this direction so as to enjoy the ascent of Wetherlam Edge, great views in all directions and much interest on the walk.

Walker
A circular walk around Tarn Hows
distance 2.62km Vertical gain +44m Vertical drop -45m Durée 0h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Hawkshead - Cumbria

A gentle walk in a beautiful setting, enjoyable in any weather. The walk is accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs and is not too long for little legs.

For more walks, use our search engine.

The GPS track and description are the property of the author.