With an amazing weather forecast for Sunday, we were excited to get our walking boots on and get out there! We chose an adventurous walk round Tilberthwaite, over Coniston way. The kids love exploring and climbing and discovering caves, and this walk had it all! They even got to ford the stream at the top of the walk and play in the river bed at the end!
Using OS map OL6, you begin your walk at the car park in Tilberthwaite, GR 305010. It’s a National Trust donation car park and does get full on busy days, so try and arrive as early as you can. We were there at 11am, but the car park was full by the time we were back at 2pm. From Ambleside follow A593 towards Coniston. Past Yew Tree Farm and take second turning on right, signed Tilberthwaite. Drive up about half a mile to the car park.
Follow the stone steps which lead up to the quarries. At the start of the well trodden trail, there are several old quarries, caves and exciting rocks to explore on the left side of the path. The kids loved this, but beware as there are some steep drop off’s and some very slippery rocks. Hold on to little hands!
Keep exploring and heading upwards. When in doubt, veer left and there’s a small but easy scramble up some rocks until you reach a cairn. Most of the uphill is out the way now. Keep following the path along until you ford a stream. Another highlight! Be wary during times of heavy rainfall.
When you reach the bridge at the top, don’t miss the cave to the left of it. Take a torch and see if you can make it to the end of the cave! It’s all downhill from here, with amazing views all the way back down to the car park. Our kids enjoyed playing in the river, but obviously this is weather dependent!
About 2 miles in total and took us about 2.5-3 hours, which included a lot of exploring and a picnic at the top. Amazing views, and a very peaceful valley.
We rehydrated at a brilliant pub, The Wilsons Arms in Torver, about 15 minute drive south of Tilberthwaite. Follow the road through Coniston and carry on for another 2 miles, you’ll see the pub on the right. Plenty of parking – if you can’t get a space out front, there’s a hidden second car park at the back. It’s a family friendly pub, with (what they say is) the largest beer garden in Europe. The kids absolutely loved running around out there, surrounded by horses, chickens and sheep.
On the inside you’ll find nice decor and more importantly delicious grub! They delivered huge, and I mean huge, portion sizes of great quality food. The childrens menu was very good value and came with the standard soft drink and ice cream dessert, so the kids were pleased too. Something not to miss… The ladies bathroom! It’s quite possibly the most unique I’ve ever seen, with huge slabs of rock and massive rough cut wooden doors, so it’s worth spending a penny! My husband had the Bluebird bitter on tap. All in all it was the perfect end to our family walk round Tilberthwaite.
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