Coniston Coppermines

Today we visited the Coniston Coppermine valley and admired its rugged, worked landscape, waterfalls and also explored a couple of the tunnels.

The walk was 2.8 miles in total, with approx 750 feet of ascent, but nothing too steep. The kids really enjoyed searching out, what they called, “crystals”, and exploring the old mine tunnels. They also really enjoyed collecting water direct from the stream and drinking it using our small portable Sawyer Water Filter.

We parked the car on the roadside in Coniston, on the lane up past the museum, at grid reference 301978 on OS map OL6. We walked up the road, which turned into a track, following it all the way up, past Miners Bridge. We actually stopped just below the bridge and dropped down to the river and explored the bottom bit of this waterfall. Here’s a picture:

Continuing up to the YHA youth hostel, and beyond, and now there’s a bit more of a hill to climb. But the views are wonderful, and if you turn around you can see Coniston Water in the backdrop. Keep following the path up until you reach the wooden footbridge at grid reference 284988. There are two tunnels to the right, easily visible from the path. Full maps of the route are further down the page.

We explored them, but please do so at your own risk. Torches definitely required! Certain bits were chained off, and others a bit wet. It’s been a dry week, so these tunnels could possibly be more waterlogged in times of heavy rain.

The kids thoroughly enjoyed the tunnels, and we had our picnic at the top, gazing upwards at the cascade of waterfalls coming down the valley from Levers Water above. The sun was shining and so we didn’t use our shelter. We did however, use our Sawyer Water Filter. The kids (and us!) love this little gadget, here it is in action:

Rather than lugging lots of heavy water up the mountain, we carry just one water bottle each. Find a water source and refill your bottle, or drink straight from the filter pouch, fresh, ice cold filtered water (removes 99.99999% bacteria and 99.9999% protozoa). We only ever recommend products we actually use and love. If you purchase through our link, we get a few pennies to buy our kids their next pair of walking boots! Thank you 🙂

In the hotter months, we could imagine our kids really enjoying splashing about in the many little river pools and waterfalls that pepper this walk.

After our lunch, we had great fun running down the hill, back to the YHA and back down to Coniston village. It was quite windy, but we just ran and pretended to be flying eagles! An out and back walk is 2.8 miles in length, here’s the route we took:

But you could turn this into a circular route by crossing the footbridge and following the footpath, crossing Low Water Beck and joining the well trodden descent from the Old Man. The path eventually joins up at the waterfalls at Miners Bridge. Take a map!

After our walk we headed to Robinsons Crown Inn, in Coniston Village. Classic pub grub, all very delicious. Ales included Unicorn, Cumbria Way, Brew Monday and Dizzy Blonde. Service was friendly and quick, and family friendly.

For more family walks, great picnic spots and pubs, stay up to date and “like” our facebook page Family Walks and Pubs in the Lake District and follow us on Twitter @familywalklakes

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