Lake District Walks
Date: 14th July 2006
Distance: 10 miles
Ascent: 2960 feet
Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SD300974
A great walk in the Coniston Fells with the twin highlights being Dow Crag and Goat's Water.
Route Summary: Coniston - Walna Scar Road - Blind Tarn - Walna Scar - White Pike - White Maiden - Walna Scar - Brown Pike - Buck Pike - Dow Crag - Walna Scar Road - Coniston.
1. Cove Bridge and Brown Pike
2. Looking over Coniston Water towards the Duddon Estuary
3. Blind Tarn
4. Walna Scar
5. The top of Walna Scar
6. Harter Fell and the Duddon Valley
7. On White Pike
8. Lisa on White Maiden
9. Brown Pike and Blind Tarn from Buck Pike
10. Looking across Goat's Water to the Old Man of Coniston
11. Dow Crag
12. Dow Crag and Goat's Water
13. Lisa looking past Grey Friar towards the Scafells
14. By Goat's Water
15. Dow Crag from The Cove
Walk Detail: This was the first walk of a long weekend spent in Coniston. It was a very hot day but the visibility was good. After a long walk up the Walna Scar road the first highlight of the day was Blind Tarn, which is very attractively sited on a shelf below Brown Pike.
The main ridge is very different south of the Walna Scar pass and is mainly grass as opposed to rock. Walna Scar itself has to be one of the most unremarkable 2000ft tops I’ve been to and was less memorable than the lower tops of White Maiden and White Pike. The latter probably had the finest view of the three especially over towards Caw, Black Combe and the Duddon Estuary while the views towards Harter Fell, the Duddon Valley and Scafell range were quite amazing. White Maiden was most memorable for the discovery of a couple of tiny tarns as well as the summit cairn which seemed to have been taken over by a wasps nest.
The climb up Brown Pike was probably the only real steep bit in the whole walk and it was in the shelter on Brown Pike that we ate our lunch and admired the close up view of the Old Man of Coniston. The best things about Buck Pike, the next subsidary top, was its retrospective view of Blind Tarn beneath Brown Pike as well as providing the first intimations of the magnificent rock architecture of Dow Crag itself.
The top of Dow Crag was reached by a short scramble to the small bare rocky summit which we had to share with one other walker and a large bumble bee. The latter landed on me twice and I’m still amazed I didn’t leap over the edge of the crag into Goat’s Water in an effort to escape. Unfortunately the antics with the bee distracted us from what was clearly a fine summit in a dramatic situation.
There was nothing to distract us though from Goat’s Water which we had mostly to ourselves. I had begun to wonder whether we should carry on over Goat's Hause to Brim Fell and the Old Man but I definitely made the right decision and the scenery of the tarn and crag together combined to create what is undoubtedly one of the most awe inspiring pieces of natural scenery in the country.
This fine walk concluded with a gentle walk back along the Walna Scar Road into Coniston. A truly memorable walk.