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This circular route in the southern Lake District visits the summits of the Old Man of Coniston, Swirl How and Wetherlam in one fantastic walk.
The Old Man of Coniston is the perfect peak to introduce newcomers to hill walking, mixing rugged mountain scenery with fascinating history thanks to the abandoned mine workings scattered across its lower slopes.
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You’ll also climb past the secluded mountain tarn of Low Water on your ascent – a great spot for a wild swim on a hot day.
But the excitement doesn’t finish at The Old Man’s massive summit cairn – you’ll head north along a wide rolling ridge to Swirl How, then tackle a rocky descent down the ominously named Prison Band before climbing to the fine summit of Wetherlam.
You should have just enough energy left in your legs to descend to the village of Coniston and its welcoming pubs. As you walk down Wetherlam you’ll get fine views across Coniston Water, where Donald Campbell was famously killed while attempting to set a world water speed record in 1967.
This route was voted eighth in a 2017 ITV poll to find Britain’s Favourite Walk.
IMPORTANT: This is a long, tough mountain where you’ll need to be prepared for high winds, heavy rain and low visibility. Plan your route carefully and always carry suitable hill walking gear.
TOG VERDICT: A Lakeland classic that ticks off three fine summits in one long, beautiful fell walk. It’s always busy, but that’s because it’s so good!