Cumbria Way Day 1 - Thursday 12 August 2021
Ulverston to Coniston (16.2 miles)
Angie and a very "up for it" Fudge at the obelisk which marks the start of The Cumbria Way. The obelisk represents a compass with a cairn in the centre and was made by local sculptor Chris Brammall. Installed in February 2000, the rocks inside the obelisk are intended to represent the geology along the route. For those people who are unfamiliar with Ulverston, the start is not that easy to locate - the obelisk sits in the middle of one of Ulverston's many small car parks!!
The Car Park is called The Gill and the Obelisk can be found at Grid Reference SD 28483 78522. I have marked the exact location with a pin on the map above.
Just to confuse matters even further there is another start located a few yards away at the western end of the Car Park. The route heads up the lane to the right following a stream on the left.
The route crosses a footbridge over the stream and heads uphill - within minutes bustling Ulverston was behind us and we were out in the open countryside.
At the top of the rise a road is reached and the way heads onto farmland - 5 minutes in and we were up against our bovine pals. This lot were very placid and as can be seen Fudge and I gave them a wide berth to the right.
Once we passed the cows we rejoined the path which follows the wall on the left.
The cows were so chilled out they even posed for us.
Despite the fact that Fudge is not the slightest bit interested in livestock he always goes on his lead when transiting over farmland.
Looking to Hoad Hill and the Sir John Barrow Monument. Contrary to popular belief, the monument is not a lighthouse. It was erected in 1850 and commemorates local man Sir John Barrow, a founder member of the Royal Geographical Society who held various government posts in the 19th century becoming the Second Secretary to the Admiralty. Sometimes simply known as "Hoad", the tower is also occasionally referred to as "the pepper pot". This epithet was famously used by Lord Haw-Haw during one of his propaganda broadcasts during World War II when he warned the residents of Ulverston that the Luftwaffe would bomb their pepper pot.
Recycling very much in evidence as we head to Old Hall Farm - the farmer has clearly utilised astroturf from an old sports pitch.
Warning clearly understood as we head through Old Hall Farm - they were right, lots of activity as we passed through the farmyard
Thankfully this lot were not on the move however lots of tractors were.
Looking back to Ulverston, Hoad Hill & Morecambe Bay from Bortree Stile
Reaching a road between Higher Lath Farm & Newbiggin, a gate with an unconventional Cumbria Way sign at Grid Ref SD 27708 80356 points the way.
Heading through the hamlet of Hollowmire
The Church of St John the Evangelist at Netherhouses
The view of the church from the lychgate. This was such a peaceful location and an ideal spot for a place of worship.
A commemorative seat alongside the B5281 Ulverston to Gawthwaite road - an ideal spot for a bit of lunch
Just along from the seat is the access road to the hamlet of Broughton Beck
Curious wording used here methinks - there wasn't a prison, hospital or institution for miles
Cute miniature ponies at Knapperthaw
Above Knapperthaw the route reaches the access lane to Keldray Farm....................
............ where it is very easy to miss this footpath sign (we did!!). The path takes the walker above the farm buildings.
It is fair to say that the signage on the walk was generally very good.
From near Kendall Ground a superb view opens up to the Coniston Fells with Coniston Old Man centre of shot
Subberthwaite Bank above Kiln Bank Farm
After the initial sunny outlook the skies were beginning to become overcast as we headed to Tottlebank
Lonely Tottlebank Farm with the Wainwright Outlying Fell of Tottlebank Height above
The farm buildings at Cockenskell
From Tottlebank the route headed over superb terrain towards another Outlying Fell - Wool Knott
Fudge looks longingly at us and waits for the command "In" as we approach the idyllic Beacon Tarn
And "in" he went
At Beacon Tarn we took a break to sample our neighbour Helen's excellent Lemon Drizzle Cake
From Beacon Tarn the path heads over the boggy moorland of Stable Harvey Moss. Care needs to be taken through this section as there are many paths heading off in different directions.
Heading over Stable Harvey Moss - it was pretty dry over the majority of this transit however after rain I can imagine the terrain to be very boggy.
The footbridge over Torver Beck which leads to the A5084 Lowick to Torver road
Torver Beck from the footbridge
Carved slate inserts near the footbridge depicting the various wildlife that can be found in this area
Crossing the A5084 a path leads to the shoreline of Coniston Water
The newly refurbished jetty on Coniston Water at Sunny Bank
Looking south down Coniston Water from near Bellman's Hole.......
........... and looking north from the same spot. On the whole, the lakeshore path is very good underfoot.
Looking across Coniston Water to Brantwood the home of the 18th Century reformer, artist & critic John Ruskin. He bought the house in 1872 and lived there until his death in 1900 - the house was purchased without Ruskin actually viewing it beforehand. He stated that any property with a view of Coniston Water must be beautiful however it was not - it was actually a ruin and Ruskin turned it into a flamboyant country mansion. The house is now owned by the Ruskin Society and is open to the public.
Coniston Hall which dates from the late 16th century. Part of the property is in ruin with another section used as a farmhouse. A further part is used by a sailing club. The hall is owned by the National Trust with the grounds operating as an extremely large campsite which was fit to bursting as we passed through.
Coniston with the Yewdale Fells above. The fells provide a fantastic walk and a walk report can be found here.
The thriving and busy village of Coniston. The pub is The Black Bull which has a micro brewery attached and brews the most excellent Coniston Bluebird Bitter. Tempted as we were to stay and have a beer, we did not reach Coniston until 1800 therefore headed straight over to Elterwater.
Day 1 Data