Open Access Over Torver
Following from the challenge of my last post, the second day of easy walking was planned with the aid of my faithful Cicerone book, and another lakeside walk. This time Coniston.
The walk begins over open access land of Torver Back Common. There is more information on open access here. I don’t know how much impact the CROW Act has had on farming or wildlife, but even this short walk demonstrated how confident you have to be if there are not clear paths to follow. Even with good visibility the little trod common was not that easy to navigate. You need to be adept at dodging tarns and slippery bogs. Thankfully no peat pigs today. There are wonderful views from Torver over Coniston and to the Old Man.
Ten out of ten has to be given for diversity of landscape on this walk too. From open common we dropped down into waist high bracken and then into beautiful deciduous wood land. The gnarled shapes of the small oaks and alder, along with thick covering of moss and lichen lending a richness to the illusion of being in Tolkien’s land. Hidden among the trees are deep slate ravines and spurs, which would give any gorge scrambler a run for their money.
The walk continues along the lake shore to Coniston. From the relative isolation of Torver the lake becomes quite a hive of activity around Coniston with sailors and campers identifiable, we found, by differing footwear. A suitable full stop was Coniston Hall. This is now a working farm with one wing the farm house. Part has been renovated by the National Trust, just to make it safe, but it has quite a grand history involving local gentry, including the ancestors of Sizergh Castle.
We returned by pretty much by the same route, though you can tick off having walked at least part of the Cumbrian Way. If you check the map, you can wiggle your way back away from the lake for an alternate route, but, we just feeling lazy. Note, the red flags in some of the photo’s are due to a memorial bike trial also running last weekend.
Start SD287 927, see the route here, buy the book here, and look at other stuff here!
More pictures here