Tilberthwaite is a delightful valley just over a mile north of Coniston. With a convenient, (NY306010), and free car park, a rare thing in Lakeland. There is no through route by car to the north but there is an easy valley walk through to Little Langdale and Slater Bridge. Those dotted green lines of paths and criss – cross the fells with the car park as a starting point for either a short or long, easy or strenuous, hike in almost any direction. West will give access to Wetherlam and the Tilberthwaite fells, east to Holme Fell and on, south, to Tarn Howes. Map .
Due to a need to return to London and the deposit of my son at Oxenholme station, we were not able to stay out all day, so ‘wandered’ over the lower reaches of Tilberthwaite and the base of Wetherlam Edge.
The industrial past of Lakeland is ever present as the area is scattered with disused mines and quarries, some of them giving spectacular rock faces used for climbing practice.
Tilberthwaite Gill is deep and steep. Along much of it’s rim the cascading river can be heard but not seen, especially when there has been as much rain as in recent weeks. Much of the sides are covered in bracken and trees, the topography gives walkers the advantage of being at tree height and therefore having easy viewing of birds, and brightly coloured dragonflies.
There is a ‘scramble’ route up to the top of the gill, but for the less intrepid take a grass covered trail down into the valley where it can be traversed by a wooden foot bridge.
The summer foxglove purple scatter over the bracken and cling to the most inhospitable slate shelving but the slopes, crags and cols of slate which once provided the industrial base now provide ledges to view the rest of the fells. Views to the Langdales and then Helvellyn and High Street, though they were a little hazy.
Back in the valley the cottages looked delightful with their whitewashed walls and hanging baskets, even selling eggs from the front porch, but the erosion from flash floods shows how erratic and harsh the weather can be.
Fact of the day: An interesting notice informed us that the Herdwick sheep, not quite as visible in the summer bracken, are named from the Norse words, herd – vik , for sheep farm.
More pictures here
Remember the cicerone book, buy other things here, and click the OS advert for a map.
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