This is a great walk, which keeps below the snow line, at present, and gives you wonderful views of many of the higher and distant fells under deep snow. Almost all the walk can be done on reinforced tracks and narrow roads but if the ground is fairly hard you may wish to venture over some low-level moorland.

Park at Torver, either in the yard beside the church hall (£2 honesty box), grid ref 285943, or at the beginning of the narrow road, grid ref 286946, leading up towards Crook Farm. The latter avoids walking right along the busy narrow walled road for a short distance to reach the left turn (the footpath we usually use is flooded). There are two laybys on the otherside of the road, beyond the bridge over Torver Beck, but these are usually taken up by other vehicles.

1 Turn right out of the car park at the church and walk with care for a short distance along the narrow walled road to take the first left turn. Ascend the quiet way and wind left with it and then, right, to carry on out in the pleasing countryside. The way continues, climbing steadily, dropping a little occasionally, sometimes walled on both sides, and always with a fine view of the Old Man of Coniston and other snow-clad fells. After just over a mile from the start, bear half right with the track to pass through a series of waymarked gates and on along the track as it climbs between two huge waste heaps.

2 At the top of the slope, follow the track as it winds a little right and then continues upwards to come beside the newly fenced disused Banishead quarry. Pause here to see this lovely corner, with the waterfall tumbling wildly into the water filled bottom, the sheer sides of which are clothed with rich vegetation.

3 Carry on up the way to reach Walna Scar Road, a heavily reinforced track and turn right. If the weather is good and the ground reasonably hard, you might be tempted to continue beyond the quarry hole and then to take a grassy right turn across the common. There are several little paths off and if you take one too early you might find it stops abruptly. If so turn left and climb the slopes to pick up another grassy way. Eventually you will reach a good grassy trod that runs roughly parallel with Walna Scar Road, a joy to walk and with wonderful snowy views ahead. There are two becks to cross though these present no trouble. After passing through a large grassy clearing, the trod joins the road, which winds and drops steeply to the fell gate.

4 Beyond, descend the steep road, much of it walled and hedged, and then passing through woodland. When you realise your knees are not liking this very steep way, look for and unsigned track, on the right, which soon turns left and becomes a narrow path running along the top of a narrow gill through which hurries a small beck. The path descends to a lane, which you cross, and then down a stepped way to a road, with industrial buildings on the site of the old Coniston station and the old railway track. Join the road and turn right to walk along beside cottages and then continuing on the level track, out into pleasing pastures.

5 At its end, at Park Gate, turn left onto the A593 and walk right, with care, to the gate ahead. This leads onto another section of the old railway track. Follow the delightful way to enter the caravan site woodland and walk on to join a wide road. Walk right with it and where it bends right to the road, go ahead along the continuing track. This leads to a reinforced path beside a wall, on the right, beyond which is the A-road. Follow the path to join the road and carry on a good path until you can take a gap in the wall back onto the reinforced path once more and on through a pretty copse. Bear steadily right to join the A-road. Cross the road with care to join a path on the opposite side and walk left to cross the bridge over Torver Beck and wind on with the A-road to where you have parked.


Distance: 6.5 miles

Time: 3 hours

Terrain: Good tracks and paths.

Steep descent on road towards Coniston.

Map: OS Explorer OL6

NB: Restrictions on space mean that this article provides a general summary of the route. It is advisable for anyone who plans to follow the walk to take a copy of the relevant Ordnance Survey map.