Ulverston is ideally placed between the shores of Morecambe Bay
and the Lake District National Park, surrounded by rolling countryside. Originally granted
a market charter by Edward I in 1280 Ulverston is still a vibrant
market town which retains an aura of grandeur reflecting its importance
in days gone by.
Cobbled streets, alleyways and hidden places
all waiting to be discovered makes this friendly town a place
you will want to linger. Having a reputation as a 'Festival Town'
with plenty of street entertainment throughout the year you may
well be tempted to pay a return visit after your walk!
First things first, if your going to do this properly then you
need to find The Gill, the official start point of the walk.
The Cumbria Way artwork confirms that you have found the right
place so all you need is your map and a sense of direction!
Leaving Ulverston follow a clear path beside a stream then a
left turn up a walled path before navigating your way through
fields to pass Old Hall Farm and on through fields and over stiles
eventually arriving on a road at Higher Lath Farm. Walk downhill
for a short stretch on the road before a signed left turn through a gate takes you through
fields to reach eventually Hollowmire - this is a new section and replaces the old left turn at the foot of the hill. Follow the access road for Hollowmire
to a minor road and turn left before taking a right hand path
leading to St John's church from where a road leads towards the
hamlet of Broughton Beck.
Your route now follows Broughton Beck for some of the way, crossing
over a series of stiles before joining an unclassified road leading
to Knapperthawe. Well worn tracks and paths now lead you onwards
to enter the Lake District National Park near Gawthwaite. The
ground now starts to rear up around you as you follow the route
leading eventually past a series of farms and onto Tottlebank
where you start your ascent proper to Beacon Tarn. The official route
follows the western shore of the tarn but why not go on the opposite
side and climb Beacon Fell to visit the summit?
The views across to the Coniston Fells are superb from here and
once you have enjoyed them enough a steep descent from Beacon
Tarn leads down to Stable Harvey Moss where the path is very thin
on the ground - keep to the southern side to meet a minor road
at a hairpin bend. A short climb on the road before a left turn
which leads to Torver Tarn from where you follow the beck down
to Sunny Bank. Cross over the main road (opt out here for refreshments
at Torver 1 mile away if needed) and head down to the shoreline
at Coniston over a small rise
The lakeshore path alongside Coniston is pretty rugged in places
so whilst admiring the views don't forget to watch where you are
putting your feet! The path is clear throughout this stretch as
it passes through patchy woodland and as the trees start to clear
you approach Coniston Hall Campsite and the chunky chimneys of
Coniston Hall. All that is left for you to do today is follow the
field path and short road walk into Coniston for some much deserved
refreshments at one of the excellent inns or cafes to complete
your first day on the Cumbria Way.