The Lake District is arguably Britain’s foremost trail running hotspot. Beginning in the former mining village of Coniston, you have the choice of a variety of awe-inspiring trails up and over the surrounding peaks for which this breathtaking area is so famed.
The most popular route, however, takes you northwards, to the iconic Old Man of Coniston. The name, though, is misleading, because far from being a wise village elder, the Old Man is in fact a towering fell, rising 800m in to the Cumbrian sky. From the peak, a stunning ridge path awaits, taking you along the memorably-named Brim Fell and Little How Crags, before reaching Swirl How, which dissects Coniston and the Duddon Valley. From Swirl How, a single trail, known as the Prison Band, links to Wetherlam, where a steep descent to the rugged Levers Water reservoir marks the start of a mercifully flat home straight.
Given the nature of some of the climbs and descents, this is not advisable in poor weather conditions. However, stunning views, testing terrain and a manageable distance make it a summer trail not be missed.
Walna Scar Road car park, Coniston, Cumbria, LA21 8HD.
Set in the heart of the Lake District, Coniston is a 30-minute drive from Windermere and one hour from Lancaster.
Lakeland Trails Half Marathon and Marathon
– Starting and finishing on the shores of Coniston Water, the marathon is a complete loop of the lake – the third largest in the Lake District. Described as ‘the most scenic trail marathon in Britain,’ the race is fast becoming a classic.
– The half marathon takes you up to the stunning Tarn Hows and back again.
10K Coniston Trail Run, 15K Coniston Trail Race, 15K Coniston Trail Challenge
The 10K and 15K events follow well-marked footpaths and bridleways, taking in panoramic views of Lake Coniston and the surrounding peaks.