This is an interesting and quiet walk along the south east shores of Coniston. The Top o’ Selside is the highest point above the lake with some great views north along the lake to the Coniston fells.
1091′. There is no doubt that the climb of the Top o’ Selside is more enjoyable when tackled via the rugged moorland to the south rather than via the quick forest road (leave that for the return). Wainwright describes the Top o’ Selside in his Outlying Fells book. In a perverse way he enjoyed the challenge of approaching the Top o’ Selside over Arnsbarrow Hill as I did. The hidden away tarn is an added bonus.
The start at High Nibthwaite is an unfrequented spot, being right at the foot of Coniston. Only an Outward Bound Centre provides company (and their priority is the lovely stretches of beach on the lakeside rather than the Top o’ Selside). The artist Heaton Cooper enjoyed this area with a painting over Arnsbarrow Tarn being in his more famous collection. Certainly the views from the summit and most areas of the west facing slopes are superb. In particular the view of the Coniston Fells is unsurpassed and makes this a walk worth doing at any time.
Do the full circuit of the Top o’ Selside as described. The quick up and down via the forest road does little justice to the fell.
After leaving High Nibthwaite and circling the south of Brock Barrow make sure you cross the stile to High Bethecar farm. Then recross the wall and 250 m further north take the right fork. This takes you over the undulating ridge not the flanks. Test your navigation skills whilst your at it, if you can find your way through the maze, particularly in the mist, you can navigate anywhere.
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