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′. Access to the summit of Top o’ Selside seems to be more straightforward than it was in the days Wainwright described it. Initially there is a good path through the forestry, Higher up the track that leads over the ridge is undulating but there is no real need to battle through the bogs, heather and bracken that Wainwright so passionately describes. Interestingly he only includes it in his Outlying Fells guide book.
However this is still 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 from the car park 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.
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