Yewdale lies north west of Coniston and is an area of rugged low lying fells which is rarely explored. The walk of Yewdale from Coniston takes you through this lovely, peaceful area. However it also includes the slate mining valleys of Tilberthwaite and in to the heart of the Coniston fells.
There are not many places in the Lake District that I have not walked . However the Yewdale Valley and fells is one such place. Therefore when work took me to Coniston (yes seriously) I looked for a place to walk. Previous walks had either involved a long day walking the high fells above Coniston or short walks along the lake. It was only on closer investigation of the map that I noticed the area of unexplored land between the village and Wetherlam.
To appreciate the area to its fullest I was keen to walk the length of Yewdale so I could finally emerge at the slate mines of Coniston, hopefully with some good views across to the Old Man. There is an excellent track through the woods that leads towards Tilberthwaite, an easy start. From Tilberthaite a path gradually cuts across the fellside, through some mining remains before arriving at the head of the deep Crook Beck.
It was a scorching day but I then interspersed the walk along the peaceful valley with excursions on to the rough , knobbly land to my left. It was lovely, Lake District perfection. Surprisingly Wainwright did not name the highest top at 435 m but Kitty Crag is closest. It has a small cairn and has some excellent views across to the Coniston Fells.
It should be perfectly possibly to extend this to a full day, lower level, walk by including a visit to Little Langdale along Tilberthwite. This additional section of the walk is described here.
From Coniston I was initially tempted by a path that climbs directly from the village on to the Yewdale Fells but it was overgrown with bracken and lacked any appeal. The roadside path through the woods is an excellent alternative. Sometimes you just cannot tell what the paths are like from any map, just turn up and decide!
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