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Tarn Hows is a stunningly beautiful & man made body of water. It is also included in the miles without stiles walking guides as the path that runs around the shore is an easy and popular walk amongst it's visitors.
The Old Man Of Coniston
It's hard to imagine visiting Coniston without climbing Coniston Old Man. It hangs over the village like the Matterhorn hangs over Zermatt. Smaller of course, but in the same way it is an integral part of the landscape. Most people attempt it via the Tourist Path which climbs a short and direct route up its eastern side.
This pristine little village is packed with shops, cafes and pubs. A popular village for walking to the surrounding fells, there is plenty to see and do in Hawkshead. It is located just 5-10 minutes drive from Coniston at the bottom of Hawkshead Hill.
Thereafter, falling prices and overseas competition started a gradual decline and eventual closure in 1915. Centuries later, copper mining has left a legacy of abandoned shafts, water courses and open workings that must not be entered.
Much of this area was formerly monastic land owned by Furness Abbey which derived its wealth from sheep farming, and iron ore mining and smelting. One of their estates was at Monk Coniston, now owned by the National Trust.
The local Herdwick sheep, from the Norse for ‘sheep farm', have distinctive grey fleeces and short, sturdy legs. Many Lakeland hill farms continue to farm this old breed as they are particularly suited to the rigours of living on the open fells.
Slate quarrying developed during the 17th century in response to increased demand for building materials, particularly roofing slates. The quarries at Tilberthwaite and on the ‘Old Man' were mined systematically for around 200 years and one or two are still in operation today.
Quarrying and mining were so profitable that in 1859 a railway was built to bring out the copper and slate. In later years, the railway brought the first tourists to the area, but was subsequently closed in 1964.
Early tourists came to marvel at the natural scenery of the area. John Ruskin, the influential 19th century writer and social reformer, also admired the local landscape, declaring that his house, Brantwood on the eastern shore of Coniston Water, had ‘the best view in all of England'.
John Ruskin (1819-1900), one of the most influential critics, thinkers and social reformers of his day, who inspired Tolstoy, Proust, Shaw, Oscar Wilde, the first Labour MPs, and Gandhi, amongst others. Revolted by industrialisation and rampant capitalism, he revived the local linen industry, the museum houses the finest collection of Ruskin Lace in the world.
An imposing 16th century house on the shores of Coniston Water. It was built by the Le Fleming family, who became wealthy on the proceeds of copper mining. Nearby, was a quay used for storing and transferring copper ore onto barges for transport to the southern end of Coniston Water
St. Andrews Coniston
In the graveyard is the finely carved gravestone of John Ruskin. The grave of Donald Campbell, a British speed record breaker for both land and water, lies in the church cemetery on Hawkshead Old Road.
Coniston Water is one of the largest lakes in Cumbria at around 5 miles (8 km) long. The lake has long been used as a highway for the transport of copper, iron ores and slate. A relic fish from the Ice Age, the Arctic Char, still inhabits these waters.
Old Man of Coniston
'The ‘Old Man of Coniston' (SD 272 978) rising dramatically behind Coniston is one of the highest mountains in Cumbria at 803 metres. The ‘man' is the large cairn on the summit.
Tarn Hows is a local beauty spot created in the 1880s by linking three smaller tarns. Although highly popular with visitors, it is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its aquatic flora. The estate was bought by Beatrix Potter in the 1930s and later given to the National Trust.