Tilberthwaite was once a thriving centre for slate quarrying. The quarries have been idle for decades and nature has pretty much reclaimed them; blanketing them in wonderful deciduous woodland. The actual quarries are of most interest to rock
climbers and divers, however there is a legacy of tracks and bridleway associated with them that connect with the main valleys of Yewdale and Little Langdale. These tracks vary from rough stony singletrack to smooth vehicle width access tracks and are suitable for both walkers and mountain bikers.
Tilberthwaite Slate Quarries - On Foot or by Bike
Start/Finish: Coniston Car Park GR SD303975
Distance: 7.1km (4.4 miles)
Time: 3-4 hours
Height Gain: 610m
Village lanes, cycle-path, valley lanes, woodland, rocky bridleway, ford (footbridge), pack horse tracks, tarns and fell lanes.
OS Landranger 90 & 98 (1:50 000), OS Explorer OL6 & OL7 (1:25 000), Harveys Superwalker (1:25 000Southern Lakeland,
British Mountain Maps Lake District (1:40 000)
Turn L out of the car park and head to the junction opposite the Black Bull. Crossover and turn L by the pub. Follow the lane to the end of the tarmac and turn R to join the cycle-path, which is followed through woodland to the Tilberthwaite Road.
Turn L and follow the road as it climbs N to the road end at High Tilberthwaite. Through the farmyard take the R fork (bridleway) and follow the track through the woods all the way to the ford and footbridge across the River Brathay. Cross the river and then follow the rough lane on the other side to join the Little Langdale Road.
Turn L and follow the road for 250m then take the path on the L, which leads down to Slater’s Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the path to join a track. Turn L and follow the track the E to Stang End.
Turn R and follow the track S to Hodge Close, then the road S to High Yewdale. From here join the cycle-path beside the road and follow it S for 1km to an access point to the A593. Cross the A593 to join the bridleway to Low Yewdale. The bridleway is followed past the farm and over Yewdale Beck. It climbs slightly then descends to pass Boon Crag Farm and joins the B5285. Turn R on to the B5285 then join the cycle-path on its W side. Join it and follow it back to Coniston.
The Coniston valley has something to offer every outdoor enthusiast, from family walks at Tarn Hows and through Beatrix Potter country to hikes up the Old Man of Coniston and a wide range of watersports on Coniston Water.