You can have a great mountain day by walking the tops of the Coniston range from one end to the other. It doesn't join up into a convenient horseshoe but the return is still very interesting and picturesque.
A good starting point is the car park by Tilberthwaite quarry. Free to park and more likely to have space than many. From there you can follow the path up to Wetherlam by Wetherlam edge. Then follow the horseshoe west to Swirl How and then south to Coniston Old Man. Plenty of up and down but really satisfying and with great views all around.
Descend from the Old Man down into the mining areas. You can walk into Coniston village and back along the road but if you have plenty of time and energy the better route is the path over Yew Pike. This involves reascending a couple of hundred metres of steep ground but after than is a lovely gradual descent straight back to the start.