4 Night Southern Lake District Discovery Tour

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Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Discovery tours
from £839pp

The Southern Lake District’s standout sights take centre stage on this four-day discovery tour. Ride the Lakeside and Haverthwaite steam train and cross Lake Windermere on a scenic cruise. Delve into the area’s past at the Elizabethan Levens Hall, home to the world’s oldest topiary garden, and find out about the Strickland family at the National Trust’s Sizergh Castle. You’ll also get to follow in the footsteps of poet William Wordsworth with a visit to Dove Cottage – his charming former home in Grasmere.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering Sizergh Castle
  • Riding the Lakeside & Haverthwaite railway
  • Enjoying a cruise on Lake Windermere
  • Visiting Dove Cottage, former home of William Wordsworth
  • The stunning topiary gardens at Levens Hall
  • Staying in the comfort of our country house in Coniston

What’s included

  • Entrance to Blackwell, Windermere Jetty Museum, Dove Cottage and Levens Hall and tickets for the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and Windermere Lake Cruise
  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided sightseeing with an experienced HF Holidays Leader 
  • All transport to and from sites of interest  
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently 

    Please note - Entrance fees are not included.

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


It's time for another train ride as we make our way from Haverthwaite to Lakeside, situated at the southern tip of Windermere. We'll board a lake cruise here and disembark again at Bowness-on-Windermere, a popular and busy Lakeland town in a delightful setting. In the afternoon, we stop at Blackwell, a magnificent Arts & Crafts house, before moving on to the fascinating Windermere Jetty Museum. There are some beautifully restored launches on display and the lake's 200-year boating history is brought to life. 


Upon our arrival in Grasmere, we’ll first pay a visit to Dove Cottage, home of the famed Lakeland poet William Wordsworth. Afterwards, there'll be a little free time to explore the village, or join an optional scenic stroll. Don’t miss the world-famous Grasmere Gingerbread shop! Later we travel to the Great Langdale Valley and wander along the shores of Elterwater, finishing at the acclaimed tearoom, Chesters by the River.


A visit to Levens Hall, an impressive Elizabethan house with the world’s oldest and most spectacular topiary gardens. Established in 1694 they have remained largely unchanged since the 17th century. Prepare to be amazed exploring this awe-inspiring wonderland! In the afternoon we head to Sizergh Castle, a much-loved National Trust property, home to the Strickland family for over 800 years. There is much to explore in the medieval house, as well as the rich gardens and wider estate.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Monk Coniston

With a desirable address overlooking Coniston Water (the inspiration for Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel, Swallows and Amazons), this characterful Grade II-listed house delights with lakeside and woodland walks from the doorstep, décor that stays true to the period feel, and plenty of Beatrix Potter references. While the children's author and illustrator did not live at the Monk Coniston estate (her beloved home was Hill Top, bought in 1905 with the royalties from The Tale of Peter Rabbit), she campaigned with the National Trust to save it from development. She then purchased the entire estate in 1930 and as the new owner she immediately sold half to the organisation, bequeathing them the other half in her will.

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Monk Coniston has 30 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: The rooms with a garden or lake view. We also love Room 9 on the first floor for its original features and beautiful views across the gardens and fields that slope down to the shores of Coniston Water. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out 
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Monk Coniston

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Getting to Monk Coniston

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Address 

Monk Coniston
Coniston
Cumbria LA21 8AQ

Tel: +44 (0)1539 441566

By train

The nearest station is Windermere. From Windermere you can take a taxi or bus to Monk Coniston (see below).

The nearest mainline station is Oxenholme which may be more convenient for you, however there are no direct buses from Oxenholme to Monk Coniston. There are frequent trains from Oxenholme to Windermere.

Check National Rail for journey times and routes. 

By taxi

The journey from Windermere train station to Monk Coniston is 10 miles.

From Oxenholme, it’s double that at 23 miles.

For pricing, please contact Ace Taxi directly.

Ace Taxi
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Ace Taxi*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1539 445445
Email: acetaxiwindermere@gmail.com

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Monk Coniston.

*Ace Taxi is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The 505 takes you directly from Windermere station to Monk Coniston, taking about 50 minutes. The stop is right outside Monk Coniston. 

Check Stagecoach for bus times. 

By car

Car parking is available at Monk Coniston.

If travelling from the south, you’ll need to leave the M6 motorway at junction 36. Follow the A590 to Greenodd Roundabout, take the second exit and follow the A5092 before turning right onto the A5084 signposted to Torver. At the T junction turn right onto the A593 and follow into Coniston village. Turn right onto the B5286 and follow for 1.5 miles. The entrance to Monk Coniston will be on your right.

By air

The nearest airport is Manchester International Airport.  

There are direct trains every hour to Oxenholme with the journey time around 90 minutes. From here you can change to Windermere or get a taxi (we recommend pre-booking one).  

National Rail have up-to-date information on times and routes. 

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but it’ll take you at least four hours to reach Oxenholme. Take the train to London Paddington station, then the London Underground to London Euston where you can connect to the main line train to Oxenholme. The journey from here is 2.5 hours.  

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.  

Essentials 

  • Suitable, sturdy footwear with a good grip. You’ll be on your feet for much of the day
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof overtrousers 
  • Sunhat
  • Rucksack 
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity) 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mobile phone
  • UV sunglasses 

Recommended 

  • First aid kit, including plasters
  • Sit mat  
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables 
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace) 
  • Wallet/purse 

Optional extras

  • Walking poles,
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box 
  • Waterproof rucksack liner 

Please note

Admission fees are payable locally and aren’t included in your holiday price, apart from what is stated in the what’s included section. This gives you greater choice, freedom, and flexibility to only pay the entrance fees for the attractions that interest you most. Should you choose to visit all the highlighted attractions during your holiday please see the table below for the approximate totals. If you have National Trust (NT) membership, please be sure to bring your membership identification with you.

Approx. cost of entrance fees

3 night holiday

4 night holiday

7 night holiday

NT members

£22.50

£0

£22.50

No memberships

£22.50

£13

£35.50

Monk Coniston Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

For June 2024: Jill Durnford

A big fan of Britain’s history, geology and wildlife, Jill is an HF Holidays Leader and certified Blue Badge Tour Guide who likes to share her passion with others. She’s lived in southeast England, the West Country, Scotland, Cumbria, and now finds herself in Wales. Being an HF Holidays Leader is a real labour of love for Jill and she’s happiest when showing guests around the stately homes and gardens she’s most fond of. 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

10 Jun - 14 Jun 2024

4 nights

Discovery Tour

Single from

£839

Double from

£839 pp

from

£839 pp

from

£839

Trip Notes
Book Now

15 Jul - 19 Jul 2024

4 nights

Discovery Tour

Single from

£919

Double from

£839 pp

from

£839 pp

from

£919

Trip Notes
Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Discovery tours

4 nights from £839pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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