4 Night Southern Lake District Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

Coniston - Local Area - Tarn Hows - AdobeStock_67675606.jpeg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £699pp

Perfect for those wanting to explore the Southern Lake District at a more relaxed and leisurely pace, this gentle guided walking holiday rewards with lakeside and wooded trails, big-name historic attractions, and comfortable accommodation at our country house overlooking Coniston Water. Enjoy a mix of short guided walks and time spent sightseeing. You'll also get to follow in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Ruskin, and Beatrix Potter to discover the places that stirred their imaginations.

What you’ll love

  • Exploring the impressive Cathedral Caves
  • Visiting charming Lakeland villages
  • Discovering places that inspired Wordsworth, Ruskin, and Beatrix Potter
  • Views of the rugged mountain landscapes and scenic lakes
  • Spending time with like-minded people in the great outdoors
  • Staying at Monk Coniston, our Grade II-listed country house

What’s included

  • 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 walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

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.

Option 1 - Little Langdale and Elterwater

Distance: 3½ miles (5.5km)

Ascent: 550 feet (160m) 

In summary: We begin our walk following a lane past High Park to Stang End and into the picturesque Little Langdale valley. We visit the impressive Cathedral Cave and the historic Slater Bridge. We then continue through Little Langdale village and on to end in the village of Elterwater with its characterful pub.

Highlight: Cathedral Cave one of the hidden gems of the Lake District. 

Option 2 - Skelwith Bridge to Elterwater

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 950 feet (300m) 

In summary: From Skelwith Bridge our walk takes us by two beautiful waterfalls Skelwith Force and Colwith Force into the Little Langdale Valley. We then visit Cathedral Cave and the iconic Slater Bridge before heading into Little Langdale village and then on to Elterwater.

Highlight: Two spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force; two of the best cascades in the Lake District. 

Option 3 - Skelwith Bridge to Coniston

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m) 

In summary: From Skelwith Bridge we follow the route of option 2 past Skelwith Force and Colwith Force into Little Langdale. After a visit to the impressive Cathedral Cave and picturesque Slater Bridge we head via High and Low Tilberthwaite, on into Low Yewdale and back to the house.

Highlight: Take in all the highlights of beautiful Little Langdale from waterfalls to caverns.  

Option 1 - Troutbeck to Ambleside

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Ascent: 650 feet (200m) 

In summary: We begin our walk from Jesus Church, Troutbeck. From here we ascend to the Mortal Man Inn and then walk through the hamlet of Troutbeck. We then follow Robin Lane past the viewpoint at Jenkin Point through the woods and down to Ambleside. This busy and popular town of Ambleside is brimming with opportunities. Choose to visit Ambleside roman fort, cruise on Lake Windermere or indulge in some retail therapy in one of the many specialist outdoor shops or independent retailers in the town.

Highlight: Spectacular views over Windermere and beyond. 

Option 2 - Troutbeck and Stockghyll Force

Distance: 5½ miles (8.5km)

Ascent: 900 feet (260m)

In summary: Our walk begins as option 1 at Jesus Church, Troutbeck, and continues through the hamlet of Troutbeck to Robin Lane. We pass High Skelghyll then head through Strawberry Wood to visit Stockghyll Force on our way down into Ambleside. Enjoy some time exploring the town before our return to Coniston.   

Highlight: The attractive multi-tiered waterfall, Stockghyll Force. 

Option 3 - Wansfell Pike

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 1,480 feet (480m) 

In summary: This is a more challenging walk but with rewards of far reaching views and a real sense of achievement for anyone who feels up to this. We begin from Ambleside and head to Stockghyll Force waterfall before making our way up the steep path to the summit of Wansfell Pike. After enjoying the panorama, we continue down to Robin Lane and follow this back into Ambleside where we can celebrate in one of the many pubs.

Highlight: Spectacular views from the summit of Wansfell Pike. 

Option 1 - Hawkshead

Distance: 3½ miles (6km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m) 

In summary: Our walk today takes us to another picturesque Lakeland village. The walk begins ascending to the unspoilt beauty spot of Tarn Hows. From here we'll follow fields and open fell to Hawkshead. There is plenty to explore around the village including the Old Grammar School.

Highlight: Hawkshead with its myriad of narrow alleyways. The countryside that inspired Beatrix Potter. 

Option 2 - Around Tarn Hows and Hawkshead

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m) 

In summary: On this walk ascend to Tarn Hows and take our time walking around this popular beauty spot, admiring impressive views. We continue through fields and open fell to the picturesque village of Hawkshead. There will be time to explore the village or kick back and relax in one of the many tea shops. 

Highlight: Hawkshead with its connections to both Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Option 3 - Hawkshead Circuit

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: As with option 1 and 2 our walk begins taking in beautiful Tarn Hows. We continue through fields and open fell to the lovely village of Hawkshead. Here we have a short amount of time to explore, before starting out on our return walk back to Monk Coniston via Hawkshead Hill.

Highlight: Picturesque views abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide. 

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.



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.


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

Coniston - External.jpg

Getting to Monk Coniston

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

More Information


Monk 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.   


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Please note

Admission fees are payable locally and aren’t included in your holiday price. Many of you have National Trust (NT) membership already, which entitles you to free or reduced entry to some of the attractions visited. Please see below, approximate totals for entrance fees, should you choose to visit all the highlighted attractions during your holiday. If you have National Trust membership – please make sure to bring your membership identification with you. 

Approx. cost of entrance fees

3 night holiday

4 night holiday

7 night holiday

NT members 




No memberships




Monk Coniston Calendar

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

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

24 Jun - 28 Jun 2024

4 nights

Gentle Walks

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£699 pp


£699 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

09 Sep - 13 Sep 2024

4 nights

Gentle Walks

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
4 nights
Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 3

4 nights from £699pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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