Relax and admire magnificent mountain views from our Country House on the shores of Conistonwater. Walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, as you discover the places that stirred their imaginations. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenes with lakeside strolls, taking a cruise across the lake on the steam yacht Gondola, or enjoy getting nose-to-nose with the high peaks as you explore their heights. Whatever your passion, you’ll be struck with awe as you explore this much-loved area of the Lake District.
- Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of the South Lakes on foot
- Choose a valley bottom stroll or reach for the summits on fell walks and horseshoe hikes
- Let our experienced leaders bring classic routes and hidden gems to life
- Visit charming Lakeland villages
- A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas
- Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink and re-live the day’s adventures
- High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
- Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
- 4 days guided walking
- Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
- The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
- Any transport to and from the walks
On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.
You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.
Option 1 - Tarn Hows
Distance: 4½ miles (7km)
Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
In Summary: Explore the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visit the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot.
Highlight: The picturesque views abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide.
Option 2 - Tom Heights
Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)
Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)
In Summary: Walk across fields to Yew Tree Farm and the Yewdale Valley. After ascending Tom Heights we return via Tarn Hows.
Highlight: Tom Heights is dwarfed by the surrounding peaks, but it enjoys great views over the local countryside.
Option 3 - Old Man of Coniston
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Ascent: 2,800 feet (860m)
In Summary: Follow the ‘tourist path’ past Low Water to the iconic summit of the Old Man of Coniston, the area’s highest peak and an impressive viewpoint. Return by Goats Water with views across to the crags of Dow Crag.
Highlight: On a clear day the view from the top of the 'Old Man' is particularly impressive - keep your eyes peeled for the Blackpool Tower.
Option 1 - Grasmere & Rydal Water
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
In Summary: Discover the delightful scenery surrounding Grasmere and Rydal on one of the Lake District's best lower-level walks. We pass Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount, before ending the walk in the popular town of Ambleside.
Highlight: Don't forget to seek out the poet's grave in the village churchyard, or sample the famous (and very tasty) Grasmere Gingerbread.
Option 2 - Great Rigg & Heron Pike
Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)
Ascent: 2,400 feet (740m)
In Summary: Make the steep ascent to Great Rigg and the summit of Heron Pike on the western ridge of the Fairfield Horseshoe. We then follow the ridge to Rydal and continue to the end of the walk at Ambleside.
Highlight: The view South over Windermere and its surrounding hills and forests as you descend one arm of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
Option 3 - Fairfield Horseshoe
Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)
Ascent: 3,350 feet (1,020m)
In Summary: Walk the famous Fairfield Horseshoe, one of the finest mountain walks in the Lake District. Tick off eight separate Wainwright Fells on this day of fantastic high-level walking.
Highlight: A celebratory pint will be richly deserved after this challenging but rewarding walk.
Option 1 - Langdale Valley
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Ascent: 700 feet (220m)
In Summary: Follow the Langdale Valley past Elterwater village, to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel through increasingly grand scenery.
Highlight: The two spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force; two of the best cascades in the Lake District.
Option 2 - Crinkle Crags
Distance: 7½ miles (12.5km)
Ascent: 2,600 feet (800m)
In Summary: Enjoy this high-level traverse along the aptly named Crinkle Crags with its undulating five mini-summits.
Highlight: Negotiating the ‘Bad Step’ – a short scramble over an impressive chock stone wedged between the crags.
Option 3 - Langdale Pikes
Distance: 9½ miles (15km)
Ascent: 3,050 feet (940m)
In Summary: Explore the popular Langdale Pikes with visits to the summits of Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike O’Stickle and Rossett Pike.
Highlight: This walk along the Langdale skyline contains some of Lakeland's most iconic peaks.
Option 1 - Little Langdale
Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)
In Summary: Walk through the beautiful valley of Little Langdale, taking in Slaters Bridge and Cathedral Cavern, returning through the Tilberthwaite Valley to Coniston.
Highlight: The incredible Cathedral Cavern, one of the Lake District's hidden gems, is monastic in state and awe-inspiring in scale.
Option 2 - Langdale to Coniston
Distance: 9½ miles (15.5km)
Ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)
In Summary: Walk from the Langdale Valley to Coniston, crossing the lower slopes of Wetherlam and descending via the Coppermines Valley.
Highlight: The narrow gorge of Tilberthwaite Gill, carved into the lower slopes of Wetherlam.
Option 3 - Swirl How & Wetherlam
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Ascent: 3,450 feet (1,060m)
In Summary: From the Langdale Valley enjoy a mountain walk over the Coniston Fells via the summits of Great Carrs, Swirl How & Wetherlam.
Highlight: The ridge walk from the Wrynose Pass to the top of Great Carrs is a great way to ascend into the Coniston Fells.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.
Wrapped in manicured gardens with stunning views over Coniston Water, Monk Coniston combines country house grandeur and romantic, gothic-style charm with contemporary touches to great effect among the rugged landscapes of the Lake District. Rocky mountains and grassy fells loom all around this handsome home, once owned by Beatrix Potter, and more latterly turned hikers’ hotel and owned by the National Trust. Fell-flecked scenery unfurls from the windows of the bedrooms in the main house, adjoining cottage and counting house. While the setting remains traditional and the grand entrance recalls a traditional era, the interiors have been swept into the present with bold patterns and comfy fabrics. Beyond the house, trails from the doorstep set off to explore the Lake District. Climb famous summits including Bow Fell, the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston. Bag a series of Wainwright summits. Alternatively, slip into the beautiful valleys and stroll picturesque lakeside paths in search of secret corners such as Cathedral Cove in Little Langdale.
Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi
Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house. With 32 rooms, Monk Coniston has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Rooms with a view are well worth the extra spend as you’ll be overlooking the gardens or the lake. Our favourite is Room 9 on the first floor, which contains some of the original features from when it was first built in 1885, a striking sailboat-patterned wallpaper and opens on to beautiful views of the gardens and fields that slope down to the shore of Coniston Water.
All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.
Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge, bar, Lakeland barn for activities, library and board games to borrow
After a day exploring the Lake District, return to the house. Stroll through the extensive grounds with their putting green and croquet lawn and uncover the hidden walled garden on the hill behind the house. Take a turn around the National Trust nature trail and look out for the fabulous, rare mature trees. Stumble on the small secret folly stood quietly among the bluebells when they’re out and the lush green grass when they’re not. Catch up with fellow guests in the bright and spacious lounge or grab a drink from the airy bar and wander down the garden to the bench overlooking Coniston Water for the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner – you might even spot the restored steam yacht Gondola cruising the five-mile length of the lake. After hours, duck into the converted Lakeland barn with its exposed beams and rustic chandelier for evening activities and skittles.
Food & Drink
As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Monk Coniston is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the bright dining room with its giant fireplace and oversized mirror hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. From a cup of Monk Coniston walled garden vegetable soup to a Wabberthwaies Cumberland sausage – the only Cumberland sausage to have a royal warrant and to be served on Concorde – to twelve-hour slow cooked Cumbrian lamb and Ravenglass crab and Morecambe Bay shrimp cakes, the kitchen puts out the best of the Cumbrian countryside. Look out too for the Kendal Mint cheesecake among the assiette of deserts.
For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865
What to Bring
- Rucksack with a waterproof liner,
- Thermos flask for hot drink,
- Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
- Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
- Small torch
- First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)
- Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
- Insect repellent,
- Sun hat,
- Sun cream
5 nights from £674pp £619pp
...or call 020 3974 8865