Under 11s Go Free

7-Night Southern Lake District Family Walking Adventure

Rear View Of Family Standing At Top Of Hill On Hike Through Countryside In Lake District UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 2, 4 & 5

Spend the day climbing dramatic, rolling fells, exploring pretty villages and taking in spectacular views. Then head back and enjoy watching the boats bobbing on the sparkling Coniston Water as you relax in the Gothic-style splendour of our National Trust property, Monk Coniston. With so much to see and do you could choose to walk through the woods to Tarn Hows, visiting Grasmere and its famous gingerbread shop, or reach the top of the Old Man of Coniston, an iconic local peak.

Holiday Highlights

  • Choice of up to 4 walks per day
  • Conquer Wainwright's summits - the Fairfield Horseshoe, Crinkle Crags or Coniston Old Man
  • Explore the Cathedral Cave or visit Wordsworth's Dove Cottage
  • Discover Lake District history at slate quarries and stone age sites
  • Chill out in style on the Gondola across the lake

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.

Option 1 - Tarn Hows

Distance: 4½ miles (7km) 

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m) 

In SummaryExplore the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visit the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot.  

HighlightThe picturesque views abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide.

Option 2 - Tarn Hows & Yew Tree Farm

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Total ascent: 820 feet (250m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visit the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot.  

Don’t miss: The picturesque views around Tarn Hows look like they are straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide. 

Option 3 - Tom Heights & Tarn Hows

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Walk across fields to Yew Tree Farm and the Yewdale Valley. After ascending Tom Heights we return via Tarn Hows. 

Don’t miss: Tom Heights is dwarfed by the surrounding peaks, but it enjoys great views over the local countryside. 

Option 4 - Low Tilberthwaite and Wetherlam

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 2650 feet (810m)

In Summary: A grand day out in the mountains, reaching the top of Wetherlam after a mild but exciting scramble up Wetherlam Edge.

Highlight: The sense of achievement on reaching the top having scrambled up ‘The Edge’.

Option 1 - Around Rydal to Grasmere

Distance: 4 miles (6km) 

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

The walk in a nutshell: This walk circuits two of the Lake District's prettiest lakes, and also passes through Rydal village and finishes in Grasmere. 

Don’t miss: The stunning waterfall in the grounds of Rydal Hall. The artists' grotto at the bottom of the falls has a window which frames the falls perfectly. 

Option 2 - Above Rydal and Grasmere

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km) 

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Starting from the bustling town of Ambleside we follow the River Rothay to Rydal passing the impressive Rydal Hall. We continue above the north shore of Rydal Water then on to Grasmere.      

Don’t miss: There's time to explore Grasmere, famous as the home of poet William Wordsworth. Don't forget to seek out the poet's grave in the village churchyard, or sample the famous (and very tasty) Grasmere Gingerbread. 

Option 3 - Helm Crag & Calf Crag

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Ascent: 1,850 feet (580m)

In SummaryAn opportunity to climb Helm Crag, one of the most distinctive Lakeland Fells with the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ rock formations on the summit. We’ll follow the ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag before descending via Far Easedale. 

HighlightIt's a steep climb to the top of Helm Crag, but you'll be rewarded with great views over Grasmere. 

Option 4 - Sergeant Man and High Raise

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2,900ft (900m) 

In Summary: A circular route from the beautiful village of Grasmere passing Easedale before climbing up to Sergeant Man and High Raise. We then walk along the ridge passing Calf Crag, Gibson Knott and Helm Crag before heading back down to Grasmere.

Highlight: A varied walk with some parts 'off the beaten trail'. Fantastic views from High Raise.

Discover more about Monk Coniston and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 

Option 1 - The Langdale Valley

Distance: 4.5 miles (7km)

Ascent: 250ft (80m) 

In Summary: A gentle stroll from Skelwith Bridge following the Cumbria Way walking along the Great Langdale Beck until we arrive at New Dungeon Ghyll Car Park.

Highlight: Enjoy the stunning backdrop of the famous Langdale Valley while you walk into the heart of the fells.

Option 2 - Langdale Waterfalls

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: Spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force.

Option 3 - Crinkle Crags

Distance: 7½ miles (12.5km) 

Ascent: 2,600 feet (800m)

In SummaryEnjoy 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 4 - Bowfell & Esk Pike

Distance: 9 miles (15km) 

Ascent: 3,300 feet (1,000m) 

In SummaryClimb two of the Lake District’s highest peaks. We first ascend to the top of Bowfell via The Band , before continuing to the equally impressive Esk Pike.  

HighlightThere's a great sense of achievement in scaling the two highest summits of the Langdale Valley, on this challenging but rewarding walk.

Option 1 - Ambleside to Brockhole

Distance: 4 miles (6km)

Ascent: 840ft (750m) 

In Summary: Starting in Ambleside, we follow a bridleway through Skelghyll Wood before continuing on and then arriving at the Brockhole Visitor Centre.

Highlight: A lovely low-level walk passing Jenkins Crag

Option 2 - Ambleside & Troutbeck to Brockhole

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 1,150ft (350m) 

In Summary: From the centre of Ambleside, we first visit Stockghyll Force waterfall and then head through Skelghyll Wood above Troutbeck before finishing the walk at Brockhole.

Highlight: A visit to the beautiful Stockghyll Force before walking through woods and quiet lanes to get to Brockhole.

Option 3 - Ambleside & Wansfell to Brockhole

Distance: 6.5 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,850ft (550m) 

In Summary: From Ambleside, we ascend the open fellside to the summit of Wansfell before descending gently towards Troutbeck Village. We cross fields and countryside to arrive at Brockhole.

Highlight: Fantastic views of Ambleside and the surrounding villages from the summit of Wansfell.

Option 4 - Fairfield Horseshoe

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km) 

Ascent: 3,350 feet (1,020m) 

In SummaryWalk 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. 

HighlightA celebratory pint will be richly deserved after this challenging but rewarding walk. 

Option 1 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 3 miles (5 km) 

Ascent: 550 feet (170m) 

In Summary: Walk via the Coppermines Valley to Coniston village and down to the jetty on beautiful Consiton Water, look out for the Steam Gondola on the water. Finally a short walk through the fields takes us back to Monk Coniston.

Highlight: The jetty on the lake is a fantastic place to appreciate this magnificent setting.

Option 2 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: Walk in the historic Coppermines valley and the lower slopes of Coniston Old Man.

Highlight: The history of mining in the area and feeling of being in among the fells.

Option 3 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 360m (1,200ft)

In Summary: We begin following a woodland path under the towering crags of the Yewdale Fells. From the Miner's Bridge we enjoy fine views up the Coppermines Valley. Ascending steadily up the valley we pass The Bell before following a pleasant track down with Coniston Water laid beneath us.  

Highlight: Admire dramatic mountain scenery overlaid with fascinating mining heritage.

Option 4 - Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag

Distance: 11 miles (17.6km)

Ascent: 2900ft (977m)

In Summary: A high level route taking in two iconic mountains.

Highlight: From the top of Coniston Old Man, the views across Goats Water take in the magnificent eastern crags of Dow Crag, thought by many to be the second most impressive rock structure in the Lake District.

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.

Monk Coniston

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 Classic, Premium and Superior 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 ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 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. Food at Monk Coniston is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.


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

Essential Information

Suggested Kit List

  • a rucksack,
  • a waterproof jacket
  • waterproof over trousers,
  • a spare jumper or fleece,
  • sun protection cream,
  • a water bottle (at least 1 litre),
  • some spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • a small torch
  • first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

    (in spring, autumn and winter)

  • a hat and gloves (Britainis famous for its changeable weather after all!)
  • You might find walking poles useful, particularly for descents (the kids usually find their own big stick en route!).
  • thermos flask for a hot drink
  • sun hat
  • towel for paddling on hot days

Guest Reviews

7 nights
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 4

Fully Booked

Under 11s Go Free

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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