Kids 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
from £1,285pp

The Southern Lake District is always a winner when it comes to family days out; not least because it gets the kids active and away from their screens. Walk through the woods to marvel at Tarn Hows, stock up on gingerbread in Grasmere, or hike to the top of the Old Man of Coniston for the most stunning of views. And when you’re not busy bonding with your brood in the great outdoors, relax at Monk Coniston – our Gothic-style country house just a skip away from the sparkling shores of Coniston Water and its namesake village.

What you’ll love

  • Under 11s GO FREE
  • Enjoying gentle valley strolls or conquering Wainwright’s summits
  • Spotting Herdwick sheep
  • Discovering places that inspired children's author Beatrix Potter
  • Exploring the dramatic landscapes of the Southern Lake District
  • Meeting families who share your love of walking

What’s included

  • Family rooms available subject to availability
  • 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 tailored towards families, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders 
  • Choice of up to four guided walks (on walking days) 
  • 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 afternoon tea on arrival including homemade scones with jam and cream.  

What your kids will love: Exploring the grounds of Monk Coniston. The arboretum is the perfect place to enjoy a walk in the fresh air after a long journey. There’s also the chance to meet other families and make some new friends. 

Option 1 - Tarn Hows and Monk Coniston

Distance: 4 miles (7km)  

Ascent: 800ft (260m)  

We’ll ascend through woodland to reach the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot. We’ll circuit the tarns, enjoying the full range of majestic mountain views on offer, before descending through countryside back to Monk Coniston.  

What your kids will love: Looking out for Belted Galloway cattle – their distinctive markings might just remind you of an Oreo cookie. 

Option 2 - Tarn Hows and Yew Tree Farm

Distance: 6.5 miles (10km)  

Ascent: 800ft (260m)  

This option follows the same route to Tarn Hows, but we’ll also explore the countryside a little further. Rather than complete a full circuit of the tarn, we head north on the Cumbria Way for a short section, before returning to Monk Coniston. On the way we’ll pass by Yew Tree Tarn and Yew Tree Farm.  

What your kids will love: Being on a film set. Yew Tree Farm starred as Beatrix Potter’s home, ‘Hill Top’, in the 2006 film Miss Potter. 

Option 3 - Tarn Hows and Black Crag

Distance: 8.5 miles (14km) 

Ascent: 1,750ft (540m) 

We’ll ascend through woods and walk across open fields to Iron Keld Plantation. Then we’ll traverse open fell to reach our high point of the day, the summit of Black Crag, a recognised Wainwright for anyone bagging fells. After enjoying the impressive panoramic views, we’ll continue to Hollin Bank, where we join the Cumbria Way and return to Monk Coniston via Tarn Hows. 

What your kids will love: Standing proud on the summit of Black Crag where the 360-degree views are breathtaking. What can you see from the top? 

Option 4 - Low Tilberthwaite and Wetherlam

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km) 

Ascent: 2,650ft (800m) 

A grand day out in the mountains, our most challenging route reaches the top of Wetherlam, after a mild but exciting scramble up Wetherlam Edge. 

What your kids will love: Taking on the challenge of scrambling up ‘The Edge’. From the top, imagine the area busy with mining and quarrying activity in complete contrast to today’s total serenity. 

Option 1 - Around Rydal to Grasmere

Distance: 4 miles (6km)  

Ascent: 600ft (180m) 

We’ll stroll alongside one of the Lake District's prettiest lakes, Rydal Water, and have time to explore the grounds of Rydal Hall. It’s then on to Grasmere following the route of an old coffin trail. Keep an eye out for red squirrels on the way.  

What your kids will love: Paddling in Rydal Water and seeking out the grotto in the grounds of Rydal Hall. It was built by Sir Daniel Fleming in 1668 to frame the waterfalls, with Wordsworth even describing the view in his poem An Evening Walk 

Option 2 - Above Rydal and Grasmere

Distance: 6.5 miles (11km)  

Ascent: 1,050ft (320m)  

Starting from the bustling town of Ambleside we’ll follow the River Rothay to Rydal passing the impressive Rydal Hall. We continue above the north shore of Rydal Water, following the same section of coffin trail as option one, but take a slightly longer route into Grasmere. This picture-perfect Lakeland village is famous for being the home of William Wordsworth.        

What your kids will love: Finding William Wordsworth’s grave in the village churchyard and sampling tasty Grasmere Gingerbread. 

Option 3 - Helm Crag and Calf Crag

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)  

Ascent: 2,000ft (620m) 

An 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.  

What your kids will love: It's a steep climb to the top of Helm Crag, but the views over the nearby lakes are a worthy reward. Channel your inner artist and draw what you see. 

Option 4 - Sergeant Man to Helm Crag

Distance: 10 miles (16km) 

Ascent: 2,900ft (900m) 

We’ll leave the beautiful village of Grasmere and ascend to Easedale Tarn, before taking on the climb to the summit of Sergeant Man. On a clear day we’ll be treated to superb views of Langdale. We follow paths across to Calf Crag, and then stride out along on a fantastic ridgeline, ticking off the tops of Gibson Knott and Helm Crag. It’s then a steep descent back to Grasmere. 

What your kids will love: Reaching the famous summit rock formation, the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ – see if you can make out their shape. 

Explore Independently

Each week there’s a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, play in the grounds or visit local places of interest. Here’s our pick of the very best things to see and do within easy travelling distance of Monk Coniston. 

Coniston Water Boating Centre  

Just a skip away from Monk Coniston, the friendly team at Coniston Water Boating Centre can help get your family afloat. They have a whole host of different boats available to hire, including electric motorboats, canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. During the holidays the centre can get very busy, so it’s always best to book in advance.  

Grizedale Forest 

Set in the heart of the Lake District between Windermere and Coniston, explore this vast forest on two wheels or by foot. There are endless trails to discover. Keep your eyes peeled along the way for unique sculptures dotted throughout the forest. There’s also a visitor centre, tearoom, adventure playground and Go Ape course onsite, so plenty to keep everyone happy.   

The World of Beatrix Potter 

An enchanting Lake District attraction, Beatrix Potter's magical tales of Peter Rabbit and his friends are brought to life in three dimensions. Interactive exhibits tell the story of Potter's writing and her importance to Lakeland conservation. This award-winning family attraction is not to be missed.   

Option 1 - The Langdale Valley

Distance: 4.5 miles (7km) 

Ascent: 250ft (80m)  

A gentle stroll from Skelwith Bridge. We’ll walk along the valley following the Cumbria Way, passing through the villages of Elterwater and Chapel Stile until we arrive at New Dungeon Ghyll. 

What your kids will love: Counting the Herdwick sheep grazing in Great Langdale. Fun fact: Beatrix Potter kept and bred her own flock of Herdwicks and won prizes at various shows. 

Option 2 - Langdale Waterfalls

Distance: 7 miles (11km)  

Ascent: 700ft (220m)  

This walk is an extension of option one. We’ll join the Cumbria Way at Hollin Bank, and pass Colwith Force on our way to Skelwith Bridge. We then walk down the Langdale Valley and watch the increasingly grand scenery unfold. Keep a look out for Dippers bobbing in Great Langdale Beck. 

What your kids will love: Gazing up at the spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force.  

Option 3 - Pike o'Blisco

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km) 

Ascent: 2,050ft (640m) 

Starting at the New Dungeon Ghyll, we head up on a good path beneath Side Pike, to the road col over to Little Langdale. Here we turn and continue our ascent to the rocky summit of Pike o’Blisco. We head down via Oxendale and make our way back past the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. 

What your kids will love: It’s a steep climb to the summit, but you’ll feel on top of the world as you look out from this impressive peak.  

Option 4 - Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km) 

Ascent: 3,200ft (980m) 

Heading into Oxendale we ascend towards Red Tarn to join the classic Crinkle Crags ridge – be prepared for rocky and rugged terrain. We then head via the col at Three Tarns to the imposing peak of Bow Fell. Our descent follows 'The Band' down to the valley. 

What your kids will love: By the end of this walk, you’ll have bagged two of Wainwright’s finest fells – an amazing achievement.   

Option 1 - Ambleside to Brockhole

Distance: 4 miles (6km) 

Ascent: 840ft (250m)  

Starting in Ambleside, we’ll climb steadily through Skelghyll Wood, past Jenkins Crag. We’ll admire the views over Windermere whilst traversing the open hillside on a good bridleway, before descending to Brockhole, the Lake District Visitor Centre.  

What your kids will love: Summiting the Mountain Tower and crossing the rope bridge at Brockholes woodland playground. There’s also mini-golf, zip-lining, kayaking, archery and much more. Some attractions incur a charge which is payable locally. 

Option 2 - Ambleside and Troutbeck to Brockhole

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km) 

Ascent: 1,150ft (350m)  

From the centre of Ambleside, we’ll first visit Stockghyll Force waterfall, before joining the route taken by option one. Rather than taking the more direct paths to Brockhole, we continue our walk along Robin Lane, passing by the National Trust property, Townend, on our way to the Visitor Centre.   

What your kids will love: Guessing how high the water crashes down at Stochghyll Force (hint: it’s 70ft). 

Option 3 - Ambleside and Wansfell to Brockhole

Distance: 6.5 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,850ft (550m)  

A fabulous walk, again starting in the popular market town of Ambleside. We’ll ascend the open fellside to reach the summit of Wansfell before descending gently towards Troutbeck Village. We cross fields and countryside to arrive at Brockhole. 

What your kids will love: Spotting boats and swimmers in Windermere from Wansfell summit. 

Option 4 - Fairfield Horseshoe

Distance: 10 miles (16km)  

Ascent: 3,300ft (1,000m)  

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.  

What your kids will love: The bragging rights of having bagged eight separate Wainwright’s on one very challenging walk.  

Option 1 - Coniston and Coppermines

Distance: 5 miles (8km)  

Ascent: 720ft (220m)  

We’ll walk on good tracks to Miners Bridge in the Coppermines Valley, then gently descend beside Church Beck to Coniston Village. We’ll continue down to the jetty on beautiful Coniston Water and have plenty of time to enjoy the lakeshore. From here it’s just a short stroll through fields back to the house.  

What your kids will love: Paddling on the shores of Coniston Water and seeing who can skim a stone the furthest. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the Steam Yacht Gondola.  

Option 2 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,250ft (380m) 

We’ll follow in the footsteps of miners and walk further into the historic Coppermines Valley. We’ll return via the jetty and lakeshore, so we won’t miss out on the chance to play by the water’s edge or enjoy a well-deserved ice cream.   

What your kids will love: Spotting the remains of mining in the Coppermines Valley and imagining what life would have been like working as an ore picker.  

Option 3 - Coppermines Valley and Levers Water

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)  

Ascent: 1,750ft (540m) 

A slightly longer option, we’ll start by walking along the shores of Coniston Water before heading up into the Coppermines Valley. We continue the climb to Levers Water and walk through Boulder Valley. Along the way we’ll see plenty of mining remains and the gigantic Pudding Stone.  

What your kids will love: Playing the role of a history hunter. We’ll have lots of fun exploring the fells, uncovering finds, and learning facts about the Coniston copper mines.

Option 4 - Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km) 

Ascent: 3,250ft (980m) 

Challenge yourself on this high-level route taking in two iconic mountains. It’s a tough climb to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston, but there’ll be lots of interest and fun along the way. We’ll pass through old slate quarries and admire Low Water, a spectacular corrie tarn. After snapping a photo at the top, we’ll continue to Dow Crag and descend back to the village along the Walna Scar Road.  

What your kids will love: The incredible sense of accomplishment looking back towards the Old Man of Coniston, knowing you stood at the very top. 

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

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 

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

26 Jul - 02 Aug 2024

7 nights

Family Walks

Single from


Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire



Trip Notes

09 Aug - 16 Aug 2024

7 nights

Family Walks

Single from


Double from

£1,285 pp


£1,285 pp



Trip Notes

Important information

Maximum 3 free child places under 11 years per full paying adult price on UK country house stays.

Family rooms are subject to availability. Sole occupancy charges may apply. 

Children under 11 go free

Children 11-17 years on 7-night breaks £109pp

All children's rates are based on sharing a guest room with one or more adults.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult on all walks, though this need not be a parent or guardian

7 nights
Family walking holidays
Walking Grade:
1, 2, 4 & 5

7 nights from £1,285pp

Kids go free

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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