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Hills & moorland
Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Our Cumbria Way route is from Carlisle to Ulverston and passes through Dalston, Caldbeck, Keswick, Grange, Elterwater, Coniston and Gawthwaite. It passes through a variety of terrain, from the pastoral beauty of the Caldew Valley and the wildness of the northern fells to the shorelines of Derwent and Coniston Waters. It is not a high level route, only once ascending above 2,000 feet, instead following the valleys and contouring around the higher ground.
As an historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With the attractive Lake District setting, it's well suited to a relaxing holiday. Whether it's a walking or activity break you're after, this is a wonderful part of the country to explore your way.
Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Due to the age and the layout of Monk Coniston, it is not recommended for wheelchair users and guests with restricted mobility. There are ground floor en-suite bedrooms in the Counting House, but this building is access via steps.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
- Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff have received disability awareness training
- Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
- Fridge for medication can be supplied
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Carlisle to Sebergham
Our walk starts in the border city of Carlisle. We leave streets and buildings behind as we walk through the pastoral beauty of the Caldew Valley to Sebergham, passing through the village of Dalston and enjoying the riverside views of Rose Castle, the imposing home of the Bishops of Carlisle. 12½ miles (20km) with 450 feet (140m) ascent.
Day 3: Sebergham to Mosedale
From Sebergham we walk along the banks of the River Caldew and through wooded hillsides to the village of Caldbeck, made famous by John Peel whose grave is in the village churchyard. We ascend the summit of High Pike (2,157 feet), the most northerly of the Lakeland peaks, with fine views to Scotland and the Pennines. We descend below Great Lingy Hill, walking past old mine workings along Grainsgill Beck as we head along the valley to Mosedale. 9 miles (15km), with 2,100 feet (640m) of ascent.
Day 4: Mosedale to Derwent Bank
Along the River Caldew valley with Bowscale Fell on our left and Carrock Fell to the right, we continue between Knott and Mungrisdale Common, passing Great Calva to Skiddaw House. We leave the River Caldew, which has its source on the eastern slopes of Skiddaw, and continue in high open country between Skiddaw and Blencathra. The path contours Lonscale Fell and along the side of Glenderaterra Valley, passing below Lonscale Crags. Passing Latrigg we descend to Keswick and back to Derwent Bank. 10½ miles (17km), with 1,200 feet (380m) of ascent.
Day 5: Derwent Bank to Great Langdale
We follow the creeks, inlets and bays of Derwent Water below Cat Bells with superb views across Derwent Water to Skiddaw. The countryside changes to the lush valley scenery of Borrowdale, full of ancient woodland and spectacular rocky crags so typical of the volcanic rock of the central Lakeland fells. From Rosthwaite we follow the river to enter Stonethwaite and Langstrath valley beneath the towering heights of Heron Crag and Sergeant’s Crag. We cross Stake Beck and ascend to Stake Pass. Crossing open moorland we descend into the valley of Mickleden and down below the Langdale Pikes to finish in Great Langdale at New Dungeon Ghyll. 14½ miles (23km), with 2,400 feet (740m) of ascent.
Day 6: Great Langdale to Sunny Bank
From New Dungeon Ghyll we follow Great Langdale Beck past Elterwater and Skelwith Force waterfall to Skelwith Bridge. The route turns west to Colwith Force waterfall, and meanders through fields, ancient lanes and woodland paths to the beauty spot of Tarn Hows. We continue through pasture and woodland to Coniston and along the western side of Coniston Water to finish at Sunny Bank. 14½ miles (23½km), with 1,650 feet (520m) of ascent.
Day 7: Sunny Bank to Ulverston
Crossing Torver Beck at Sunny Bank we follow tracks over rough country to reach Beacon Tarn. Heading towards Gawthwaite we say goodbye to the Lake District National Park. We descend to the village of Broughton Beck and ascend again to Osmotherley parish church which has good views of the Coniston fells. Crossing field paths we climb Bortree Stile for a fine view over Morecambe Bay, and then along the wooded banks of Gillbanks Beck towards the market town of Ulverston and the end of The Cumbria Way. 11½ miles (18½km), with 1,550 feet (480m) of ascent.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
Discover the Lake District
Monk Coniston is an imposing Gothic property leased from the National Trust and set in 8 acres of grounds, including a restored walled garden and the impressive arboretum. Some particularly impressive specimens, including a giant sequoia (the largest tree in the world) and the wollemi pine can be explored on the Monk Coniston Tree Trail.
Views from the property offer breathtaking glimpses of Coniston Water and the surrounding mountains.
Coniston village is about one mile away – there is a direct path from the house to the village. Here you’ll find a small supermarket, post office, newsagent, pubs and a Barclays Bank (open 3 times a week). A wider range of facilities is available in Ambleside, the nearest town, about 8 miles away. The Ruskin Museum is also well worth a visit - find out more about the lake's connections to Donald Campbell and Arthur Ramsome. www.ruskinmuseum.com
During your visit to Monk Coniston you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
Steam Yacht Gondola
First cruising Coniston Water 150 years ago, the restored gondola is now operated by the National Trust, stopping at the Monk Coniston jetty at the bottom of the meadow below the house before gliding across the lake, calling at Coniston village and Brantwood House. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola
Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
Ride ‘L’al Ratty’ a highly scenic narrow gauge railway which runs from the coast at Ravenglass along beautiful Eskdale. You could combine a visit with a walk over Muncaster Fell, or to Stanley Gill waterfall. www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk
Just a couple of miles from Monk Coniston, John Ruskin's former home commands superb views over the lake. www.brantwood.org.uk
A short walk from the Country House, this man-made water was created by Monk Coniston’s resident owner, James Garth Marshall in 1865, as he continued to develop the estate and expand his pleasure grounds. He built a dam to flood the area, amalgamating several smaller tarns, before planting the shores and islands with new woodlands and specimen trees.
Nearby Grizedale Forest is ideal for mountain biking and also has a popular sculpture trail. You can also experience the Go Ape! high-ropes course – a great option for active teenagers. www.forestry.gov.uk/grizedale
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and topiary displays. www.levenshall.co.uk
Grasmere is about 30 minutes’ drive from Monk Coniston and is famous for its connections with William Wordsworth. The poet’s homes at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount can be visited, the former of which includes the Wordsworth Museum. www.wordsworth.org.uk
Take a cruise along the length of Windermere - England's largest lake. Ferries connect Ambleside in the north to Bowness and Lakeside in the south, where you can connect with the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway. www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk, www.lakesiderailway.co.uk
Gondola image ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris
Travel to Conistonwater
Our address is: Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ
The nearest train station is at Windermere. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £27. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Monk Coniston Manager.
From Windermere station you can catch the 505 bus direct to Monk Coniston - the bus stop is right outside our Country House. Journey time is around 50 minutes. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From Ambleside take the A593 signposted to Coniston. Turn sharp left over a narrow bridge, then after half a mile turn left onto the B5286, signposted to Hawkshead. About 3 miles along this road, and just before Hawkshead, turn right onto the B5285, signposted to Coniston. Follow this road over Hawkshead Hill. The road descends then goes around a 180° bend to the left. The entrance to Monk Coniston is on the left about 100yds after the bend. There is car parking available within the grounds.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests the most convenient option is to book a flight to Manchester Airport. There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Oxenholme - this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Oxenholme station you can complete the journey to Monk Coniston by bus or taxi (see above).
Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4 hours to reach Oxenholme. From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. Next take the Underground train to London Euston. Finally the main line train from London Euston to Oxenholme takes 2½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
- 4 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals at Derwentwater
- 3 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals at Conistonwater
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ guide
- All transport to and from the route is provided on walking days
- Social activities in the evening
Unfortunately we are unable to take online bookings for this holiday, but our Reservations team will be pleased to help. Call them on 0345 470 7558 or email email@example.com
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person
We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.