Explore Nature in the Lake District
Delight in the joys of spring across a range of habitats including woodland, estuary and coast in search of birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Hopefully there will be nesting ospreys at Foulshaw Moss – a rare habitat of raised bog - as well as tree pipits, stonechats and green hairstreak butterflies. You may also spot snipe, hobby and if lucky, water rail. There should be wildflowers in the woods such as wood anemone, primrose and maybe some early bluebells. At the coast there are good chances of seeing grey seals, eider duck, oystercatcher and three species of tern (Arctic, little and common) around South Walney and Foulney Island. If you are really lucky you could also spot the rare roseate tern – look out for a pink-tinged underbelly.
- Spend your days with like-minded nature enthusiasts
- Discover the best local flora and fauna
- Explore the area with your expert HF Holidays Leader
- High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
- Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
- Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary
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.
On this Explore Nature holiday, you will be visiting a range of locations which illustrate the best of the local flora and fauna. With your knowledgeable Leader in tow, you will explore the local area, stopping along the way to spot interesting wildlife to observe or photograph. The full day will be spent outdoors so be sure to bring your sturdy shoes!
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
On Explore Nature holidays, you will be outdoors for the full day, so be sure to bring outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs. You will also need strong and comfortable footwear with good tread. If there's warm weather, a sun hat, suncream and sunglasses may be useful.
Please also bring binoculars to ensure you get the most from your Explore Nature holiday.
You may also wish to bring a telescope, camera, water bottle or a thermos flask.
Philippe’s enthusiasm for the natural world developed when working as a scuba-diving instructor and underwater naturalist all over the world.
Originally from France, he fell in love with the UK in 2004 and started exploring the country mountain biking, fell running, birdwatching and hill walking.
Now a full-time Mountain Leader, Philippe is leading walking holidays in the UK and in France and bespoke birdwatching tours in Provence. At home in Bath, he regularly guides country walks as a volunteer Cotswold Warden
Philippe is a generalist leader with a passion to share his wide range of interests in birdwatching, wildlife, wildflowers, geography and geology developed through his experience in the field and attending online university courses.
All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.
|Date (Start - End)||Nights||Itinerary||Price||Status||Trip Notes||Book|
27 Apr - 01 May
|4||Explore Nature||£509 £499||Save £10 Per Person||Trip Notes||Book Now|
4 nights from £509pp £499pp
...or call 020 3974 8865