Family Walking Adventure at Conistonwater
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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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
The Lake District is a great destination for families with older children, where they can enjoy the challenge of exploring this beautiful landscape. Highlights include the walk through the woods to Tarn Hows, visiting Grasmere and its famous gingerbread shop, and reaching the top of the Old Man of Coniston, an iconic local peak.
As a historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With a most attractive Lake District setting, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.
Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house.
Our classic rooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available at no extra charge.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium room. Premium rooms are available at just £10 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family rooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
Monk Coniston has a comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room with lake views, and a bar and library. There is also a selection of board games and books. Free Wifi is available in some public rooms. Our traditional Lakeland barn can be used for dancing, or as a games room with table tennis and Nintendo Wii.
Monk Coniston is surrounded by a large garden with views down to the lake. Outside there is a putting green and croquet lawn. The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from our cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. The cold buffet offers a selection fruit, cereals, yoghurts, croissants and pastries. Hot dishes include porridge, sausages, bacon, choice of eggs, tomato, baked beans and mushrooms. Tea, coffee, toast and jams are served at the tables.
Choose from our self-select picnic lunches. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk from a member of the local mountain rescue team or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.
Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.
Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.
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.
Arrival & car parking facilities
- On arrival there is a gate, a cattle grid and a driveway leading towards the house.
- It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door.
- The surface of the car park is tarmac and slightly sloping
- Assistance can be provided with luggage
Main entrance & reception
- The main entrance has no steps and is 110cm wide
- The reception area is a spacious 4m x 4.1m
- All public rooms are available without encountering any further steps, with the exception of the games room
- The floors on the ground floor are mainly carpeted. The games room has wooden block flooring and the gents’ toilet has a tiled floor
Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc
- The width of the downstairs hallway is 222cm. Leading off the main hallway are lounge, dining room, library, downstairs toilets and bar with access to the main staircase
Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc
- In the main lounge there are various chairs, tables and settees. Seating for approximately 50 guests
- There are both ladies and gents toilets on the ground floor, accessed without any steps
- Ladies toilet is carpeted and the gents’ has a tiled floor
- Further public bathrooms are available for those bedrooms that are not en-suite
Dining room & bar
- The dining room is situated on the ground floor with level access
- 7 round tables, each seating maximum of 8 guests
- Tables have an under space of 70cm high by 137cm wide
- All meals served are with waitress service
- The carpeted bar area has chairs and circular tables
Laundry & boot room
- Laundry facilities are available in the boot room, which is located in a separate building with level access
- Washing machine & dryer are available in the boot room free of charge
- Ample drying space
- Tiled flooring
- Evening entertainment frequently held in games room (4 slate steps to access, each step is 22cm high, 22cm deep and 110cm wide)
- The games room is 14m wide and 5.5m long
- None of the rooms has been specifically designed for wheelchair users
- In the main house all bedrooms are on the 1st floor. The main staircase has 24 steps, each step is 16cm high, 30cm deep and 112cm wide
- In the annexe, cottages and Counting House there are bedrooms both on the ground floor and on the 1st floor
- The rooms best suited for anyone with restricted mobility would be 24 and 25, situated in the Counting House
Room 24 & 25:
- Access is via 4 slate steps with hand rails
- Each step is 7cm high, 30cm deep and 130cm wide
- Twin rooms with en-suite (shower). Standard height beds
- The floor is carpeted
- En-suite bathroom with shower
Grounds and gardens
- Large level garden around the house. Mainly with lawns and flower beds. Shrubbery and wooded areas
- 3 steps to access the main front lawn
- 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
Our family holidays offer the choice of up to 4 guided walks each day – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next. Our routes range from short lakeside strolls that are ideal for little legs, to challenging mountain ascents that will appeal to active teenagers.
Sunday: Tarn Hows and Wetherlam
Family Walk: Start the week with a stroll through woods to Tarn Hows where there is an option to walk round the lake or just play and enjoy the magnificent views. The return is on easy tracks and paths through rolling farmland. 4 miles (6.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Easier Walk: Enjoy a pleasant stroll through the woods to Tarn Hows, returning via Yew Tree Farm, donated to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter and used for the film Miss Potter. 6 miles (9.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Visit Tarn Hows plus Tom Heights with its extensive views over southern Lakeland before skirting the Furness Fells to Yew Tree Tarn. 7 miles (11km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Ascend via Tilberthwaite Gill to the summit of Wetherlam, before descending via the disused workings of the Coppermines Valley. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,400 (720m) feet of ascent.
Family Walk: A delightful walk following the shore of Rydal Water to Rydal Hall and Rydal Mount, the home of William Wordsworth. The route follows the traditional ‘coffin route’ to Grasmere passing Dove Cottage before finishing at Wordworth’s grave and the famous Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread shop. 4 miles (6.5km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.
Easier Walk: Starting from Grasmere we will ascend to Helm Crag one of the most distinctive Lakeland Fells with the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ rock formations on the summit. From the summit a grassy descent takes us to the valley giving the option of continuing to Easedale Tarn with its spectacular waterfall. 6 miles (9.5km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: 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. 8 miles (13km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: A longer circuit which ascends via Easedale Tarn to High Raise, returning along the Calf Crag ridge back to Grasmere. 11 miles (17.5km) with 2,800 feet (840m) of ascent.
Family Walk: Walk the ancient Langdale Valley along the Cumbrian Way. Cascading waterfalls, slate quarries and Stone Age sites are passed whilst proceeding up the valley with imposing and spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell, finishing at the National Trust Stickle Ghyll. 4 miles (6.5km) with 500 feet (150m) of ascent.
Easier Walk: Follow the Langdale Valley past Colwith Force and Skelwith Force waterfalls to Elterwater village, continuing to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel through increasingly grand scenery. 6 miles (9.5km) with 600 feet (180m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Walk Wainwright’s favourite traverse, Crinkle Crags. Start by ascending to Red Tarn before approaching the famous Crinkles. Defeat the ‘Bad Step’ before following what Wainwright describes as being amongst the grandest mountain walks in Lakeland. The return to the Dungeon Ghyll is via Three Tarns and the Band. 8 miles (13km) with 2,600 feet (780m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: A superb and varied high level walk on rocky terrain with some exposure – a good head for heights is essential on this walk. The walk includes Bow Fell and Esk Pike which, in clear weather, provides superb views along Borrowdale to Derwentwater. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,200 feet (960m) of ascent.
Thursday: Ambleside, Fairfield and Brockhole
Family Walk: Starting at Ambleside mountain rescue base the walk follows a well known local route to Troutbeck offering views of Lake Windermere with the Langdale Pikes in the distance. The route passes a fine Victorian viewing point before finishing at the Brockhole visitor centre with its many free activities. 3 miles (5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.
Easier Walk: We start at Ambleside Cross before making our way up to Stockghyll Force waterfall. After viewing the falls, the walk contours round Wansfell via Red Bank and Skelghyll woods and on to Troutbeck. The final leg of the walk passes the National Trust property of Townend, returning via pleasant pastures to Brockhole. 5 miles (8km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: The Medium Walk starts the same as the Easier Walk but shortly after Stockghyll Force the route follows the path over Wansfell before descending into Troutbeck where a short refreshment break may be taken. The return to Brockhole is via Troutbeck Church and Robin Lane offering fine views of southern Windermere. 7 miles (11km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: One of the finest horseshoe routes in Lakeland and a must for all who like the high fells, today’s walk is the iconic Fairfield Horseshoe. It includes eight separate Wainwright Fells, concluding the day in Ambleside. 10 miles (16km) with 3,800 (1,140m) feet of ascent.
Friday: Coniston Fells
Family Walk: We walk on good tracks via Low Yewdale to the Coppermines Valley, strewn with relics of the area’s industrial past. We explore Coniston village before making our way to the lakeshore, to cruise Coniston Water on the restored steam yacht Gondola, with an option to visit Brantwood, home of John Ruskin before a short and pleasant walk through a field into the gardens of Monk Coniston. 4 miles (6.5km) with 300 feet (90m) of ascent.
Easier Walk: The Easier Walk starts at the Wainwright Inn just past Elterwater. Crossing the Great Langdale Beck the route goes though a slate quarry on its way to Little Langdale and the Three Shires Inn. From here, following the old miners route, we take in Slaters Bridge before visiting Cathedral Cave. The return to Monk Coniston is via Tilbertwaite Valley. 6 miles (9.5km) with 900 feet (270m) of ascent.
Medium Walk: Walk from the Langdale Valley to Monk Coniston via Blea Tarn, the pretty green valley of Little Langdale and gigantic Cathedral Cave. 7 miles (11km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the head of the Langdale Valley we climb to Red Tarn before reaching the famous Three Shire Stone. We then follow a challenging high level return to Monk Coniston, taking in four ‘Wainwright’ peaks before the final summit of the week, Coniston Old Man. 11 miles (17.5km) with 3,500 feet ((1,050m) of ascent.
Family-friendly walks: we've selected the best walks for families with shorter distances and plenty of interest along the routes. The shorter walks usually allow plenty of time for activities, or enjoying the grounds of Monk Coniston
- Adventure: each day there are opportunities to climb some of the Lake District's best peaks; ideal for active teenagers and adults
- Activity leader: back at Monk Coniston, our activity leader will organise games and activities which could include rounders, treasure hunts or crafts
- Peace of mind: only families can book on our dedicated Family holidays - the kids get the run of the Country House in a safe environment
- Free day: on our 7 night holidays, enjoy a day without walks to get out and make the most of the nearby family-friendly attractions
Terrain and transport: Our Family and Easier Walks are generally on well-graded valley, fell and lakeside paths, but can be occasionally rough. Medium Walks are on good, but sometimes rocky paths, to lower summits and moorland fells; you might occasionally feel the need to use your hands. Harder Walks use steep and rough paths to mountain summits and some walks need a head for heights.
On some days the walks start or finish at Monk Coniston; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.
Activities at Monk Coniston: Before dinner the activity leaders will run an activity suitable for the younger children. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an evening activity created specifically for all the family or use the Country House facilities.
Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an evening activity created specifically for all the family or use the Country House facilities.
See our Family Adventure Guide for more information about our holidays and accommodation.
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.
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We know how valuable, and individual, your family holiday is; so let us take all the stress out of booking the perfect break. So we can capture your perfect holiday, each of the booking links below will direct you to a family booking form. Simply fill in your family requirements and one of our dedicated reservation consultants will give you a call back to make your dream holiday a reality.
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|1 Apr 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||4||£399.00||£398.00||Book Now|
|1 Apr 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||7||£675.00||£674.00||Book Now|
|5 Apr 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||3||£319.00||£318.00||Book Now|
|22 Jul 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||7||£839.00||£838.00||Book Now|
|5 Aug 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||7||£839.00||£838.00||Book Now|
|12 Aug 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||4||£519.00||£518.00||Book Now|
|12 Aug 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||7||£839.00||£838.00||Book Now|
|16 Aug 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||3||£375.00||£374.00||Book Now|
|23 Oct 2017||CNFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Conistonwater||4||£479.00||£478.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- All child prices are based on sharing with an adult. Children not sharing an adult's room will be subject to a £50 surcharge per child per stay. A single room charge of £5 per child per night will be made where applicable.
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person