Festive Self-guided Walking at Conistonwater


Print page

Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace


  • Easier
  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
  • Harder
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £325.00 - 3 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Enjoy a festive break in the Lake District with the walking experts; we have all the ingredients for your perfect Self-guided holiday.

Our historic 4-star Country House, beautifully situated with views along Coniston Water is geared to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy hearty local food, our legendary picnic lunches, and our excellent boot and drying room. To help you explore we'll give you a free Ordnance Survey map, plus detailed route notes for our recommended walks. On many holidays our experienced leaders are on hand to offer help and advice.

Great value. What’s included:

  • Full Board accommodation - breakfast, evening meal and an extensive walkers' picnic lunch
  • A free Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 scale Explorer map of the local area with every booking
  • Detailed route notes, ranging from short strolls to mountain walks
  • Country House Escapes guide – full of information about local attractions, activities and suggested itineraries to help plan your break
  • All the Country House facilities, including our well equipped boot and drying room
  • On many holidays our experienced walking leaders are available to offer help and advice

In pictures...


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.4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation



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 for an extra £8 per night.

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 £5 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.


Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.

Back to top

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

Public WCs

  • 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

Games room

  • 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

Additional information

  • 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

Self-guided walks

Make use of our Discovery Point at Monk Coniston - the starting point for your outdoor adventure. You'll find:

  • Our recommended walks - detailed route notes for you to borrow
  • Comprehensive library of local maps and guidebooks
  • Ideas and contacts for more active options such as watersports and mountain biking
  • A daily weather forecast 

When you're not walking, there's plenty to do locally. Why not cycle in nearby Grizedale Forest, take a boat ride on the lake, or visit a National Trust property. See the 'Local Area' tab for further ideas.

Detailed walking notes: all our walking notes contain detailed directions, route maps, and information about the places of interest on the route.

Sample route - Brantwood via ferry to Monk Coniston   Sample route - Langdale Pikes  

HF Holidays' boat icon Travel by boat

HF Holidays car icon

Travel by car       HF Holidays bus icon  Travel by bus Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  No transport required            

Laid back walks

Our easiest routes, allowing plenty of time to savour the magnificent mountain landscapes. All our walk notes suggest the best places to stop, great pubs, and tea rooms.

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

  HF Holidays walks level 1 easier   Around Tarn Hows - 2 miles 
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Coniston village - 3 miles

HF Holidays' boat icon

 HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Brantwood to Monk Coniston - 3 miles

HF Holidays car icon

HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Windermere & Wray Castle - 3 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Tarn Hows - 4 miles

HF Holidays bus iconHF Holidays car icon 

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Hawkshead & Latterbarrow - 4 miles

HF Holidays car icon

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Rydal Water & Loughrigg Terrace - 4 miles

Leg stretcher walks

Some longer walks on valley and lakeside paths, plus a few of the easier lower fells. Experience a true flavour of Lakeland as you follow these varied routes.

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays HF Holidays walks level 1 easier Coniston & the Miner's Bridge - 5 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

 HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Tarn Hows & Yew Tree Farm - 6 miles

HF Holidays bus icon

 HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Grasmere & Rydal Water - 6 miles

HF Holidays car icon HF Holidays bus icon

 HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Wansfell - 6 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays  HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy Hawkshead - 7 miles
HF Holidays bus iconHF Holidays car icon  HF Holidays walks level 3 medium Latterbarrow, Windermere & Wray Castle - 8 miles

Full on walks

For those who love the high mountains. Expect some rough paths as you head to some of these famous summits, but there are plenty of rewards when you reach the top.

HF Holidays car icon

HF Holidays walks grade 4 hard Langdale Pikes - 4 miles

HF Holidays car icon

HF Holidays walks grade 4 hard Helm Crag - 8 miles

HF Holidays car icon

HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Bow Fell  - 8 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Old Man of Coniston (out & back) - 8 miles

Self-guided walking at HF Holidays

HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Old Man of Coniston - 10 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Wetherlam - 10 miles

HF Holidays bus iconHF Holidays car icon 

HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Fairfield Horseshoe - 11 miles
Self-guided walking at HF Holidays HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder Coniston Round - 11 miles

What HF Holidays' route testers say:

Hawkshead, Latterbarrow, Windermere and Wray Castle -“Over the summit of Latterbarrow, down through forest and then along the shore of Lake Windermere to Wray Castle, a Victorian mock Gothic structure now in the hands of the National Trust." Keith Sykes, HF Holidays' Leader

Langdale Pikes -"These mountains form a collection of spires and cliffs on the north side of Langdale. This walk visits four of the main tops – Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike O Stickle & Loft Crag. There are wonderful views across to Pike O Blisco, Crinkle Crags & Bow Fell. Although a shorter mountain walk than most it is very strenuous. There is a short “scramble” off the main path to reach the first three tops." HF Holidays' Leader, John Wrigley


Local area

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 on Coniston WaterSteam 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


Steam locomotive on the Ravenglass & Eskdale railwayRavenglass & 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


Brantwood House

Just a couple of miles from Monk Coniston, John Ruskin's former home commands superb views over the lake. www.brantwood.org.uk

Tarn Hows
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.

Grizedale Forest
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

Levens Hall with impressive topiary in the gardenLevens Hall
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and topiary displays. www.levenshall.co.uk




Dove Cottage, home to William WordsworthGrasmere
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



Steamer on WindermereWindermere

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


Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ

By train: The nearest railway station is 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).

By taxi: The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis cost approx £23 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Monk Coniston Manager.

By car: 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 the 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.  Look out for the sign on the wall. There is car parking available within the grounds.

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info


Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
27 Dec 2016 CNPXA - Festive Self-guided - Conistonwater 3 £325.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.