4-Night Southern Lake District Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

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Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2, 4 & 5
from £799pp

Relax and admire magnificent mountain views from our Country House on the shores of Coniston Water. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of the South Lakes in winter
  • Enjoy lakeside strolls from the door, or challenge yourself to explore Wainwright's favourite fells
  • Let our experienced leaders bring classic routes and hidden gems to life
  • Visit charming Lakeland villages
  • Discover stunning Lakeland Landscapes, the inspiration for Wordsworth , Beatrix Potter and Ruskin
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas
  • Decked in all its festive glory, Monk Coniston provides the perfect place to relax
  • Evenings in our country house where you can share a drink, celebrate and re-live the day’s adventures

What’s included

  • Full board en-suite accommodation
  • A full programme of guided walks or activities
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • Transport to and from the walks
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Tarn Hows

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In SummaryWalk in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter through the woods from Monk Coniston to the stunningly beautiful lake of Tarn Hows, returning via Yew Tree Farm; a great walk right on the doorstep. 

HighlightYew Tree Farm was donated to the National Trust by Beatrix Potter and used for the film Miss Potter. 

 

 

Option 2 - Tom Heights and Tarn Hows

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1150 feet (350m)

In Summary: Walk all the way around Tarn Hows before heading over Tom Heights. An oft overlooked summit, the views straight down Coniston water and the surrounding fells are amazing.

Highlight: The views from the top of Tom Heights (Note; although the distance and height gained is less than todays option 1, the terrain over Tom Heights merits the Option 2 category).

Option 3 - Tarn Hows and Carron Crag

Distance: 10.5 miles (17km)

Ascent: 1,650 feet (500m)

In Summary: Walk directly from the house through woods to Tarn Hows. Head to Grizedale Forest and its highest point standing above the trees, Carron Crag at 1025 above sea level. Continue through forest and open fell to Brantwood.

Highlight: The view from the summit of Carron Crag suddenly reveals itself and the views are all the more magical.


Option 1 - Torver, Lake Shore and Coniston Village

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Join the Cumbria Way to Coniston village, then walk the old Coniston to Broughton railway line. Descend through woods and fields to Coniston Water and walk back to the house along the lake shore.

Highlight: The Cumbria Way stretch through meadow and fields with ‘the White Lady’ (a waterfall so called by locals), tumbling down the Yewdale Fells to your right. Beauty as nature intended.

Option 2 - Torver and Coniston Water

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In Summary: Head for Coppermines Valley and walk the lower slopes of Coniston Old Man to reach the old trading route known as Walna Scar. Head on towards Torver then drop down to Coniston Water and walk the shoreline back to the house.

Highlight: Hear the water lapping on the shore as you gaze over the water to the mountains beyond.

Option 3 - Swirl How

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)

Ascent: 2700 feet (820m)

In Summary: Head off into the fells to Levers Water nestling immediately below the steep slopes of Swirl How. Ascend to the summit via the impressive Prison Band. Walk the summit ridge before descending steeply to the valley below.

Highlight: The top of Swirl How, the central point of the Coniston Fells offering 360 degree views.


Option 1 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: Walk in the historic Coppermines valley and the lower slopes of Coniston Old Man.

Highlight: The history of mining in the area and feeling of being in among the fells.

Option 2 - Hole Rake and Holme Fell

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)

Ascent: 1,800 feet (560m)

In Summary: Walk up the valley to Miners Bridge before ascending along Hole Rake, a track hugging the lower eastern slopes of Wetherlam. On to Tilberthwaite Gill and Holme Fell.

Highlight: Tilberthwaite Gill is the most impressive water filled ravine in the Lake District.

Option 3 - Coniston Old Man

Distance: 9 miles (14..5km)

Ascent: 2,910 feet (890m)

In Summary: Head up to Coniston Old Man via the Copermines Valley and the old slate miners track. From the summit descent via Goats Water to view the magnificent eastern crags of Dow Crag.

Highlight: The view from the top of Coniston Old Man.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Monk Coniston

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.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Guests may need to book a time when they wish to swim (30-minute slots) if the number of guests exceeds the pool capacity. 

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

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 and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

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.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Monk Coniston

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Getting to Monk Coniston

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
23 Dec - 27 Dec 2021
4 Christmas £799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan 2021
4 New Year £745 Unavailable to Book Unavailable Trip Notes
2022
23 Dec - 27 Dec 2022
4 Christmas £855 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan 2022
4 Christmas £799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2 & 4

4 nights from £799pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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