7 Night Southern Lake District Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

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Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided walking
Walking Grade: 2, 4 & 5
from £1,289pp

The Lake District has always conjured up an effortless sense of romance. But in winter, the whole place has an added sprinkling of magic. Spend the festive season amongst the much-loved walking trails and chocolate-box villages of the Southern Lake District. Our characterful country house at Monk Coniston will be at its festive best, making it a merry base from which to take wintry walks and much more. We pull out all the stops at this time of year and welcome you with a sprinkling of festive cheer, seasonal food, and plenty of yuletide treats. So wrap up warm and step into Christmas with HF Holidays.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on foot
  • Soaking up views of grass-topped hills and untouched woodland
  • Visiting picturesque market towns and villages
  • Spending time with like-minded people in the great outdoors
  • Staying at Longmynd House in Church Stretton

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Loughrigg Circular

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km) 

Ascent: 1,100 feet (330m) 

In summary: A delightful contouring circuit of Loughrigg Fell with extensive views of four lakes and the surrounding mountains. This walk finishes in the popular Lake District town of Ambleside. 

Highlight: The immense Rydal caves, with their wonderful views over Rydal Water and Nab Scar beyond.

Option 2 - Wansfell Pike and Troutbeck

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 2,050 feet (620m)

In summary: A circular walk from Ambleside, this walk starts with a steep ascent up the side of Wansfell Pike. From here it is generally downhill to Troutbeck and then back around the corner of the fell to Ambleside via Skelghyll woods and Jenkins Crag. 

Highlight: The views on a clear day from the top of Wansfell Pike are stunning. Almost all of the ten miles of lake Windermere are visible to the south, and the ridges of Red Screes and Fairfield extend to the north, a real feeling of being amongst some of the big giants of the Lake District fells.

Option 3 - Dove Crag and Scandale

Distance: 10 miles (16km) 

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m) 

In summary: Starting in Ambleside, we head north, over Low Sweden Bridge and up onto a fine rising ridge, taking in Low Pike, then High Pike, en-route to the broad summit of Dove Crag. From there, we start our return, with an option to take in Little Hart Crag, en-route to Scandale Pass. Onwards, we head down the valley, near Scandale Beck and eventually back into Ambleside town.

Highlight: The chance to ‘bag’ four Wainwrights and enjoy great skyline panoramas on a clear day.


Option 1 - Tarn Hows and Yew Tree Farm

Distance: 6.5 miles (10km) 

Total ascent: 800 feet (260m) 

In summary: Explore the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visit the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot.  

Highlight: The picturesque views around Tarn Hows look like they are straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide. 

Option 2 - Black Crag and Tarn Hows

Distance: 8.5 miles (14km)

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: Walking from the House, we cross woods and fields up to Iron Keld Plantation. We then traverse an open fell to Black Crag summit which commands a great viewpoint. Continuing on via Hollin Bank, we join the Cumbria Way, returning to Monk Coniston via the picturesque Tarn Hows.

Highlight: The summit of Black Crag is one of the best panoramic viewpoints in the Southern Lake District. 

Option 3 - Coniston Old Man

Distance: 10 miles (16km)

Ascent: 2,800 feet (860m)

In summary: Head up to Coniston Old Man via the Coppermines 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.


Option 1 - Coppermines Valley

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 380m (1,250ft)

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 - Coppermines Valley and Levers Water

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km) 

Ascent: 1,750 feet (540m)

In summary: We walk from the house into the historic Coppermines Valley. We make our way to the shores of Levers Water passing remains of a once vibrant mining industry. 

Highlight: The long and fascinating history of mining and admiring the surrounding mountains from Levers Water.

Option 3 - Coppermines Valley and Wetherlam

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 2,700 feet (825m) 

In summary: Walking from the House, we head into the Coppermines Valley, ascending via old mine shafts and wheel pits, en-route to the col at Swirl Hawse. From there, we head up to the summit of impressive local peak Wetherlam. Our descent takes us south to Hole Rake and over the Miners Bridge, on down to Coniston village. We then take the footpath back to the House.

Highlight: A walk full of mining history, with a great summit and hopefully the chance for a drink in the Sun Inn in Coniston village near the end. 


Discover more about Monk Coniston and the local area for ideas on how to make the most of your free day.


Option 1 - Hawkshead

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: A figure of 8 walk visiting the iconic beauty spot Tarn Hows, then across fields and open fell to the pretty village of Hawkshead.

Highlight: Hawkshead with its myriad of narrow alleyways. The countryside that inspired Beatrix Potter.

Option 2 - Coniston to Hawkshead via Grizedale

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

In summary: Walk to Hawkshead village via Grizedale Forest and return over fields and open fell to Tarn Hows.

Highlight: Hawkshead with its myriad of narrow alleyways and connections with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Option 3 - Hodge Close, Black Crag and Tarn Hows

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (600m)

In summary: We start with elevated views along Conistonwater, then descend to Yew Tree Farm. Ascending again we cross Uskdale Gap on the craggy Holme Fell, then descend again to view Hodge Close Quarry. We reach the widely panoramic summit of Black Crag. Finally a gentle descent takes us past picturesque Tarn Hows on our return to the house.   

Highlight: A walk full of interest including Yew Tree Farm where the Beatrix Potter movie was filmed and the vast hole of Hodge Close Quarry. 


Option 1 - Langdale Waterfalls

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 700 feet (220m) 

In summary: Follow the Langdale Valley past Elterwater village, to the new Dungeon Ghyll Hotel through increasingly grand scenery.  

Highlight: Spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force.

Option 2 - The Langdale Valleys

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) 

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: Walk along the peaceful valley of Little Langdale with its waterfalls and iconic Slaters Bridge. We pass Blea Tarn, then descend into the larger neighbouring valley of Great Langdale. 

Highlight: Beautiful Blea Tarn, with its impressive views of some of the Lake District's most famous peaks. 

Option 3 - Above Langdale

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (600m) 

In summary: Ascend to the great viewpoints of Side Pike and Lingmoor on the Langdale skyline. We descend to Elterwater Village to join the Cumbria Way along the base of this immense glacial valley. 

Highlight: 'Threading the needle' (squeezing through a narrow fissure) to reach the summit of Lingmoor, and its classic view of the Langdale Pikes.  


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


See Dates, Prices & Trip Note tab to check which itinerary is running

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Hawkshead

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)

In summary: A figure of 8 walk visiting the iconic beauty spot Tarn Hows, then across fields and open fell to the pretty village of Hawkshead.

Highlight: Hawkshead with its myriad of narrow alleyways. The countryside that inspired Beatrix Potter.

Option 2 - Coniston to Hawkshead via Grizedale

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

In summary: Walk to Hawkshead village via Grizedale Forest and return over fields and open fell to Tarn Hows.

Highlight: Hawkshead with its myriad of narrow alleyways and connections with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Option 3 - Hodge Close, Black Crag and Tarn Hows

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 1,950 feet (600m)

In summary: We start with elevated views along Conistonwater, then descend to Yew Tree Farm. Ascending again we cross Uskdale Gap on the craggy Holme Fell, then descend again to view Hodge Close Quarry. We reach the widely panoramic summit of Black Crag. Finally a gentle descent takes us past picturesque Tarn Hows on our return to the house.   

Highlight: A walk full of interest including Yew Tree Farm where the Beatrix Potter movie was filmed and the vast hole of Hodge Close Quarry. 


Option 1 - Langdale Waterfalls

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 700 feet (220m) 

In summary: Follow the Langdale Valley past Elterwater village, to the new Dungeon Ghyll Hotel through increasingly grand scenery.  

Highlight: Spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force.

Option 2 - The Langdale Valleys

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) 

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In summary: Walk along the peaceful valley of Little Langdale with its waterfalls and iconic Slaters Bridge. We pass Blea Tarn, then descend into the larger neighbouring valley of Great Langdale. 

Highlight: Beautiful Blea Tarn, with its impressive views of some of the Lake District's most famous peaks. 

Option 3 - Above Langdale

Distance: 8½ miles (14km) 

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (600m) 

In summary: Ascend to the great viewpoints of Side Pike and Lingmoor on the Langdale skyline. We descend to Elterwater Village to join the Cumbria Way along the base of this immense glacial valley. 

Highlight: 'Threading the needle' (squeezing through a narrow fissure) to reach the summit of Lingmoor, and its classic view of the Langdale Pikes.  


Discover more about Monk Coniston and the local area for ideas on how to make the most of your free day.


Option 1 - Western Lakeshore

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m)

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: 10½ miles (16.5km)

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 - Levers Water and Coniston Old Man

Distance: 9½ miles (15km) 

Ascent: 2,9500 feet (900m) 

In summary: Heading from the House through Guards Wood, we pass the two Youth Hostels, as we ascend through old copper ore processing sites in the Coppermines Valley. On via Grey Crag, past the giant Pudding Stone, into Boulder Valley, to reach Levers Water. From there, it becomes a steep ascent on the path up Gill Cove, to Levers Hawse. It is then a pleasant ridge walk south to the summit of Coniston Old Man. Our route back follows the popular path, descending via Crowberry Haws and eventually down into Coniston village, to make our way back home.

Highlight: A less frequented ascent of Coniston Old Man, full of interest.


Option 1 - Tarn Hows and Coniston

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

In summary: Walk 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 and Coniston Village; a great walk right on the doorstep. 

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

Option 2 - Tarn Hows and Hole Rake

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Ascent: 1,775 feet (540m) 

In summary: We head out of the House, up through Hill Fell Plantation, to reach the picturesque Tarn Hows. From above the tarn, we then take a quiet path down to view the iconic Yew Tree Farm. Onto a bridleway and a short section of road, before we cut up across the hillside, over a couple of short rocky sections, on to the deep chasm of Tilberthwaite Gill. We ascend above the gill to near the top, where we turn into the hanging valley of Hole Rake on the flank of Wetherlam. This eventually brings us down into the Coppermines Valley, on down through the village and back to the House.

Highlight: A broad loop taking in the village, impressive mountain scenery, a gorge, waterfalls and ‘must-see’ local sights of Yew Tree Farm and Tarn Hows.

Option 3 - Low Tilberthwaite and Wetherlam

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Ascent: 2650 feet (800m)

In summary: A grand day out in the mountains, reaching the top of Wetherlam after a mild but exciting scramble up Wetherlam Edge.

Highlight: The sense of achievement on reaching the top having scrambled up ‘The Edge’.


Option 1 - Grasmere and Easedale

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Ascent: 950 feet (300m) 

In summary: Starting from the village of Grasmere we’ll walk to Easedale Tarn, an impressive glacial lake.  

Highlight: There's time to explore Grasmere, famous as the home of poet William Wordsworth. Don't forget to seek out the poet's grave in the village churchyard, or sample the famous (and very tasty) Grasmere Gingerbread. 

Option 2 - Ambleside to Grasmere via Coffin Route

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,050 feet (330m)

In summary: We begin in Ambleside, leaving Rothay Park, and skirt beneath Loughrigg Fell, to pass Rydal Water into the village of Rydal. After visiting Rydal Hall and grounds we continue via the ‘Coffin Route’ past Dove Cottage to Grasmere. There will be time to explore this lovely village with its connections to William Wordsworth and of course sample the famous gingerbread. 

Highlight: Grasmere with its connections to William Wordsworth, don't forget to seek out his grave in the village churchyard.   

Option 3 - Helm Crag and Calf Crag

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km) 

Ascent: 2,000 feet (620m)

In summary: 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. 

Highlight: It's a steep climb to the top of Helm Crag, but you'll be rewarded with great views over Grasmere. 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Monk Coniston

With a desirable address overlooking Coniston Water (the inspiration for Arthur Ransome’s 1930 novel, Swallows and Amazons), this characterful Grade II-listed house delights with lakeside and woodland walks from the doorstep, décor that stays true to the period feel, and plenty of Beatrix Potter references. While the children's author and illustrator did not live at the Monk Coniston estate (her beloved home was Hill Top, bought in 1905 with the royalties from The Tale of Peter Rabbit), she campaigned with the National Trust to save it from development. She then purchased the entire estate in 1930 and as the new owner she immediately sold half to the organisation, bequeathing them the other half in her will.

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Monk Coniston has 30 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: The rooms with a garden or lake view. We also love Room 9 on the first floor for its original features and beautiful views across the gardens and fields that slope down to the shores of Coniston Water. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out 
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

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

Coniston - External.jpg

Getting to Monk Coniston

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

More Information

Address 

Monk Coniston
Coniston
Cumbria LA21 8AQ

Tel: +44 (0)1539 441566

By train

The nearest station is Windermere. From Windermere you can take a taxi or bus to Monk Coniston (see below).

The nearest mainline station is Oxenholme which may be more convenient for you, however there are no direct buses from Oxenholme to Monk Coniston. There are frequent trains from Oxenholme to Windermere.

Check National Rail for journey times and routes. 

By taxi

The journey from Windermere train station to Monk Coniston is 10 miles.

From Oxenholme, it’s double that at 23 miles.

For pricing, please contact Ace Taxi directly.

Ace Taxi
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Ace Taxi*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1539 445445
Email: acetaxiwindermere@gmail.com

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Monk Coniston.

*Ace Taxi is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The 505 takes you directly from Windermere station to Monk Coniston, taking about 50 minutes. The stop is right outside Monk Coniston. 

Check Stagecoach for bus times. 

By car

Car parking is available at Monk Coniston.

If travelling from the south, you’ll need to leave the M6 motorway at junction 36. Follow the A590 to Greenodd Roundabout, take the second exit and follow the A5092 before turning right onto the A5084 signposted to Torver. At the T junction turn right onto the A593 and follow into Coniston village. Turn right onto the B5286 and follow for 1.5 miles. The entrance to Monk Coniston will be on your right.

By air

The nearest airport is Manchester International Airport.  

There are direct trains every hour to Oxenholme with the journey time around 90 minutes. From here you can change to Windermere or get a taxi (we recommend pre-booking one).  

National Rail have up-to-date information on times and routes. 

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but it’ll take you at least four hours to reach Oxenholme. Take the train to London Paddington station, then the London Underground to London Euston where you can connect to the main line train to Oxenholme. The journey from here is 2.5 hours.  

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Monk Coniston Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

23 Dec - 30 Dec 2024

7 nights

Christmas

Single from

£1,425

Double from

£1,425 pp

from

£1,425 pp

from

£1,425

Trip Notes
Book Now

27 Dec 2024 - 03 Jan 2025

7 nights

New Year

Single from

£1,289

Double from

£1,289 pp

from

£1,289 pp

from

£1,289

Trip Notes
Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided walking
Walking Grade:
2, 4 & 5

7 nights from £1,289pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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