UK 2022: Save up to £100 pp

7-Night Southern Lake District Gentle Walking Holiday

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Duration: 7 nights
Type: Gentle Walks
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £809pp £709pp

Walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, as you discover the places that stirred their imaginations. Enjoy the stunning mountain scenes with lakeside strolls, taking a cruise across the lake on the steam yacht Gondola, or enjoy getting nose-to-nose with the high peaks as you explore their heights. Whatever your passion, you’ll be struck with awe as you explore this much-loved area of the Lake District.

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, as you discover the places that stirred their imaginations
  • Enjoy the stunning mountain scenes with lakeside strolls, taking a cruise across the lake on the steam yacht Gondola, or enjoy getting nose-to-nose with the high peaks as you explore their heights
  • Let your leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Spend the evenings in our country house where you can share a drink and re-live the days adventures

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 5 days guided walking and 1 free day
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

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.

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Around Tarn Hows

Distance: 4 miles (7km) 

Ascent: 800 feet (260m)

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk from the house which takes in a loop of the picturesque beauty spot, Tarn Hows. 

Don’t miss: The view from the green in front of the tarn with the brooding Coniston and Langdale Fells as a backdrop. An iconic view obtainable just a short walk from the doorstep of our country house. 

 

 

Option 2 - Tarn Hows & Yew Tree Farm

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Total ascent: 820 feet (250m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visit the picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot.  

Don’t miss: The picturesque views around Tarn Hows look like they are straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide. 

 

Option 3 - Tom Heights & Tarn Hows

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Walk across fields to Yew Tree Farm and the Yewdale Valley. After ascending Tom Heights we return via Tarn Hows. 

Don’t miss: Tom Heights is dwarfed by the surrounding peaks, but it enjoys great views over the local countryside. 

 

 


Option 1 - Around Rydal to Grasmere

Distance: 4 miles (6km) 

Total ascent: 600 feet (180m)

The walk in a nutshell: This walk circuits two of the Lake District's prettiest lakes, and also passes through Rydal village and finishes in Grasmere. 

Don’t miss: The stunning waterfall in the grounds of Rydal Hall. The artists' grotto at the bottom of the falls has a window which frames the falls perfectly. 

 

Option 2 - Helm Crag & Easedale Tarn

Distance: 6 miles (10km) 

Ascent: 1000 feet (300m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Starting from the village of Grasmere we’ll walk to Easedale Tarn, an impressive glacial lake.  

Don’t miss: 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 3 - Calf Crag & Helm Crag

Distance: 8 miles (13km) 

Ascent: 1,950 feet (580m) 

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: It's a steep climb to the top of Helm Crag, but you'll be rewarded with great views over Grasmere. 

 


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


Option 1 - Coniston

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total Ascent: 170m

Summary: This is a nice, gentle walk into Coniston. We start the walk by passing the National Trust offices at Boon Crag Farm, following a wide track towards Lower Yewdale. We then follow pretty woodland paths into Coniston. After exploring Coniston and perhaps visiting the Grave of Donald Campbell we make our way to the lakeshore. The return journey is along the lake shore path to the main Coniston Tarn Hows path which will take us back to the house. 

Highlight: Walking along the lake shore is always a pleasure. 

Option 2 - 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 3 - Coniston and the Coppermines Valley

Distance: 8.25 miles (13.3.km)

Ascent: 410m (1350ft)

In Summary: We walk from the house into the historic Coppermines Valley. As we make our way to Levers Water we pass the remains of a once vibrant mining industry. After soaking up the views from Levers Water we head across Boulder Valley and towards Walna Scar. We then follow paths back towards Coniston and a well earned rest. 

Highlight: Admiring the surrounding mountains from Levers Water.


Option 1 - Troutbeck to Ambleside

Distance: 4 miles (6km)  

Ascent: 650 feet (200m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Starting in the village of Troutbeck, we ascend Robin Lane with picturesque views south over Windermere, eventually descending to Waterhead and Ambleside. 

Don't miss: Galava Roman Fort at Waterhead was a key location in Hadrian's attempt to control Northern Britain, linking via roman roads the top of Lake Windermere with Ravenglass to the West, and Hadrian's Wall in the North. 

 

Option 2 - Loughrigg Circuit

Distance: 6½ miles (10km) 

Ascent: 1,200 feet (380m) 

In SummaryA 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. 

HighlightThe immense Rydal caves, with their wonderful views over Rydal Water and Nab Scar beyond.

 

Option 3 - Wansfell Pike

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km) 

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (600m) 

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: The views on a clear day from the top of Wasfell 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 1 - Tilberthwaite There and Back

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total Ascent: 800 feet (180m)

In Summary: This is a gentle walk mainly on tracks and quiet Lakeland roads, taking us into the beautiful Tilberthwaite Valley. Although quiet and peaceful now the area was once the centre of mining in the 1800s. We pass a very pretty farm, following the footpath through meadows with some interesting trees before making our way up the valley. After a brief spell through woods, we arrive at the open valley bottom with lovely views of both the valley and mountains. Lunch would normally be taken at the famous Andrew Gormley Sheepfold before making our way back on the opposite side of the valley, passing ruins of the mining on the hillside.

Highlight: The views of the surrounding mountains when in the valley bottom are stunning.

Option 2 - Hawkshead

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (360m)

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 3 - Coniston to Hawkshead

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.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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


Option 1 - Coniston

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total Ascent: 170m

Summary: This is a nice, gentle walk into Coniston. We start the walk by passing the National Trust offices at Boon Crag Farm, following a wide track towards Lower Yewdale. We then follow pretty woodland paths into Coniston. After exploring Coniston and perhaps visiting the Grave of Donald Campbell we make our way to the lakeshore. The return journey is along the lake shore path to the main Coniston Tarn Hows path which will take us back to the house. 

Highlight: Walking along the lake shore is always a pleasure. 

Option 2 - 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 3 - 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 1 - Around Tarn Hows

Distance: 4 miles (7km) 

Ascent: 800 feet (260m)

The walk in a nutshell: A circular walk from the house which takes in a loop of the picturesque beauty spot, Tarn Hows. 

Don’t miss: The view from the green in front of the tarn with the brooding Coniston and Langdale Fells as a backdrop. An iconic view obtainable just a short walk from the doorstep of our country house. 

 

 

Option 2 - Hawkshead

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (360m)

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 3 - Coniston to Hawkshead

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 1 - Tilberthwaite There and Back

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total Ascent: 800 feet (180m)

In Summary: This is a gentle walk mainly on tracks and quiet Lakeland roads, taking us into the beautiful Tilberthwaite Valley. Although quiet and peaceful now the area was once the centre of mining in the 1800s. We pass a very pretty farm, following the footpath through meadows with some interesting trees before making our way up the valley. After a brief spell through woods, we arrive at the open valley bottom with lovely views of both the valley and mountains. Lunch would normally be taken at the famous Andrew Gormley Sheepfold before making our way back on the opposite side of the valley, passing ruins of the mining on the hillside.

Highlight: The views of the surrounding mountains when in the valley bottom are stunning.

Option 2 - 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 3 - 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 1 - Coppermines Valley

Distance: 4 miles (6.5km) 

Ascent: 300 feet (80m) 

In Summary: Walk via the Coppermines Valley to Coniston village and down to the jetty on beautiful Consiton Water, look out for the Steam Gondola on the water. Finally a short walk through the fields takes us back to Monk Coniston.

Highlight: The jetty on the lake is a fantastic place to appreciate this magnificent setting.

Option 2 - Wharton Tarn, Grizedale and Brantwood

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,400 feet (430m)

In summary: A wooded walk to Wharton Tarn. Walk around the tarn before entering Grizedale Forest. The forest gives way to open fell affording excellent views of Coniston Water. Continue to Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin.

Highlight: The easy descent to Brantwood over open fell with spectacular lake and mountain views.

Option 3 - Tarn Hows, Carron Crag and Brantwood

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 - Tarn Hows and Lower Yewdale

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.5km)

Total Ascent: 600 feet (160m)

In Summary: We walk through mixed woodland ascending to the iconic Tarn Hows. After taking in the views and enjoying the tranquillity of the tarn, we make are way down to Glen Mary Bridge where we see a perfect example of a Banked Barn with a Spinning Gallery. The farm house may also be recognised by some as Hill Top in the film Miss Potter. We walk along the track used in the film, making our way to the entrance of Tilberthwaite Valley before making our way back to the house via pastures and good tracks.

Highlight: Tarn Hows is a beautiful spot near Coniston.

Option 2 - Little Langdale and High Tilberthwaite

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary: A walk past Yew Tree Tarn to the picturesque valley of Little Langdale. Pass the impressive Cathedral Cave hewn out of the hillside and an ancient quarryman's bridge known as Slater Bridge. Return to the house via High Tilberthwaite. An abundance of riches!

Highlight: The juxtaposition of soft, Lake District valley with the relics of an industrial past.

Option 3 - Black Crag & Holme Fell

Distance: 8½ miles (13.5km) 

Ascent: 1,800 feet (560m) 

In SummaryWalk from Monk Coniston past Tarn Hows to the summits of two local hills, Black Crag and Holme Fell. 

Highlight: Holme Fell may be modest in height, but it commands extensive views over southern Lakeland. 

 


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. You must wear a face covering by law in public areas in hotels in Scotland. This is mandatory in public spaces; however, face coverings will not be required whilst eating and drinking in the restaurant and bar areas or whilst you are outside our houses. In Wales face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises.

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.

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).

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings for the HF Big Pub Quiz. There will be one other evening of entertainment at the start of the week, which will vary depending on the country house that you are staying at. Our Walk Leaders will also be on hand in the bar or lounge for individual or small group walks talks briefings, which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options and ask any questions. All of our swimming pools are open, except for Glen Coe, which will not re-open this year. Swimming Pools will be operated in line with maximum capacities.

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 Classic, Premium and Superior 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 ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ 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

  • Waterproof 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)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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

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
2022
18 Mar - 25 Mar 2022
7 Version 1 £809 £709 Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
03 Jun - 10 Jun 2022
7 Version 1 £1,015 £985 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
23 Sep - 30 Sep 2022
7 Version 1 £1,015 £985 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Gentle Walks
Walking Grade:
1 & 2

7 nights from £809pp £709pp

UK 2022: Save up to £100 pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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