Southern Lake District Guided Walking for Solos Holiday
Join other Solo travellers for guided walks in the Lake District
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Choosing the level of your walks
Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
A Guided Walking holiday based in the National Trust’s historic Monk Coniston Hall, overlooking Coniston Water, is the ideal way to explore the beautiful lakes and mountains in the Lake District National Park.
- Ascend the mountain summits of the Old Man of Coniston, Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes
- Walk by lakes and tarns and visit the Lakeland stone villages of Grasmere and Hawkshead
- Discover the area’s literary connections with William Wordsworth, Arthur Ransome, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter
- Walk past abandoned copper mines and slate quarries, now blending into the landscape, evidence of Lakeland’s rich industrial past
- Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities. There's no extra charge for single rooms.
- Choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day, with expert guides
- Relax in the Gothic-style Country House with its lakeside location and glorious views
- We pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together
As an historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With the attractive Lake District setting, it's well suited to a relaxing holiday. Whether it's a walking or activity break you're after, this is a wonderful part of the country to explore your way.
Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
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.
- 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
Discover the Lake District on Foot
Explore the very best of the Lake District on our guided walks. We offer the opportunity to climb famous summits including Bow Fell, the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston. Alternatively explore the beautiful valleys and lakeside paths; seeking out secret corners such as Cathedral Cave in Little Langdale. Join our friendly and knowledgeable guides who will bring this stunning national park to life.
- Our experienced guides offer the choice of three different walks each day
- Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness
- We provide flexible holidays. Join our guided walks, explore independently, or relax at Monk Coniston
Thursday: Exploring Coniston and its Fells
Option 1: Tarn Hows
Distance: 4½ miles (7km)
Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
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 abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide.
Option 2: Tom Heights
Distance: 7 miles (11½km)
Total 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 3: Old Man of Coniston
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Total ascent: 2,800 feet (860m)
The walk in a nutshell: Follow the ‘tourist path’ past Low Water to the iconic summit of the Old Man of Coniston, the area’s highest peak and an impressive viewpoint. Return by Goats Water with views across to the crags of Dow Crag.
Don’t miss: On a clear day the view from the top of the 'Old Man' is particularly impressive - keep your eyes peeled for the Blackpool Tower.
Friday: Grasmere and Fairfield
Option 1: Grasmere & Rydal Water
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
The walk in a nutshell: Discover the delightful scenery surrounding Grasmere and Rydal on one of the Lake District's best lower-level walks. We pass Wordsworth’s former home at Rydal Mount, before ending the walk in the popular town of Ambleside.
Don’t miss: 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: Great Rigg & Heron Pike
Distance: 7 miles (11½km)
Total ascent: 2,400 feet (740m)
The walk in a nutshell: Make the steep ascent to Great Rigg and the summit of Heron Pike on the western ridge of the Fairfield Horseshoe. We then follow the ridge to Rydal and continue to the end of the walk at Ambleside.
Don’t miss: The view over Windermere as you descend one arm of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
Option 3: Fairfield Horseshoe
Distance: 10½ miles (16½km)
Total ascent: 3,350 feet (1,020m)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk the famous Fairfield Horseshoe, one of the finest mountain walks in the Lake District. Tick off eight separate Wainwright Fells on this day of fantastic high-level walking.
Don’t miss: A celebratory pint will be richly deserved after this challenging but rewarding walk.
Saturday: The Langdale Fells
Option 1: Langdale Valley
Distance: 7 miles (11km)
Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)
The walk in a nutshell: Follow the Langdale Valley past Elterwater village, to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel through increasingly grand scenery.
Don’t miss: The two spectacular waterfalls of Colwith Force and Skelwith Force; two of the best cascades in the Lake District.
Option 2: Crinkle Crags
Distance: 7½ miles (12½km)
Total ascent: 2,600 feet (800m)
The walk in a nutshell: Enjoy this high-level traverse along the aptly named Crinkle Crags with its undulating five mini-summits.
Don’t miss: Negotiating the ‘Bad Step’ – a short scramble over an impressive chock stone wedged between the crags.
Option 3: Langdale Pikes
Distance: 9½ miles (15km)
Total ascent: 3,050 feet (940m)
The walk in a nutshell: Explore the popular Langdale Pikes with visits to the summits of Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike O’Stickle and Rossett Pike.
Don’t miss: This walk along the Langdale skyline contains some of Lakeland's most iconic peaks.
Sunday: Little Langdale & the Coniston Fells
Option 1: Little Langdale
Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)
Total ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk through the beautiful valley of Little Langdale, taking in Slaters Bridge and Cathedral Cavern, returning through the Tilberthwaite Valley to Coniston.
Don’t miss: The incredible Cathedral Cavern, one of the Lake District's hidden gems, is monastic in state and awe-inspiring in scale.
Option 2: Langdale to Coniston
Distance: 9½ miles (15½km)
Total ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)
The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the Langdale Valley to Coniston, crossing the lower slopes of Wetherlam and descending via the Copermines Valley.
Don’t miss: The narrow chasm of Tilberthwaite Gill, carved from the slopes of Wetherlam.
Option 3: Swirl How & Wetherlam
Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Total ascent: 3,450 feet (1,060m)
The walk in a nutshell: From the Langdale Valley enjoy a mountain walk over the Coniston Fells via the summits of Great Carrs, Swirl How & Wetherlam.
Don’t miss: The ridge walk from the Wrynose Pass to the top of Great Carrs is a great way to ascend into the Coniston Fells.
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
Blackwell is a stunning house, completed in 1901 in the Arts & Crafts style. Admire the remarkably preserved interiors, and soak up the beautiful views over Lake Windermere and the Coniston fells
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 route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £25. 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, change here for Windermere- this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
You can take a taxi from Oxenholme station to Monk Coniston or you may prefer to change trains and continue your journey to Windermere. Please pre book your taxi from Oxenholme as there may not be taxis available at the station.
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.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person