Introduction to Ballroom & Latin dancing at Conistonwater
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Meadows & hills
Ideal for first-time dancers or those that feel they need a refresher, we have selected the dances that are the easiest to learn so that you can start gaining confidence in your dancing. According to the interests and the wishes of the group this holiday may include some or all of the following dances; Waltz, Social Foxtrot, Quickstep, Cha Cha Cha and Jive.
- Two dance sessions each day
- Learn in a fun and relaxed environment
- All our Country Houses have a good dance floor and sound equipment
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Tuition from our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leaders, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
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.
Choose your room
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Monarch 1500 spring bed
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
Check-in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Dining room with lake views
|• Range 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
|• Large garden with views down to the lake
• Putting green and croquet lawn
• The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds
|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.
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
This holiday has been created to give you plenty of time to learn (or brush up on) a couple of well-known dances. Your professional dance leader will patiently show you the basic steps, which you will then be able to practice together in a relaxed, informal and fun atmosphere.
To ensure that we include the dances you want to learn in the holiday programme, please complete the pre-holiday questionnaire.
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (premium rooms from 1pm). All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea – This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
During your stay
Mornings & afternoons
After a delicious breakfast we start with tuition from our patient leader, steadily learning the basic steps and enjoying the thrill of putting it all together as we practise together on the dance floor. The emphasis is on fun and we’ll go at the pace of the group, becoming more confident and accomplished in no time at all. Our well-earned tea and coffee breaks will be a welcome opportunity to rest and chat with new friends.
The evenings are yours to enjoy, so after a fabulous 3-course dinner choose to relax at the bar, take part in the optional evening activity or put your feet up in a quiet lounge – this is how to round off a perfect day!
We’ll be sad to see you leave but we’ll know you’re heading home after a leisurely breakfast full of the new skills and techniques to take your dancing to the next step!
What to bring
There are no special dress requirements for dance holidays - just wear something loose and comfortable. You will be active so expect to be warm and dress accordingly. Both men and women should bring shoes with a smooth sole. Ladies should wear shoes with a low (or no) heel and ankle strap. Strapless sandals, strapless shoes and trainers are not suitable.
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
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 general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £27. 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 - this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Oxenholme station you can complete the journey to Monk Coniston by bus or taxi (see above).
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.
Kathryn Johns & Stephen Griffiths
Steve and Kathryn both hold Professional IDTA Dance Teaching Qualifications.
Steve began ballroom dancing at the age of 16. At the time it wasn’t something that really appealed to him but after only two weeks of lessons, he was well and truly hooked! After joining the Merchant Navy as a Radio/Electronics Officer he continued dancing whenever he was home on leave. Over the years dancing was always a part of Steve’s life and he studied well and took part in medallist competitions but it was only after meeting Kathryn that he entered Open Competition.
Kathryn discovered ballroom dancing a little later in life when she decided to learn how to jive with a girlfriend. Suddenly a whole new magical world of Ballroom and Latin dancing opened up for her bringing with it wonderful friends, an amazing social life and the challenge of medals and competitions.
Once the partnership was formed, Steve and Kathryn went from strength to strength and became British and UK Ballroom Finalists and Welsh Open Champions before retiring from competition to concentrate on teaching and gaining professional qualifications.
They delight in encouraging others in dancing, both at home and cruising around the world, and they're looking forward to tempting you to take to the floor and dance!
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