Lake Windermere Guided Trail

View on Windermere Lake from Orrest Head. English Lake District National Park, Cumbria, UK
Duration: 6 nights
Type: Guided Trails
Walking Grade: 2

The Lake Windermere Trail is a circular walk that takes you on a lovely journey around Lake Windermere. The route takes in a mixture of lakeside paths and higher ground walking, all whilst experiencing some of the Lake District’s most stunning views. Lake Windermere is the largest lake in the Lake District and the largest in England. At 10½ miles long it has one end in the mountains and the other almost on the coast and is surrounded by very varied scenery. On the penultimate day we walk to the well known Bowness Bay.

Holiday Highlights

  • Follow lakeside paths and higher routes around Lake Windermere
  • Take a boat trip on Lake Windermere
  • Views of the Coniston; Langdale and Ambleside Fells
  • Visit Bowness on Windermere

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • The services of an HF Holidays' walks leader
  • All transport on walking days

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

39 miles with 7-8½ miles and up to 1,350 feet of ascent.

Your leader will give you an introductory talk about your holiday

We follow the lakeshore path before visiting the hamlet of High Wray on our way to the summit of Latterbarrow (803ft). This is a breathtaking viewpoint, providing a panorama of south east Lakeland, from the Coniston fells in the west to the Ambleside and Troutbeck fells north and east. We continue over open countryside past tarns often frequented by Beatrix Potter, before descending back to the lake shore.

8½ miles (14km) and 1,330 feet (440m) of ascent.

An earlier start to ensure that we catch the boat at the end of the walk. The morning’s walk is a delightful lakeside stretch followed by an ascent of Stott Park Heights (535ft) affording good views across the lake to the eastern shore. We continue to High Dam (590ft) before descending to Lakeside through fields and woods via Finsthwaite. We enjoy a boat trip on the Lake Windermere steamer to Waterhead at the head of the lake.

7 miles (11.5km) with 1,130 feet (375m) ascent. 

Our route takes us through the village of Finsthwaite across fields and woods to Newby Bridge. After a short road section, we head up a wide track to Raven’s Scar, affording superb views north up the lake to Ambleside  and the fells beyond. Then through woods and open countryside, our walk offers lovely views eastwards across the Lyth Valley to the Pennines beyond.

7 miles (11.5km) with 1,350 feet (450m) of ascent. 

A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.

By now we are on the eastern side of the lake and the morning begins with an ascent of Gummer’s How, which has the appearance of rising directly out of the lake and gives a bird’s eye view of it. The 360 degree view is stunning, which explains why this summit is so popular. To the south – Morecambe Bay, to the north and west the Coniston, Langdale and Ambleside fells. The route, muddy in parts, continues with the lake to the west and Winster valley to the east. Two more spectacular viewpoints at Rosthwaite Heights and Brantfell follow before we descend to Bowness Bay.

8 miles (13km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.

The route skirts Bowness on Windermere before ascending Orrest Head (752ft). This is where it all began for Alfred Wainwright, and the rest is history! Past Holehird Gardens (Lakeland Horticultural Society), we descend to Troutbeck village. The route continues parallel and above the lake back to Ambleside, affording super views of the area that we’ve walked.

8 miles (13km) with 1,370 feet (410m) of ascent.

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

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

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 have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. 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. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

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


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.


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.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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Getting to Monk Coniston

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

More Information

What to Bring

“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.


  • 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.


  • 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

6 nights
Guided Trails
Walking Grade:

6 nights from 0pp

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