Lake Windermere Trail

Guided Trail

Code: CNLWI

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Activity types:

  • Hills & moorland
  • Rural peace

Level

  • Easy
More information

Difficulty indicator

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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £789.00 - 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Complete the circuit of England’s largest lake, walking both on the shore and above the lake. Enjoy many memorable viewpoints and a sail on the lake.

Accommodation

As a historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With a most attractive Lake District setting, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation

 

Bedrooms

Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house. 

Our classic rooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium room. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family rooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.

 

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms. 

Monk Coniston has a comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room with lake views, and a bar and library. There is also a selection 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 with table tennis and Nintendo Wii.

Monk Coniston is surrounded by a large garden with views down to the lake. Outside there is a putting green and croquet lawn. The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds.

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from our cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. The cold buffet offers a selection fruit, cereals, yoghurts, croissants and pastries. Hot dishes include porridge, sausages, bacon, choice of eggs, tomato, baked beans and mushrooms. Tea, coffee, toast and jams are served at the tables.

Choose from our self-select picnic lunches. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk from a member of the local mountain rescue team or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Accessibility

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.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • On arrival there is a gate, a cattle grid and a driveway leading towards the house.
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door.
  • The surface of the car park is tarmac and slightly sloping
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage

Main entrance & reception

  • The main entrance has no steps and is 110cm wide
  • The reception area is a spacious 4m x 4.1m
  • All public rooms are available without encountering any further steps, with the exception of the games room
  • The floors on the ground floor are mainly carpeted. The games room has wooden block flooring and the gents’ toilet has a tiled floor

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The width of the downstairs hallway is 222cm. Leading off the main hallway are lounge, dining room, library, downstairs toilets and bar with access to the main staircase

Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc

  • In the main lounge there are various chairs, tables and settees. Seating for approximately 50 guests

Public WCs

  • There are both ladies and gents toilets on the ground floor, accessed without any steps
  • Ladies toilet is carpeted and the gents’ has a tiled floor
  • Further public bathrooms are available for those bedrooms that are not en-suite

Dining room & bar

  • The dining room is situated on the ground floor with level access
  • 7 round tables, each seating maximum of 8 guests
  • Tables have an under space of 70cm high by 137cm wide
  • All meals served are with waitress service
  • The carpeted bar area has chairs and circular tables

Laundry & boot room

  • Laundry facilities are available in the boot room, which is located in a separate building with level access
  • Washing machine & dryer are available in the boot room free of charge
  • Ample drying space
  • Tiled flooring

Games room

  • Evening entertainment frequently held in games room (4 slate steps to access, each step is 22cm high, 22cm deep and 110cm wide)
  • The games room is 14m wide and 5.5m long

Bedrooms

  • None of the rooms has been specifically designed for wheelchair users
  • In the main house all bedrooms are on the 1st floor. The main staircase has 24 steps, each step is 16cm high, 30cm deep and 112cm wide
  • In the annexe, cottages and Counting House there are bedrooms both on the ground floor and on the 1st floor
  • The rooms best suited for anyone with restricted mobility would be 24 and 25, situated in the Counting House

Room 24 & 25:

  • Access is via 4 slate steps with hand rails
  • Each step is 7cm high, 30cm deep and 130cm wide
  • Twin rooms with en-suite (shower). Standard height beds
  • The floor is carpeted
  • En-suite bathroom with shower

Grounds and gardens

  • Large level garden around the house. Mainly with lawns and flower beds. Shrubbery and wooded areas
  • 3 steps to access the main front lawn

Additional information

  • 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

Holiday itinerary

Planned Itinerary

Rydal Hall to Loughrigg and down to Clappersgate From Rydal Hall (200ft) we ascend Loughrigg (1066ft) having passed by Rydal water and had a good view of Grasmere. From the summit we see the object of our next four days walking, Windermere, spread out before us in the distance. We then descend to a crag overlooking Ambleside and the Lake where we can observe our route around the Lake more closely before descending to the River Brathay at Clappersgate and our bus back to Monk Coniston. 5 ¼ miles (8.4kms) Total ascent 1275ft/1340ft

Clappersgate  to Ash Landing From Clappersgate the route takes us for the first time to the Lake side at Wray Castle (NT), one of the holiday homes of Beatrix Potter. From there the path is close to the lake shore as we approach Claife Heights (725ft) from Belle Grange. We ascend on an ancient pack horse trail and then a linear path along the Heights which provides superb views down to the lake, Bowness and the eastern shore. After a short but steep descent we arrive at Ash Landing from where a short journey by bus takes us back to Monk Coniston. 8 ¼ miles (13.2kms) Total ascent 1280ft/descent 1190ft (380m/362m)

 Ash Landing to Lakeside.  Most of the morning’s walk follows the lake shore and then ascends to Stott Park Heights (535ft) with good views all around and across to the eastern shore. After a short descent another ascent takes us to High Dam (590ft) before descending to Finsthwaite and a visit to an interesting grave.”Was she the daughter of Bonnie Prince Charlie?”  A short walk takes us back to the lake at Lakeside and the Windermere ferry and a sail up the lake to Ambleside-Waterhead, pulling in at Bowness en route. This is a ten mile voyage which takes about an hour and a quarter, before taking the bus back to Monk Coniston. 7 ¼ miles (11.5kms)  Total ascent/descent  1210ft (369m)

Rest Day

A free day when guests may chose to explore the environs of Coniston Lake, or chose one of many other opportunities to see the interesting places around the area.

Gummer’s How to Bowness   Today’s walk starts well above the lake and with the eastern shore below us takes to Bowness. En route we first of all ascend Gummer’s How (1006ft) with magnificent views to all parts of the compass, including Morecambe bay to the south. We pass the house where Arthur Ransome wrote ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and traverse the boundary from the ancient county of Lancashire into the ancient county of Westmoreland. Just before the finish we ascend Brant Fell (618ft) from where we can enjoy looking back at the previous two day’s walks on the western shore, opposite, the Far Eastern Fells as well as the Howgills.  Then down to Bowness for a quick look around before departing by bus to Monk Coniston. 8 miles (12.8kms)   Total ascent/descent  1745ft/1245ft (532m/380m)

Bowness to Ambleside Waterhead   Leaving Bowness we walk through the town before ascending Orrest Head (752ft) which is often described as providing the best view in the whole Lake District. It’s where Alfred Wainwright ascended on his first visit to the Lakes – the rest is history. Passing by Holehird Gardens, and possibly making a visit for our picnic, we descend to Troutbeck and walk up the linear village passing Town Head house and barn (NT).  A further ascent up Robin Lane gives us more views of England’s largest lake, not forgetting the iconic Langdale Pikes, before the gradual descent back to the water’s edge at Waterhead and the bus back to Monk Coniston.

8 miles (12.8kms) Total ascent/descent 1550ft (473m)

The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors 

Local area

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 Lake District is England’s premier national park with outstanding mountain scenery.

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 John Ruskin’s Brantwood.

Tarn Hows
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.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
Ride ‘L’al Ratty’ a highly scenic narrow gauge railway which runs from the coast at Ravenglass along beautiful Eskdale.

Grizedale Forest
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.

Levens Hall
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and topiary displays.

Literary connections
Discover the inspiration for Wordsworth’s poems by visiting the beautiful village of Grasmere and the poet’s home at Dove Cottage. Yew Tree Farm, the home of Beatrix Potter is located just a few miles away. Brantwood, the former home of the poet and writer John Ruskin is just a few miles away on the shores of Coniston Water.

Travel

Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ

By train: The nearest railway station is 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).

By taxi: The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis cost approx £23 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Monk Coniston Manager.

By car: 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 the 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.  Look out for the sign on the wall. There is car parking available within the grounds.

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
21 Jun 2016, 1:53 p.m.

Service rating:

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Product rating:

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Service review:

HF have thought of everything needed for a great holiday. Booking is easy, descriptions are accurate, accommodation and all meals are superb (including packed lunches) and there are excellent washing and drying facilities for those inevitable wet days.

Product review:

Very good idea to walk around Lake Windermere, the holiday provides a great introduction to the Lakes and a great feeling of satisfaction on completion
15 Jun 2016, 12:39 p.m.

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Product rating:

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Service review:

First-class organisation from every point of view

Product review:

Exceptionally wonderful holiday walking round Windermere, very well thought out. The HF house + garden at Monk Coniston is spectacularly beautiful, food, organising of transport, super-comfortable beds, even the weather was perfect!
15 Jun 2016, 10:29 a.m.

Service rating:

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Service review:

Marvellous hotel at Monk consiton

Product review:

This was an excellent walking trail, expertly led and I think others would like it. We were lucky with the weather

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
27 May 2017 CNLWI - Lake Windermere Trail - Conistonwater 7 £839.00 £789.00 Offer - Save £50 pp - Trail Special Book Now
23 Sep 2017 CNLWI - Lake Windermere Trail - Conistonwater 7 £839.00 £789.00 Offer - Save £50 pp - Trail Special Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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