Guided Lake Windermere Trail
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Hills & moorland
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.
Enjoy the countryside that inspired Beatrix Potter and Alfred Wainwright and visit iconic viewpoints on our guided trail around Windermere, England's largest lake. It affords magnificent views of the lakes and surrounding fells and includes a boat trip from Lakeside to Waterhead at Ambleside, which is almost the full length of the 10.5 mile lake. On the penultimate day we walk to the well known Bowness Bay.
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
Day 1: Arrival Day
Day 2: Clappersgate to Ash Landing
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. 8.5 miles (14km) and 1,330 feet (440m) of ascent.
Day 3: Ash Landing to Lakeside
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. 7 miles (11.5km) with1, 130 feet (375m) ascent.(360m) of descent.
Day 4: Finsthwaite to Gummer’s How
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 (11.5 km) with 1,350 feet (450m) of ascent.
Day 5: Rest Day
A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.
Day 6: Gummer’s How to Bowness
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.
Day 7: Bowness to Waterhead, Ambleside.
The route skirts Bowness and 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.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors.
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 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
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|11 May 2019||CNLWI - Lake Windermere Trail - Conistonwater||7||£899.00||£839.00||Book Now|
|24 Aug 2019||CNLWI - Lake Windermere Trail - Conistonwater||7||£899.00||£749.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person