Southern Lake District Walks with Lakeland Poets & Authors Holiday

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Duration: 4 nights
Type: Walks with a theme
Walking Grade: 2
from £529pp £494pp

Devised by HF Holidays walk leader Sandy Franklin, we discover the natural beauty of the Lake District, well known for its inspiration of poets, authors and artists alike. Of all the Lakeland poets William Wordsworth is perhaps the most famous. A native of the district, he knew intimately the places he describes. Also well known is Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a great friend of Wordsworth, and although born in the Quantocks in the West Country, Coleridge made the Lake District his home from 1800-1804 and is closely associated with the region. Hugh Walpole is perhaps lesser known, but his passion for the district resulted in his major works ‘The Herries Chronicles', and it is perhaps Walpole’s descriptions of Watendlath that made this area with its beautiful Tarn so famous. Walking in Lakeland areas associated with these three allows us to explore the landscape, the poets and author, and the work.

Holiday Highlights

  • Share Sandy's love of literature and walking
  • Walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Walpole
  • Discover the landscapes that inspired famous Lakeland poets
  • Enjoy accommodation in the National Trust’s historic Monk Coniston, once owned by Beatrix Potter
  • Head out on guided walks to discover the varied beauty of the South Lakes on foot
  • Let our experienced leaders bring classic routes and hidden gems to life
  • Visit charming Lakeland villages
  • A relaxed pace of discovery in a sociable group keen to get some fresh air in one of England’s most beautiful walking areas

What’s included

  • Full board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, plus evening activities
  • Great walking, enjoy discovering the landscapes, the poets and authors, and their work
  • Stay at the beautiful National Trust property, Monk Coniston, overlooking Coniston Water

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea.

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total Ascent: 1,750 feet (520m)

Where better to start our walks than in this area which Wordsworth loved and where he lived, walked and wrote. Our walk starts at Rydal where Wordsworth spent his last years, and ascends to one of Wordsworth’s favourite fells, Loughrigg, and then continues on, descending and ascending, to Dog Bank. From here we descend to a quiet lane leading to the charming village of Grasmere, where Wordsworth’s grave can be visited in Grasmere churchyard. Then on to pass Dove Cottage, another home of Wordsworth, and return to Rydal via White Moss Common and Nab Cott.


Distance: 6½ miles (10km)

Total Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

Starting from Lodore Falls we follow a delightful path beside Watendlath Beck up to the beautiful Watendlath Tarn. Walpole was smitten by the beauty of this place, and here he made a home for his most famous heroine, Judith Paris. In the novel of the same name she comes here to live here for a time with her smuggler husband - George Paris. From Watendlath we ascend onto open moorland, skirting Grange Fell and descending to the peaceful village of Rosthwaite. We cross the River Derwent and take the Cumbria Way along riverside and woodland paths below Castle Crag to the village of Grange.

Distance: 8 miles (12.5km)

Total Ascent: 1,260 feet (300m)

In August 1802 Samuel Taylor Coleridge set out from his home at Greta Hall, Keswick, for a week’s solo walking tour in the Cumbrian mountains, which included scaling Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain. Today our walk follows one of the gentler sections of Coleridge’s Lakeland exploration. We start from our Monk Coniston house and take a forest track to the beautiful Tarn Hows. A delightful path leads us round the Tarn, to pick up another track and then footpaths skirting below Black Fell to Skelwith Force and Skelwith Bridge. From here we take a footpath below Ivy Crag to Brow Head Farm and into the bustling small town of Ambleside.

Enjoy a final breakfast before making your way home. 

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.



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, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 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

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
05 Oct - 09 Oct 2019 Itinerary £529 £494 Save £35 Per Person Book Now
4 nights
Walks with a theme
Walking Grade:

4 nights from £529pp £494pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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