Music for the Cinema at Conistonwater

Lake District


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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace

Holiday overview

  • What does music do for films?
  • Talks and informal discussions with our expert leader
  • Listen to some brilliant film music
  • Live musical performances by our leader

Holiday highlights:

What exactly does music do for films? Why does it often enhance cinema drama when we wouldn’t expect it in the theatre? Starting with the closing years of the silent era, we trace the role of music in major films, from comedy to intense drama. We view, listen to, and analyse some brilliant film music scores, including Citizen Kane, Taxi Driver, Star Wars and Vertigo. In the process, we’ll honour the musical imaginations of many composers, including Max Steiner, John Williams, Richard Rodney Bennett and Leonard Bernstein.

Great reasons to join us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus all activities
  • Expert leader: we carefully select friendly and knowledgeable leaders for each holiday
  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays – enjoy music together, eat together and relax together


HF Holidays' Monk Coniston in Lake District

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

Classic Rooms
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities 
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge 
Premium Rooms 
• 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
Family Rooms
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 
• Lounge 
• Dining room with lake views 
• Bar 
• Library
• 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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Conistonwater evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar

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.

More details on Coniston accessibility

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


Friday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

After dinner enjoy an overview of Music for the Cinema.

Saturday: Music brings life

9.30am – 12.30pm: The Silent Film Era – Proof of the need for music? Examples include early Shakespeare, Dickens on film, Buster Keaton and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (with coffee break)

12:30pm: In-house lunch

The afternoon is free to relax in the Country House or explore the area independently

5pm – 6.30pm: Scene-setting or scene-stealing? Scenes from Sweeney Todd (1936), The Blue Angel, High Noon (Dimitri Tiomkin), Murder on the Orient Express (Richard Rodney Bennett) and Chinatown (Jerry Goldsmith)

After dinner: Music as Characterisation – the use of musical leitmotifs. Scenes from Spellbound (Miklos Rozsa), Vertigo (Bernard Herrman) and Bridge on the River Quai (Malcolm Arnold)

Sunday: Lights and action

9.30am – 12.30pm: Music as spectacle – Star Wars (John Williams), Sea Hawk (Erich Korngold) and Ben Hur (Miklos Rozsa) (with coffee break)

12.30pm: In-house lunch

The afternoon is free to relax in the Country House or explore the area independently

5pm – 6.30pm: After the lights go down – Citizen Kane, The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Psycho (Bernard Herrman)

After dinner: Before the lights come up – The Lady Killers (Tristram Carey), King Kong (Max Steiner) and Of Mice and Men (Aaron Copland)

Monday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast


What to bring

All of the music will be provided for you. You may want to bring a notebook and pen to make notes of the music you listen to. Guests are warmly welcome to bring their own recording of a favourite piece of music on CD or DVD for discussion with the leader and other guests during the holiday.

Local area

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.

During your visit to Monk Coniston you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Steam yacht gondola on Coniston WaterSteam 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.


Steam locomotive on the Ravenglass & Eskdale railwayRavenglass & 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.


Brantwood House

Just a couple of miles from Monk Coniston, John Ruskin's former home commands superb views over the lake.

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.

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 with impressive topiary in the gardenLevens Hall
Visit this stately home, famous for its magnificent formal garden and topiary displays.




Dove Cottage, home to William WordsworthGrasmere
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.



Steamer on WindermereWindermere

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.,




Gondola image ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris


Travel to Conistonwater

Our address is: Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest train station is at Windermere. For train times and general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

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.


By bus:

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

Driving to us

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 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.

 Travel by plane

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 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 for train times.

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


  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £15 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

Our policy is to reward early bookers with our best rooms, therefore depending on how early you book will depend on the room allocation. Please note that cannot take any room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them.

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