Southern Lake District Outdoor Escapes holiday
Exhilarating weekends - as adventurous or relaxing as you choose
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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.
Get away from work for a long weekend’s walking and be surprised!
- By the range of guided walks, from strolls through the stunning scenery surrounding Grasmere and Rydal to climb’s on Helm Crag, one of the most distinctive Lakeland Fells, or the Langdale Pikes before a pint in the famous climbers’ pub, the Old Dungeon Ghyll, and harder ascents such as the ridgeline traverse of the eastern fells across the tops of some of Wainwright’s favourite fells.
- By how much you can do in a weekend when your guides know their stuff, from hopping a ride on the La’al Ratty railway, whose route into the heart of the mountains proves narrow-gauge trains aren’t just for kids, to uncovering the secrets of the incredible Cathedral Cave, a hidden Lakeland gem that’s monastic in state and majestic in scale.
- By the camaraderie and craic that comes from making discoveries and having adventures in a small group of like-minded people.
Moment of the weekend
When you successfully summit Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak, and complete an ascent of Helvellyn, the country’s third highest mountain, in the same weekend. We’ll set you up on the most straightforward paths on each so you can bag them both (don’t worry, they’re still good leg-stretchers), with the chance to really enjoy that ‘on top of the world’ feeling as you gaze down on the fells.
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
Experience the very best of the Lake District on our walks. Each day we'll offer three options, ranging from relaxing shorter strolls, to more challenging longer walks.
Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.
Outdoor Escapes at Conistonwater - 2 & 3 night breaks
Available on: 27 Jul 2019, 4 Oct 2019
Day 1: Arrival Day
Join us at our Monk Coniston Country House for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll down to the lakeshore to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.
Day 2: Eskdale, The Old Man & Scafell Pike
Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks, ranging from a leisurely exploration of Eskdale, to an ascent of England's highest mountain.
Option 1: La'al Ratty & Eskdale
Distance: 4 miles (6½km)
Total ascent: 350 feet (100m)
The walk in a nutshell: We head out to the coast to explore the roman port of Ravenglass before catching the Ravenglass & Eskdale railway into the heart of the beautiful Eskdale valley.
Don’t miss: The train journey through lovely valleys and woodland affords great views of some of the Lake District's loftiest fells.
Option 2: Old Man of Coniston
Distance: 9 miles (14½km)
Total ascent: 2,800 feet (860m)
The walk in a nutshell: An opportunity to climb to the summit of the Old Man of Coniston – the highest peak in the local area.
Don’t miss: The sense of achievement when you reach the top of the 'Old Man' - as one of the more accessible big fells it is a magnet for many walkers.
Option 3: Scafell Pike
Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)
Total ascent: 3,350 feet (1,040m)
The walk in a nutshell: A big day out, with an early start, as we ascend to the summit of Scafell Pike; England's highest peak.
Don’t miss: That 'on top of the world' feeling when you reach the summit and get to gaze down over the other Lake District fells.
Day 3: Grasmere & Helvellyn
Today's walks centre around the village of Grasmere, and include the option to ascend Helvellyn.
Option 1: Grasmere & Rydal Water
Distance: 4½ miles (7km)
Total ascent: 600 feet (200m)
The walk in a nutshell: Discover the delightful scenery surrounding Grasmere and Rydal Water. Enjoy panoramic views from White Moss Common, and pass Wordsworth’s former homes at Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage.
Don’t miss: There's much to see in Grasmere. Don't forget to seek out the poet's grave in the village churchyard, or sample the famous (and very tasty) Grasmere Gingerbread.
Option 2: Helvellyn
Distance: 6 miles (9½km)
Total ascent: 2,700 feet (820m)
The walk in a nutshell: Climb Helvellyn – recently voted Britain’s favourite walk. This peak came top of the poll and deservedly so – it’s a cracker. We take the easiest way (it’s still a good leg stretcher) up and back down the fell, with a pub at the end of our walk to help celebrate our achievement.
Don’t miss: You’ll have climbed England’s third highest mountain!
Option 3: Helvellyn & Fairfield
Distance: 11 miles (16½km)
Total ascent: 4,100 feet (1,250m)
The walk in a nutshell: A fantastic day on the fells with superb high level walking, striding out over Helvellyn, Fairfield, Great Rigg & Heron Pike and down to pretty Rydal for a celebratory pint (or two)!
Don’t miss: Check out the loos in the Badger Bar at the end of your walk - they're built into the rock face!
Day 4: Departure Day and Tarn Hows
Make the most of your final morning with the opportunity to join a guided walk to nearby Tarn Hows.
Option 1: Tarn Hows
Distance: 4½ miles (7km)
Total ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)
The walk in a nutshell: This half-day walks explores the charming countryside surrounding Monk Coniston and visits picturesque Tarn Hows, a famous beauty spot. We'll arrive back at Monk Coniston in time for lunch before your journey home.
Don’t miss: The picturesque views abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide.
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
Blackwell is a stunning house, completed in 1901 in the Arts & Crafts style. Admire the remarkably preserved interiors, and soak up the beautiful views over Lake Windermere and the Coniston fells
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
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