Southern Lake District Outdoor Escapes holiday

Exhilarating weekends - as adventurous or relaxing as you choose


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace


  • 2
  • 3
  • 5
More information

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £262.50 - 3 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

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.

In pictures...


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. 


Conistonwater Good Accom'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

Conistonwater Better Accom'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

Conistonwater Best Accom'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

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

  • 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


An example of Conistonwater evening mealAll 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

Your evenings

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


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: 6 Jul 2019, 27 Jul 2019, 4 Oct 2019

Exterior of Monk Coniston house

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

Red steam locomotive on the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

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

Wast Water and its surrounding mountains

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

Walkers tackling 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

stunning views over 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

Taking a well deserved break

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

Tarn Hows lake

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.


Outdoor Escapes at Conistonwater - 4 night breaks

Available on: 9 Jul 2019

Exterior of Monk Coniston house

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: Ambleside & Kentmere

Enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks. There's time to enjoy great views over Windermere, or take on the challenge of the Kentmere Horseshoe - a local classic.

Option 1: Troutbeck to Ambleside

Ambleside and Lake Windermere

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m)

The walk in a nutshell: Enjoy fabulous views of Windermere from the lower slopes of Wansfell on a walk from 17th century Jesus Church at Troutbeck to Ambleside.

Don’t miss: There's plenty of time to explore the popular town of Ambleside or relax by the lakeshore.

Option 2: Helm Crag & Calf Crag

a little help from your friends

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

The walk in a nutshell: Climb Helm Crag, one of the most distinctive Lakeland Fells with the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ rock formations on the summit. We’ll follow the ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag before descending to Grasmere.

Don’t miss: The view over Grasmere from the summit of Helm Crag. There'll also be time to explore the village at the end of the walk.

Option 3: Kentmere Round

that on top of the world feeling

Distance: 12½ miles (19½km)

Total ascent: 3,650 feet (1,100m)

The walk in a nutshell: A full horseshoe hike across the tops of some of Wainwright's favourite far eastern fells, including views down to Haweswater and across to High Street's 'whale's back' ridge from the high point at Harter Fell. 

Don’t miss: The spectacular ridgeline traverse of Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke, includes views for miles and is definitely one to savour.


Day 3: Coniston & the Local Fells

Today's walks stay closer to home. Take things easy with a short walk beside the lake, enjoy a delightful walk to Tarn Hows, or take on the challenge of the Coniston Horseshoe.

Option 1: Coniston & the Gondola

Coniston Water

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 550 feet (150m)

The walk in a nutshell: A morning walk to Coniston village taking in the Coppermines Valley. In the afternoon we'll cruise down the lake to Brantwood House, the former home of John Ruskin, before a short and pleasant walk back to Monk Coniston.

Don’t miss: The cruise down Coniston Water aboard the restored steam yacht gondola; a fantastic way to appreciate this magnificent setting.

Option 2: Elterwater & Tarn Hows

Tarn Hows Coniston

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km)

Total ascent: 1,400 feet (440m)

The walk in a nutshell: An amble back to the house through and over some of the finest lower level fells in the south lakes. Pick out at least six lakes and tarns in view from the top of Black Crag, our high point for the day, and admire the sheer power of moving water as the river Brathay carves its path through Skelwith Force. 

Don’t miss: The picturesque views abound at Tarn Hows straight out of the pages of a Victorian tourist guide.

Option 3: Coniston Horseshoe

Celebrating the summit

Distance: 11½ miles (18½km)

Total ascent: 3,550 feet (1,080m)

The walk in a nutshell: Take on the Coniston Horseshoe; a challenging high-level circuit of four ‘Wainwright’ summits, including the Old Man of Coniston.

Don’t miss: On a clear day the view from the top of the 'Old Man' is particularly impressive - keep your eyes peeled for the Blackpool Tower.


Day 4: Hawkshead, Cathedral Caves & the Langdales

We've included some of the Lake District's famous sights - discover Beatrix Potter's home, the incredible Cathedral Cavern, or the mighty Langdale Pikes.

Option 1: Hill Top & Hawkshead

Exterior of Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm

Distance: 4 miles (6½km)

Total ascent: 500 feet (150m)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter - we'll visit her house at Hill Top before walking to the historic village of Hawkshead.

Don’t miss: Stop to enjoy Moss Eccles Tarn, on which Potter’s The Tale of Jeremy Fisher is based, and soak up the splendid views of the Langdale Pikes.

Option 2: Cathedral Cave

Blea Tarn Langdale

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Total ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

The walk in a nutshell: Head towards Great Langdale via some of the south lakes best kept secrets. Cathedral Cavern offers us the chance to head underground, whilst Blea Tarn frames arguably the finest view of the Langdale Pikes. Possibly topped only by the sweeping vista of the whole of Great Langdale afforded from the easily scaled summit of Side Pike.  

Don’t miss: The incredible Cathedral Cavern, one of the Lake District's hidden gems, is monastic in state and awe-inspiring in scale.

Option 3: The Langdale Pikes

Summits of the Langdale Pikes

Distance: 7½ miles (12.5km)

Total ascent: 2,450 feet (750m)

The walk in a nutshell: Explore the summits of the ever popular Langdale Pikes with visits to the top of Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and Pike O’Stickle. A pint in the famous climbers pub, the Old Dungeon Ghyll awaits the thirsty hiker after this high traverse.

Don’t miss: The fantastic view down Great Langdale from the summit of Pike O'Stickle.


Day 5: Departure Day

Time to head home. If you've still time or energy to explore further then why not borrow one of our self-guided route cards from our Discovery Point, and enjoy a further walk independently.


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

Steam yacht gondola on Coniston WaterFirst 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.

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Steam locomotive on the Ravenglass & Eskdale railwayRide ‘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.

Blackwell House

Blackwell House ConistonBlackwell 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

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

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


Dove Cottage, home to William WordsworthGrasmere 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 Windermere

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 route planning by train visit or phone 03457 48 49 50.

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

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.


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, change here for Windermere- this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See 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 for train times.


Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
6 Jul 2019 CNBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Conistonwater 7 £879.00 £809.00 Save £70 Per Person Book Now
6 Jul 2019 CNBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Conistonwater 3 £375.00 £360.00 Save £15 Per Person Book Now
9 Jul 2019 CNBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Conistonwater 4 £529.00 £499.00 Save £30 Per Person Book Now
27 Jul 2019 CNBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Conistonwater 3 £375.00 £262.50 TOP OFFER - 30% OFF - SAVE £112.50 PER PERSON Book Now

Prices are per person


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