Outdoor Escapes at Conistonwater
Guided Walking for guests escaping the working day
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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 use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Enjoy a few days away, or a longer holiday, with guests who also need to escape the working day.
During the day you can enjoy the choice of 3 guided walks, a great way to explore the great British countryside - take it easy on our easier walks, or relish the challenge of our longer or mountain walks. In the evening relax with likeminded guests, enjoy a glass of wine at the bar, or relax in the lounge with new-found friends. For those that wish they'll also be informal evening activities on offer; perhaps a team quiz, or talk from a National Park ranger.
Relax and admire magnificent mountain views from our Country House on the shores of Coniston Water. Whether you appreciate the stunning mountain scenes with lakeside strolls, or enjoy guided walks to the high fells of the Lake District, these landscapes will set your spirits soaring.
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
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
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
• Dining room with lake views
|• 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.
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
Discover the Lake District on Foot
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. Our flexible programme allows you to choose the option that suits your mood.
Sunday: Grasmere, Rydal & Fairfield
Option 1: Grasmere & Rydal Water
Distance: 4 miles
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: Helm Crag & Calf Crag
Distance: 8 miles
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: Fairfield Horseshoe
Distance: 10 miles
The walk in a nutshell: Walk the famous Fairfield Horseshoe, one of the finest mountain walks in the Lake District. Tick off eight separate Wainwright Fells on this day of fantastic high-level walking.
Don’t miss: A celebratory pint at the Golden Rule Inn at Ambleside will be richly deserved after this challenging but rewarding walk.
Monday: Eskdale and Scafell
Option 1: La'al Ratty & Eskdale
Distance: 4 miles
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: Whin Rigg & Illgill Head
Distance: 8.5 miles
The walk in a nutshell: Follow the skyline above Wast Water, taking in the summits of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head. We finish at the Woolpack in Eskdale, shouldered by some of Lakeland's highest peaks.
Don’t miss: Savour the magnificent setting as you relax at the Woolpack Inn at the end of your walk.
Option 3: Scafell
Distance: 9.5 miles
The walk in a nutshell: A big day out, with an early start, as we ascend to the summit of Scafell from Cockley Beck; at 964 metres high it's England's second-tallest 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.
Tuesday: Ambleside, Troutbeck and the Far Eastern Fells
Option 1: Troutbeck to Ambleside
Distance: 6 miles
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: Wansfell via Stockghyll
Distance: 7.5 miles
The walk in a nutshell: Discover the impressive Stock Ghyll waterfalls as you ascend to the top of Wansfell on this circular walk from Ambleside.
Don’t miss: Wansfell may be modest in height, but it commands one of the Lake District's best views along the length of Windermere.
Option 3: Kentmere Round
Distance: 12.5 miles
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, is one to savour.
Wednesday: A day to explore independently
Some suggested options include:
Options could include visiting Beatrix Potter's house at Hill Top, or taking a trip on the Conistonwater Gondola.
Nearby Grizedale Forest has plenty to do, including the popular sculpture trail. Alternatively, you could hire a bike to explore one of the many off-road trails. If you're feeling more adventurous there's also a 'Go Ape' high ropes course.
Our Discovery Point at Monk Coniston contains a wealth of recommended walking routes - detailed route notes for you to borrow containing route maps, and information about the places of interest on the walk. There's also a comprehensive library of local maps and guidebooks. Fit them into our bus loop, or head out independently, the choice is yours.
Thursday: Coniston and its Fells
Option 1: Coniston & the Gondola
Distance: 3 miles
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
Distance: 8.5 miles
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
Distance: 11.5 miles
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.
Friday: The Langdales & Hill Top
Option 1: Hill Top & Hawkshead
Distance: 4 miles
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
Distance: 7 miles
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
Distance: 8 miles
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.
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 general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
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.
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 - this is straightforward journey - allow 1½ hours to Oxenholme. See www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 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