Play Melodic Ukulele - Next Step at Conistonwater

Code: CNMMM

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • Indoors
  • Newly Refurbished

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

The perfect holiday for anyone who wants to further explore the ukulele ensemble repertoire. Covering a wide range of music including classical, jazz, swing and film music; be part of and play in a group. In your free time explore the shores of Coniston Water, admire the breathtaking mountain views and relax with fellow guests at the bar.

Suited for all abilities, with parts for U-bass and baritone ukulele. 

Holiday highlights

  • Music sessions every morning, late afternoon and evening
  • Afternoons are free to explore the local area
  • Work towards an informal performance on the final night

Price includes

  • Full-board en-suite accommodation
  • Full programme of tuition from our knowledgeable leaders

Accommodation

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
• 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
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

Facilities

• 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

Dining

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.

Accessibility

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

Itinerary

Musical experiences are always better together, so join us and create wonderful music with other like-minded enthusiasts.

Arrival day 

You’re welcome to check-in from 2.30pm (1pm for premium rooms). Please join us for afternoon tea.

During your stay

Mornings

We’ll start playing each morning from 9.30am, and have a nice cup of tea halfway through.

Afternoons

Enjoy lunch together, then you’ve got some free time. There are fantastic walks right on the doorstep and our Discovery Points are ready to make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way. Or you can always get some more rehearsal time in by yourself.

Evenings 

There’s more practice before dinner from 5.30pm and again after, so you can spend the evening doing what you love best!

There’s usually an informal concert at the end of the holiday. Why not show off your new repertoire to other guests in the house?

Departure day 

Leave (on a high note) after a leisurely breakfast.

What to bring

Please bring a soprano, concert or tenor ukulele. These will be tuned to C at the start of the holiday. It’s best not to bring a baritone ukulele for tuning reasons. The soprano uke is the smallest one. It looks like a tiny guitar with only four strings. If you’re buying, go for a cheap wooden-bodied uke. Any good music shop will advise you. Most are of Far Eastern origin and will cost you around £15-£30. A spare set of strings is also a good idea. All the music and music stands will be provided. To ensure that we have the right music to cover all abilities, experience and instruments, please complete the pre-holiday questionnaire. The final evening may include an informal concert; if you would like to play something at this, please bring some music for a ‘party piece’.

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. www.ruskinmuseum.com

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. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/steam-yacht-gondola

 

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. www.ravenglass-railway.co.uk

 

Brantwood House

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

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. www.forestry.gov.uk/grizedale

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

 

 

 

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. www.wordsworth.org.uk

 

 

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. www.windermere-lakecruises.co.uk, www.lakesiderailway.co.uk

 

 

 

Gondola image ©National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Travel

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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.

Bus

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 www.traveline.info

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 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.

Leaders

Chris McShane

Chris McShane formerly worked for Barnsley Music Service as Curriculum Development Officer for Guitar, Keyboard, Vocal studies and Music ICT and is now a freelance musician and instrumental teacher. In recent years, Chris has been active in promoting and teaching the ukulele. This teaching has ranged from full classes of 30 children in schools to groups of seniors in retirement homes. Chris also runs workshops at festivals and summer schools. He also runs a monthly ukulele club which is in its fourth year with over 60 members attending. Chris is also the musical director of the Uke Power festival.

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