Singing Walks at Conistonwater

Lake District


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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • High Mountains
  • Indoors
  • Rural peace


  • Easier
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Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £479.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

If you like singing and walking then try this exciting holiday. Learn songs in harmony indoors, then sing them in inspirational locations on our walks. Stops could be in woods, by a river, by a lake. Other songs will be taught as we go. Learning is by listening; no sight reading ability necessary.

The walks are suitable for those used to country walking. The emphasis is on singing and walking; the singing raises energy and lifts the spirits for the walking, and the walking opens up the breathing and relaxes the body ready for the singing. Walks can be up to 7 miles with some ascent on varied terrain.

Holiday highlights:

  • Relaxed informal singing sessions, indoors and out
  • Varied walks daily, songs will be sung during stops en route
  • Expert leader who will help you get the most from your holiday

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 – make music together, eat together and relax together



As a historic National Trust property, Monk Coniston is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. With a most attractive Lake District setting, it is well suited to a relaxing holiday.4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation



Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house. 

Our classic rooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium room. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family rooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

A limited number of value twin rooms are available at a discount of £8 per person per night and value single rooms with a £5 per night discount. Our value rooms have the same facilities as our classic rooms, but bathroom facilities are nearby rather than en-suite.


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All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms. 

Monk Coniston has a comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room with lake views, and a bar and library. There is also a selection 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 with table tennis and Nintendo Wii.

Monk Coniston is surrounded by a large garden with views down to the lake. Outside there is a putting green and croquet lawn. The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds.

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All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from our cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. The cold buffet offers a selection fruit, cereals, yoghurts, croissants and pastries. Hot dishes include porridge, sausages, bacon, choice of eggs, tomato, baked beans and mushrooms. Tea, coffee, toast and jams are served at the tables.

Choose from our self-select picnic lunches. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk from a member of the local mountain rescue team or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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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.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • On arrival there is a gate, a cattle grid and a driveway leading towards the house.
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door.
  • The surface of the car park is tarmac and slightly sloping
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage

Main entrance & reception

  • The main entrance has no steps and is 110cm wide
  • The reception area is a spacious 4m x 4.1m
  • All public rooms are available without encountering any further steps, with the exception of the games room
  • The floors on the ground floor are mainly carpeted. The games room has wooden block flooring and the gents’ toilet has a tiled floor

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • The width of the downstairs hallway is 222cm. Leading off the main hallway are lounge, dining room, library, downstairs toilets and bar with access to the main staircase

Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc

  • In the main lounge there are various chairs, tables and settees. Seating for approximately 50 guests

Public WCs

  • There are both ladies and gents toilets on the ground floor, accessed without any steps
  • Ladies toilet is carpeted and the gents’ has a tiled floor
  • Further public bathrooms are available for those bedrooms that are not en-suite

Dining room & bar

  • The dining room is situated on the ground floor with level access
  • 7 round tables, each seating maximum of 8 guests
  • Tables have an under space of 70cm high by 137cm wide
  • All meals served are with waitress service
  • The carpeted bar area has chairs and circular tables

Laundry & boot room

  • Laundry facilities are available in the boot room, which is located in a separate building with level access
  • Washing machine & dryer are available in the boot room free of charge
  • Ample drying space
  • Tiled flooring

Games room

  • Evening entertainment frequently held in games room (4 slate steps to access, each step is 22cm high, 22cm deep and 110cm wide)
  • The games room is 14m wide and 5.5m long


  • None of the rooms has been specifically designed for wheelchair users
  • In the main house all bedrooms are on the 1st floor. The main staircase has 24 steps, each step is 16cm high, 30cm deep and 112cm wide
  • In the annexe, cottages and Counting House there are bedrooms both on the ground floor and on the 1st floor
  • The rooms best suited for anyone with restricted mobility would be 24 and 25, situated in the Counting House

Room 24 & 25:

  • Access is via 4 slate steps with hand rails
  • Each step is 7cm high, 30cm deep and 130cm wide
  • Twin rooms with en-suite (shower). Standard height beds
  • The floor is carpeted
  • En-suite bathroom with shower

Grounds and gardens

  • Large level garden around the house. Mainly with lawns and flower beds. Shrubbery and wooded areas
  • 3 steps to access the main front lawn

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


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. Enjoy your first singing session after dinner.

Other days: 

9.30am – 10am: Warm-up session in the house

10am – 4.00/5.30pm: Singing walks (the return time can be flexible)

After dinner: Singing activity

Departure Day: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

What to bring

Music: This holiday is based on learning by ear, therefore no sheet music is required. To ensure that the leader selects the best choice of songs to cover all abilities, experience and voices, please complete the pre-holiday questionnaire.

Walking: To enjoy your walking comfortably and safely, it is essential that your footwear, clothing and equipment are suitable for the conditions likely to be encountered. Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities. Please bring a rucksack, a thermos flask for a hot drink, a water bottle (at least 1 litre) and first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

Local area

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


Monk Coniston, Coniston, Cumbria LA21 8AQ

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

By taxi: The 13 mile journey from Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Taxis cost approx £23 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and 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 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 the 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.  Look out for the sign on the wall. There is car parking available within the grounds.

To help you plan your journey, use



David Burbidge

David has led community choirs, harmony singing workshops and singing walks throughout South Lakeland for the past 20 years. He directs the singing organisation Lakeland Voice. His Settle Carlisle weekend includes singing on the trains, in the stations, and on walks beside the railway through the Pennines. His annual international Choirs Meet involves local and visiting choirs singing together in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. Since Sedbergh was twinned with Zrece in eastern Slovenia, he has organised over 40 exchanges of singers and choirs between the two towns including an annual tour of the Slovenia with English singers learning and performing Slovenian songs. He also leads the Singing Cyclists, who have performed on long cycle rides visiting community choirs across Britain. He is a member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network. 


Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
30 Jun 2014, 3:51 p.m.

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Service review:

Excellent and consistent quality and organisation

Product review:

Great fun, very pleasant group and a great place to stay
29 Jun 2014, 10:29 p.m.

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Service review:

Monk Coniston is an excellent centre, *personal info removed by Feefo* and the other staff were all very helpful and *personal info removed by Feefo* our singing leader was totally outstanding. Thank you HF.

Nor quite so complimentary about your HF admin before the holiday though!

Product review:

Really enjoyed the singing &walking holiday, thank you for an excellent idea which, with *personal info removed by Feefo* input, has been such a joy.
29 Jun 2014, 5:20 p.m.

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Service review:

Always had good service and much enjoyed the holidays.

Product review:

Accommodation superb in beautiful surroundings. Very gifted leader musically, I really enjoyed the spontenaity of singing as we went, but he some times got carried away with the length of the walks! Very relax.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
1 Jul 2017 CNMSU - Singing Walks - Conistonwater 4 £519.00 £479.00 Special Early Booking offer - £40.00 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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