Lake District Wainwright Bagging – The Southern Fells Holiday

Bag all of Wainwright's Southern Fells


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Rural peace


  • Challenger
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 £839.00 - 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

“All Lakeland is exquisitely beautiful, the Southern Fells just happen to be a bit of heaven fallen upon the earth” said Wainwright.

The Southern Fells area of the Lake District is centred between the Langdale Valley to the north, Wastwater to the northwest, and Coniston village and Ambleside to the northeast, and includes England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.  Within this area the fells are the highest and grandest in Lakeland, and make for a marvellous week of mountain walking. During the week we will ascend 28 of the 30 Wainwright Southern Fells which feature in Wainwright’s A pictorial guide to the Lakeland fells, Book 4. As well as ascending the fells the delightful valleys leading to them offer charming approaches and contrast to the rugged heights of the fells.

After each walk enjoy fantastic accommodation at Monk Coniston which is beautifully located on the shores of Coniston Water; oozing history and all the home comforts needed after a day adventuring.

Holiday highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright exploring some of his favourite fells
  • Bag all of the summits in his Southern Fells Pictorial Guide
  • Enjoy challenging walking and a fantastic sense of achievement

Price includes

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and evening activities
  • Great walking: enjoy the challenge of bagging the summits in Wainwright’s Southern Fells Pictorial Guide, accompanied by an experienced leader
  • Accommodation: enjoy comfortable en-suite rooms at the beautiful National Trust property, Monk Coniston, overlooking Coniston Water

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

Holiday itinerary

This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week. Please note this is an extremely challenging week of fell walking, suited to experienced fell walkers.

Day 1: Arrival day

Day 2: Scafell,  Eskdale, and Wastwater

The rugged cliffs of ScafellAfter taking the coach to Eskdale we start our walk just beyond the famous Woolpack Inn. We begin our walk along the mile-long south ridge of Scafell which takes us to the first of our 28 Wainwright fells, Slight Side. Continuing along the ridge, with Eskdale falling away below us, we arrive at England’s second highest peak, Scafell. From here we descend steeply towards the delightful Burnmoor Tarn, and then ascend a grassy ridge to walk along the top of the Wastwater screes, taking in our last two peaks of the day, Illgill Head and Whin Rigg. We descend through Miterdale Forest to the charming village of Eskdale Green where we finish our walk for today and take the coach back to Monk Coniston. 12 miles (19km), with 4,400 feet (1,320m) of ascent, and 4,600 feet (1400m) of descent.

Day 3: The Langdale Peaks and more

Glacial Langdale ValleyThe coach takes us to just above the Old Dungeon Ghyll in Great Langdale. A long day takes us over six peaks across the valley from the Langdale Pikes. We start on an easy ascending path through craggy terrain which takes us to the characterful, shapely peak of Pike O’Blisco. We continue to the three rocky summits of Cold Pike, the lofty, serrated ridge of Crinkle Crags aptly described by its name, on to noble Bowfell loved by all Lakeland walkers. We descend to Ore Gap and ascend the attractive summit of Esk Pike. Retracing our steps to Ore Gap we descend to the beautiful Angle Tarn. We then take in our last peak of the day, Rossett Pike. From here we descend steeply down Rossett Gill  and along an easy section of the Cumbria Way to the Old Dungeon Ghyll where the coach picks us up to take us back to the house. 10½ miles (17km), with 3,700 feet (1,140m) of ascent, and 4,100 feet (1,260m) of descent.

Day 4: The lower fells of Lingmoor, Holme Fell and Black Fell

Tilberthwaite ValleyToday we return to the Old Dungeon Ghyll. We start with a short steep ascent and then take a charming path to the varied and delectable heather clad Lingmoor Fell which sits at the heart of the Langdale area. We descend to the peaceful Little Langdale valley. Walking over easy craggy terrain we continue to two of Lakeland’s lesser fells, Holme Fell and Black Fell, where their charming ruggedness makes up for what they lack in elevation. We finish our day by walking back to Monk Coniston via one of Lakeland’s famous landmarks, Tarn Hows. 11 miles (17½km),with 2,400 feet (720m) of ascent, and 2,900 feet (870m) of descent.

Day 5: The Borrowdale peaks and Scafell Pike

View from the rugged summit of Scafell PikeThe coach takes us to Strand’s Bridge near Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, where we begin our walk along a pleasant path through the green pastures of the valley for a short distance. We then ascend on a delightful path to the craggy-topped fell of Glaramara. A broad, grassy, undulating ridge continues over our next peak, Allen Crags. From here we descend to Esk Hawse. A well maintained path takes us to towards our next fell, Great End. A short distance from the main path brings us to the summit of Great End where we can hopefully admire the stunning views. We then retrace our steps to the main path. We continue on an increasingly rocky path to ascend England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. Our next target is Lingmell, so we descend the rocky path from Scafell Pike and take a lovely grassy path to the summit of our final peak for today, Lingmell. We retrace our steps to the main path and descend, steeply in places, crossing over a small stream, to the beautiful grassy pastures of Wasdale to Wasdale Head, where we take the coach back to the house. 9½ miles (15½km), with 4,050 feet (1,240m) of ascent, and 4,150 feet (1,280m) of descent.

Day 6: Harter Fell and the outlying peaks

Ruins of Hardknott Roman FortWe take the coach to the top of Hardknott Pass. A short walk and ascent over a grassy path and short scree run takes us to the summit of Hardknott, most notable for its fine views of the Scafells in clear weather. We retrace our steps to Hardknott Pass and continue along the ridge to the beautiful, craggy, pyramidal summit of Harter Fell, with its glorious views of Eskdale and the Duddon valley. After descending from the summit  we follow the Eskdale to Duddon path before continuing  over heather moorland to the rocky summit of Green Crag. We retrace our steps to the main path, and follow a grassy path by Grassguards Farm, and walking beneath the towering  Wallowbarrow Crag to reach the Duddon Valley. A short distance over farmland and through woodland takes us to Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley where we take the coach back to the house. 10 miles (16km), with 2,650 feet (820m) of ascent, and 3,650 feet (1120m) of descent.

Day 7: The grand finale - the Coniston peaks

Summit of the Old Man of ConistonAs the Coniston fells are almost entirely separate from the other mountainous parts of Lakeland, they afford a wonderful day’s walk taking in all the fells which comprise the group. We start our day at Torver walking up the delightful Walna Scar Road to Walna Scar Pass. From here we ascend our first peak, Dow Crag, with its magnificent rock architecture towering above Goat’s Water. We continue to Goat’s Hause and Coniston Old Man, our highest point of the day. It’s then on to the whale-backed ridge leading over Brim Fell, up and over Grey Friar, Great Carrs and Swirl How. We descend to Swirl Hause, a fine mountain pass, and then ascend our last peak of the day, Wetherlam, a prominent peak in the area and which according to Wainwright ‘rises above the Brathay valley like a giant whale surfacing above waves of lesser hills’. From the summit of Wetherlam we descend along the Lad Stones ridge to the Coppermines valley and Coniston village, from where it is a short walk back to our Country House. 13½ miles (22km),with  4,450 feet (1,360m) of ascent, and 4,550 feet (1,400m) of descent.

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 CNWAT - Wainwright Bagging - The Southern Fells - Conistonwater 7 £879.00 £839.00 Early Booking Offer - Save £40 Per Person Book Now

Prices are per person


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