2-Night Southern Lake District Walking
Taster Weekend Holiday

A TASTE OF THE BEST WALKING EXPERIENCE IN THE UK


You probably know the Lake District is Britain’s premier National Park. But you might not know HF Holidays yet, Britain’s biggest and best walking holiday company; this weekend will show you what you’ve been missing. 

We’re all about choice. Graded, guided walks from easier low-level rambles to full-on hill walks are available. There are maps, guides and HF Holidays-authored walks you can borrow too if you prefer to do your own thing. Your stay at historic Monk Coniston, which sits in a gorgeous, secluded corner of the Lakes includes great hospitality, stunning guided walks from the doorstep and a really friendly vibe. We truly are for everyone who loves the outdoors, whether you’re a chuck-your-boots-in-the-car if the sun’s out type, or you’re dressed head to toe in Paramo.

The Lake District is world renowned for its sublime natural beauty and this weekend will showcase two of its most iconic places; the Langdale Valley, and Tarn Hows. Along the way, discover what HF Holidays is all about. We’ll let our unique blend of hospitality, unmatched walks planning expertise and camaraderie speak for itself; there’s no hard sell here, but our team will be on hand to answer any questions about the experiences we create and where we go in the world.

Mid-March can be a fabulous time to visit the Lakes. It’s quiet, and with luck we’ll have the warming spring sun on our backs and Lakeland’s very own black Herdwick lambs gambolling in the fields. Just in case not, read the guide under What to Wear and Bring for good advice on how to stay comfy and dry.

We’ve also got a superbly fitted-out drying room at the house so no need for soggy boots on day 3 if it comes to that!

Holiday Highlights

● Stay in a National Trust owned Country House. Fabulous grounds, stunning views down Coniston Water and up to the mountains
● A choice of 3 Guided Walks on Saturday, from a valley-bottom stroll to an iconic Lakeland peak
● Experienced, friendly walk leaders bring classic routes to life
● Discover Britain’s only co-operative holiday company
● Enjoy great, locally-sourced food, some from our own Victorian walled kitchen garden. Fabulous picnic lunch designed by walkers for walkers
● Gin tasting session in the evening


What's Included

● High quality en-suite accommodation
● Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
● 1 full day guided walking (choice of 3 walks), one extra walk on Sunday (departure day) finishing at lunchtime
● Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point (maps, guides, route information)
● The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
● Transport to and from the walks

ARRIVAL DAY

We’ll be ready to welcome you from 2:30 p.m (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.). Settle in, look around, take in the peace, quiet and views. Afternoon tea is laid on at 4 pm, after which we’ll give you a short guided tour of Monk Coniston (so long as the weather’s kind).

There will be a Drinks Reception at 6.30 pm, where you can enjoy a glass of fizz with us then hear all about tomorrow’s walks from the walk leader team before dinner, followed by an introduction to HF Holidays.

Langdale

A choice of walks from Langdale, a short coach journey away. Each walk makes its way back to Monk Coniston.

Option 1 - Little Langdale

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km)
Ascent: 1,050 feet (320m)

From Elterwater, we walk through the beautiful valley of Little Langdale, taking in Slaters Bridge and Cathedral Cavern, returning through the Tilberthwaite Valley to Coniston. The incredible Cathedral Cavern, one of the Lake District's hidden gems, is monastic in state and awe-inspiring in scale. A stunning low level walk.

Option 2 - Langdale to Coniston

Distance: 9½ miles (15.5km)
Ascent: 2,100 feet (640m)

We start near the head of the Langdale Valley, right beneath the towering, famous climbing crags and head up to Blea Tarn, the best photo stop for the Langdale Pikes. We cross the lower slopes of Wetherlam and head down to Coniston Village via the Coppermines Valley, where the pub might tempt us to pause before we reach Monk Coniston itself.

Option 3 - Swirl How & Wetherlam

Distance: 10 miles (16km)
Ascent: 3,450 feet (1,060m)

A spectacular day on the fells which walks from the head of the Langdale Valley over the Wrynose Pass to reach Coniston Village via the summits of Great Carrs, Swirl How & Wetherlam. The ridge walk from the Wrynose Pass to the top of Great Carrs is a great way to get up and into the heart of the Coniston Fells with amazing 360° views.

NOTE - 
We watch the weather carefully and want to provide the best experience possible, making sure we balance safety and enjoyment in the right way. We may adjust the above walks accordingly on the day.

IN THE EVENING

After dinner enjoy a short, curated gin tasting; we’ve got an award-winning distillery in the Lakes and other delights to share with you.

Tarn Hows & Departure Day

After breakfast, if you’ve time before you head home, join us on a short walk to a honeypot so close it’s unmissable, so be sure to pass by in your car by if you need to get going:

Tarn Hows

The full walk is 4½ miles (7km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent but we’ll stay flexible depending on demand.
From our front door, we head up through the woods before popping out at the Tarn, with views of the Langdales, where we started yesterday. Tarn Hows is a man-made lake, and impossibly picturesque. The Tarn is the beautiful shallow lake, and the “Hows” are the surrounding small, wooded hills.

Wrapped in manicured gardens with stunning views over Coniston Water, Monk Coniston combines country house grandeur and romantic, gothic-style charm with contemporary touches to great effect among the rugged landscapes of the Lake District. Rocky mountains and grassy fells loom all around this handsome home, once owned by Beatrix Potter, and more latterly turned hikers’ hotel and owned by the National Trust. Fell-flecked scenery unfurls from the windows of the bedrooms in the main house, adjoining cottage and counting house. While the setting remains traditional and the grand entrance recalls a traditional era, the interiors have been swept into the present with bold patterns and comfy fabrics. Beyond the house, trails from the doorstep set off to explore the Lake District. Climb famous summits including Bow Fell, the Langdale Pikes and the Old Man of Coniston. Bag a series of Wainwright summits. Alternatively, slip into the beautiful valleys and stroll picturesque lakeside paths in search of secret corners such as Cathedral Cove in Little Langdale.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in the smartly presented rooms in the main house. With 32 rooms, Monk Coniston has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Rooms with a view are well worth the extra spend as you’ll be overlooking the gardens or the lake.  Our favourite is Room 9 on the first floor, which contains some of the original features from when it was first built in 1885, a striking sailboat-patterned wallpaper and opens on to beautiful views of the gardens and fields that slope down to the shore of Coniston Water.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive garden, lounge, bar, Lakeland barn for activities, library and board games to borrow After a day exploring the Lake District, return to the house. Stroll through the extensive grounds with their putting green and croquet lawn and uncover the hidden walled garden on the hill behind the house. Take a turn around the National Trust nature trail and look out for the fabulous, rare mature trees. Stumble on the small secret folly stood quietly among the bluebells when they’re out and the lush green grass when they’re not. Catch up with fellow guests in the bright and spacious lounge or grab a drink from the airy bar and wander down the garden to the bench overlooking Coniston Water for the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner – you might even spot the restored steam yacht Gondola cruising the five-mile length of the lake. After hours, duck into the converted Lakeland barn with its exposed beams and rustic chandelier for evening activities and skittles.

Food & Drinks

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Monk Coniston is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the bright dining room with its giant fireplace and oversized mirror hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours. From a cup of Monk Coniston walled garden vegetable soup to a Wabberthwaies Cumberland sausage – the only Cumberland sausage to have a royal warrant and to be served on Concorde – to twelve-hour slow cooked Cumbrian lamb and Ravenglass crab and Morecambe Bay shrimp cakes, the kitchen puts out the best of the Cumbrian countryside. Look out too for the Kendal Mint cheesecake among the assiette of deserts.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety.

ESSENTIALS

● Walking boots with a good grip is the key to avoiding accidents. Ones with ankle support are recommended.
● A waterproof jacket (and over-trousers if you are going on the Option 3 walk)
● Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
● Rucksack
● Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
● A small torch
● Sunscreen (just in case we get some warm spring sunshine)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

RECOMMENDED

● Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed (Man-made fabrics are better than cotton for walking)
● Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
● A first aid kit inc plasters – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication

YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT

● Lots of people find walking poles useful – especially for descents.
● Flask for hot drinks
● Rigid lunch box
● Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
● Waterproof rucksack liner or plastic bag to keep everything dry in your rucksack if it rains
● Sunglasses

Coniston Taster Weekend

13 - 15 Mar 2020 | 2 Nights | £99 per person
It’s very straight forward to book your place on the Taster Weekend. Simply give us a call on 020 3974 8865.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team are available to answer any specific questions you have and will be able to take your details.

CALL TO BOOK

Monday to Friday: 9am-7pm
Saturday & Sunday: 9am-1pm