The Area

Coniston lies in the heart of the Lake District, and is one of the area’s most beautiful hidden gems.

Originally called Coningeston in the 12th Century, Norse for King’s Estate, the village developed over the centuries to support the local copper and slate mining industry. Coniston is now very much a Victorian village with lovely tea rooms, cafes and traditional Lakeland pubs.

Nestling at the foot of the Coniston Old Man, this charming and picturesque village is surrounded by spectacular rugged crags and foaming waterfalls.

The Black Bull Inn is well worth a visit for its award-winning brewery, the Coniston Brewing Co, and The Sun Hotel for it’s welcoming atmosphere and memories of Donald Campbell.

Coniston is a favourite with walkers, cyclists and sailors, as well as those simply wanting a relaxing getaway break.

Things to Do

Please take a look at our Facebook page for details of any events or activities taking place in the near future.

There are lots of things to do in Coniston, but here are some of the more popular choices mentioned by past guests and some of our personal favourites…

Walking
There are many walks to choose from directly from the Cottage or just a short drive away. A circular trek to the summit of The Old Man will give you superb views of the Lake before winding your way around the valley and back towards the village. Tarn Hows and Cathedral Cave are both accessible from the Cottage and are particularly popular with both professional and amateur photographers.

Watersports
Lots of opportunities for sailing, kayaking, rowing, windsurfing, and the hire of motor boats. Tuition and advice for all levels of ability is available from locally based qualified instructors. More information can be found at the Coniston Boating Centre.

Fishing
Fishing with a rod licence from many of the public shores is allowed. Contact the Tourist Information Centre in the Village for full information of permits and purchase or hire of tackle.

Cycling
Options galore from the leisurely pedal to the energy of mountain biking. For the latter, there are the tracks in the nearby Grizedale Forest and the ultimate challenge is the route to the summit of Skiddaw from the Whinlatter Forest farther north.

Coniston Water
Plenty to see and do around the third largest stretch of water in the Lake District and Cumbria. Of interest to many, it was here that the late Donald Campbell’s ill fated attempt in Bluebird K7 at the World Water Speed Record took place in January 1967 with tragic results.

Readers of Arthur Ransome’s “Swallows and Amazons” will be interested in trying to identify the real life locations of his book. Can you find “Wild Cat Island” or “Kanchenjunga”? A particularly good way to enjoy the scenery of the Water and its surrounds is as a passenger on one of the Coniston Cruises or aboard the Steam Yacht Gondola. It is a magnificently restored craft and the oldest to be found in the north of England. It operates from Coniston Pier and includes stops at Brantwood. You can book an experience trip on the Gondola and be a stoker for the day!

Ruskin Museum
Exhibits and displays detailing the development of local industries with emphasis on the mining history of the area. Also features the life of John Ruskin, and a focus on Donald Campbell. French, German, Japanese language audio guide system available.

Brantwood
This is the former home of John Ruskin, a poet, artist and conservationist. The house, mountainside gardens and land occupy 250 acres with stunning views of the fells and Coniston Water. It is filled with Ruskin memorabilia, paintings and furnishings. Visit the Brantwood website to see what’s on, such as craft fairs, outdoor theatre’s, drawing room concerts or take the kids to enjoy the various activity workshops.

Saint Andrews Church
This 19th century building is built on the site of the original Chapel of 1586. The grounds are the burial place of John Ruskin in 1900, which is marked by a cross carved from local slate from the nearby Tilberthwaite quarry. The cemetery across the road is the resting place of Donald Campbell who was buried here September 2001.

Grizedale Forest
A forest of delights and surprises. There are walks along forest trails, cycle paths, wood sculptures, a high level “Go Ape” adventure, café, gift shops, cycle hire, picnic areas and expert advice and information on site. Good parking at the Visitor Centre and also at the new facilities a couple of hundred yards beyond. During the latter part of the year it is the venue of the Grizedale Stages Motor Rally. Please note that during this event some areas will be closed to walkers and cyclists.

Tarn Hows
The charming setting of the tarn, level walks and views to the fells attracts photographers from world wide. It is reputed to be the most photographed Lake District attraction. The grassed slopes of one side provide a restful grandstand for relaxing and is within easy.

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