Coniston lies in the heart of the real Lake District, and is one of the area’s most beautiful hidden gems. Nestling at the foot of the Coniston Old Man, this charming and picturesque village is surrounded by spectacular rugged crags and foaming waterfalls.
The original village was built around the 16th century Coniston Hall, but is now very much a Victorian village with lovely tea rooms, cafes and traditional Lakeland pubs. 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 great 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.
Lots of opportunities for sailing, canoeing, rowing, windsurfing, kayaking and hire of electric powered boats. Tuition and advice for all levels of ability is available from locally based qualified instructors. More information from Coniston Boating Centre.
Fishing with a rod licence from many of the public shores is allowed. Contact the Tourist Information Centre for full information of permits and purchase or hire of tackle.
Options galore from the leisurely pedal to the energy of mountain biking. For the latter, there are the tracks of the nearby Grizedale Forest and the ultimate challenge of the route to the summit of Skiddaw from the Whinlatter Forest farther north.
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 Campbells ill fated attempt on the World Water Speed Record took place in 1967 which tragically resulted in his death.
Readers of Arthur Ransomes “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.
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.
The former home of John Ruskin. 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. Make a date and visit the outdoor theatre or a drawing room concert or take the kids to enjoy the activity workshops.
Saint Andrews Church
This 19th century building is the burial place of John Ruskin, which is marked by a cross carved from the distinctive green slate of the nearby Tilberthwaite quarry.
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.
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.