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Coniston - Cumbria

Coniston Village, nestles under the Old Man of Coniston

is steeped in history and retains its Cumbrian charm

Coniston Old Man sits majestically over this traditional Lakeland village.
Standing at 2635 ft (803)m high.

coniston gondola

Coniston Water, with its memories of Donald Campbell and Bluebird; Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons and the majestic Gondola is the third largest lake in the Lake District

Nearby Yew Tree Farm was once owned by Beatrix Potter

and the Victorian Poet, Artist and Philosopher John Ruskin retired to Brantwood, on the shores of Coniston Water

Coniston Water

The north end of the lake is just a short stroll from the village centre, which makes it an ideal picnic spot, if you don't want to walk far. Takeaway picnic foods are available from Coniston Village, Deano's Deli on the main street (Yewdale Road) is just one recommendation for a great place to purchase your impromptu picnic, why not enjoy them with this fabulous view.

You could also park at the Monk Coniston Car Park and stroll the few yards to the head of the Lake to enjoy the view. Many car parks including the Monk Coniston car park are part of the Pay by Mobile Phone scheme.

Inspired by Swallows and Amazons?

Swallows and Amazons Film

A new Swallows and Amazons film is to be made: Hoping to capture the hearts and imagination of the so-called 'Harry Potter generation' with its stories of children being free to go wild camping, cook on open fires and even get involved in a little 'piracy' - I can already hear the request from my daughter wanting a parrot!

Original cast member Sophie Neville, who played Titty in the original movie is involved in the making of the new Swallows and Amazons.

photograph by permission Sail Swallow
Arthur Ransome partly based his 'Swallows & Amazons' books on Coniston Water.

The imaginatively named 'wild-cat-island' is in fact Peel Island towards the south of the lake.

The boat used in the original filming of Swallows and Amazons, Swallow was recently relaunched on Coniston after a major refurbishment and Sophie Neville who played loveable 'Titty' in the Ransome Books was there to crack 'ginger beer' over her bow and sail in her once more.

Find out where and when you can sail in Swallow, either here in Cumbria or on her tour around the country.

coniston-cumbria coniston-water

What better place than to have a go at sailing, than here on Consiton Water, the lake on which Arthur Ransome his famous Swallows and Amazons. Sailing lessons on Coniston Water can be organised at the Coniston Boating Centre. You can also hire rowing boats, electric self-drive boats and kayaks here.

If you fancy something more elegant, then the recently renovated Victorian Gondola is a memorable way to see the spectacular scenery from Coniston Water.

The Coniston Launch is another way to enjoy the Water and a great opportunity to combine a lake and walk trip. Either stay on the Launch for a full cruise or jump off at one of the stops along the way for a fell or lakeshore walk. Coniston Launch also run Swallows and Amazons and Campbell Cruises

Swallows and Amazons Forever!

Holly Howe - the fictional family home of John, Susan, Titty, Roger Walker in Swallows and Amazons, was largely based on Bank Ground Farm and used during filming in 1974. Bank Ground Farm is now a Guest House with a tea-room and self-catering cottages - ideal for returning to the tranquil pace of life in Ransome's books.

lake access cottage lake district The southern end of Coniston Water, is so pretty and peaceful a great place to away from it all.

This is where a lot of the filming of the sailing took place and we can offer you the opportunity to re-live The Swallows and Amazons dream. Lake Cottage not only has stunning views of the lake but also Lake Access and use of owner's boats

Lake Access at Coniston

Monk Coniston - North (village end of Coniston Water) Car Park /Toilets (incl disabled)/ Public launch for small non-powered craft

Brown Howe - West shore of Coniston Water (between Torver and Grenodd on A5084 )Car Park / Toilet (incl disabled) / Wheelchair and Buggy access to shore / Picnic area

Coniston Fells and Coniston Old Man

family walks in coniston The Coniston Fells offer some of the finest choice of walking within Cumbria. The now disused Coniston Copper Mines offer a glimpse of Coniston's history and may even hold the clue to the history of the famous Cumberland Sausage.

At the end of the 16th century the Copper Mines on the Coniston fells were worked by German miners and the Cumberland Sausage may have evolved to suit their preference in taste and thickness of sausage.

Interested in reading more about the history of the Coniston Copper Mines?

Take great care around the coppermines and DO NOT ENTER them without an official experienced guide

Donald Campbell CBE - Bluebird K7

coniston water donald campbell The memory of Donald Campbell, who tragically lost his life on Coniston Water in Jan 1967, attempting to beat his own World Speed Record, is still very much alive here.

The best places to find out more about Donald Campbell are at the The Ruskin Museum and The Bluebird Cafe (more info on the Bluebird Cafe on right of this page).

The Ruskin Museum is (in the centre of the village, just opposite the Fire Station),which now has a Bluebird Wing you can even see parts of the Bluebird K7 exhibited there. It's well worth a visit, and also includes some memorabilia of his Father, Sir Malcolm Campbell. Amongst the treasures at the Ruskin Museum are a display of black and white photographs, there is also a TV screen showing clips of the 1966/7 record attempts. From the museum shop you can purchase a 'Collector's Edition' of photographs which have a circcular walk route printed on the back, highlighting Campbell's association with Coniston.

Coniston Accommodation

Our top Coniston Accommodation suggestions:

  • There are two Youth Hostels or you could bring your own tent and stay at the Coniston Hall campsite.

  • Of course you could trace the footsteps of Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome, Donald Campbell and Renee Zellweger - Coniston is no stranger to historic legends and film stars. See who stayed where in our Coniston Guest House and Pub review.

  • There are some very pretty traditional Lakeland cottages to rent in Coniston, and quite a few of our featured cottages have great views of the Lake too.

  • Coniston is featured on this Sky News video, produced to highlight Beautiful Britain.

    Coniston Cafes

    Jumping Jenny

    An excellent menu and the terrace has fantastic view across Coniston Water, and if the weather is not brilliant you can make yourself all cosy inside next to the wood burinng stove.where to eat in lake district

    Set on the east side of Coniston Water next door to Brantwood.

    Please note that he road to Brantwood/Jumping Jenny does get a little narrow at times, so may not be too suitable for campervans. Why not make a special trip here, via the Gondola?

    For information on opening hours please read more on the official Jumping Jenny website.

    The Bluebird Cafe

    Right on the shores of Coniston Water, Bluebird Cafe is something of a find.

    places to eat coniston

    Don't be fooled because this is self-service. The food is home cooked and quite delicious, with choices from proper cakes and good coffee to a full meal and even a Bluebird Beer from the Coniston Brewery.

    They don't have a separate 'kids menu' but are happy to do smaller portions for smaller tummies - just ask.

    The Coniston Launch and Coniston Gondola both depart from this area and its also a great place for kids to bring their fishing nets and paddle in the lake too! Pop into the cafe if you are looking for Donald Campbell and Bluebird souvenirs.

    Bank Ground Farm House - Tea Room

    You may recognise Bank Ground Farm from the Film Swallows and Amazons

    Holly Howe

    Although you won't bump into John, Suan, Titty, Roger or even baby Bridget at the Farm, you can indulge in freshly made cakes, lunches and teas, mainly using locally sourced ingredients.

    The Tea Room is open Easter till end Oct, from Thurs - Sun from 12noon - 5pm (also open Bank Hol/School hols on Mon and Tues - but do check their website to be sure.)

    Watch this space...because Bank Ground Farm have plans to start boat hire very soon, so you will really be able to relive the Swallow and Amazon adventure.

    The Green Housekeeper Cafe - Yewdale Road

    Right on the high street this Cafe comes very highly recommended. I've not had chance to try this cafe myself yet, but reports are that this is proper home cooked delicious food at extremely competitive prices. The cafe also regularly opens in the evenings to provide a 3 course 'supper club' - its a bring your own wine event and booking is strongly recommended!

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