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Holidays in Coniston

A lakeside village, home to its own series of fells and a coppermine heritage

Coniston is one of the most popular destinations in the Lake District, thanks to its location close to the shores of Coniston Water and its proximity to some of the National Park’s best-loved beauty spots.

Built around the industries of copper mining and slate quarrying, this heritage can still be seen today in the Coppermines Valley, where industrial remains are scattered across the landscape and over 400 years of history can be seen.

Coniston also appears in the history books thanks to its notable former resident, John Ruskin. The esteemed poet and social critic moved to the lakeside mansion of Brantwood in 1871 – the house is now open for public viewings. In the centre of the village, the Ruskin Museum pays tribute to Ruskin as well as covering the history of Coniston and beyond.

Perhaps the most striking feature of Coniston’s landscape is the Old Man of Coniston, a fell measuring over 800m high, popular with walkers. A number of well-marked paths lead hikers from the village to the summit, where there are views over the Lake District, Morecambe Bay and the Isle of Man to be had. Surrounded by the Coniston Fells, you’re spoilt for choice with peaks to climb while staying in Coniston. Dow Crag is especially popular with rock climbers, with over 100 recognised climbing routes.

During your stay in Coniston, a boat ride over Coniston Water is not to be missed. Both the Coniston Launch and the Steam Yacht Gondola, the oldest yacht in the North of England, offer the opportunity to see the lake and its spectacular views from the water. You can also navigate the lake yourself with the numerous boat hire and sailing facilities available.

Situated in the South Lakes, you’ll also find several other much-loved Lake District attractions close to Coniston. Close by you’ll find many places to visit relating to former resident and popular author Beatrix Potter, including the Beatrix Potter Gallery in the pretty village of Hawkshead, and her former home, Hill Top, found in Near Sawrey. For a day of adventure, head to Grizedale Forest for woodland walks, mountain bike rides and Go Ape adventures, while Lake Windermere, England’s largest lake, offers endless options for water sports.

“A boat ride over Coniston Water is not to be missed…”

Being a popular tourist destination, Coniston has many different places to eat on offer, including restaurants, cafes and pubs. The Steam Bistro is one of the best-loved, offering a variety of dishes and the option to bring your own drinks. For something lighter, the Green Housekeeper Café serves full English breakfasts, homemade soups, freshly baked scones and more, while the Ship Inn is a great place to rest your legs and enjoy a well-pulled pint.

If you’ve been inspired to explore Coniston and the South Lakes, take a look at our full collection of Coniston cottages to start planning your holiday.

While you’re there

Ruskin Museum

Discover the history of Coniston and the Lake District at this fascinating local museum, a tribute to former resident John Ruskin.

Steam Yacht Gondola

Cruise over Coniston Water in style on board this stunning Victorian steam yacht.

Old Man of Coniston

Embark on a challenging hike to the summit, which overlooks the village as well as dramatic mountain scenery beyond.

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