The village of Coniston lies beside Coniston Water, the third largest of the lakes in the Lake District. The famous fell of Coniston Old Man towers above the village and is frequently climbed from the village via Church Beck and the copper mines, but various other routes are available.
Coniston is a wonderful base for fell walkers, with the Coniston fells so close and other Lake District peaks such as Scafell Pike within easy reach, but there is also plenty for the less energetic visitor to see and do too.
The Victorian artist, art critic, poet and political thinker John Ruskin lived across the lake at Brantwood and is buried in the graveyard at St Andrew’s Church. Visitors can see his memorial cross of green slate from the Tilberthwaite quarry and find out more at the Ruskin Museum in the town. It also houses exhibits of local life, including that of Donald Campbell, who was killed on Coniston Water whilst attempting to regain the water speed record in 1967. A replica of Bluebird and more information can be found in the Lakeland Motor Museum at Newby Bridge.
Brantwood itself is open to visitors and can be reached by taking the launch across the lake. The house has seven rooms open to the public, where you can see Ruskin’s furniture, personal memorabilia and works of art. The mountainside gardens and estate are also open to visitors, so it is easy to spend a whole day here.
Coniston Water was the setting for Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’, and a ninety minute cruise around the lake will introduce visitors to many of the locations he described.
Nearby Grizedale Forest provides plenty of opportunities for excellent outdoor activities; youngsters will love the tree top adventures at Go Ape, while the less daring can enjoy pony and horse riding along the many miles of bridleways and cycling the forest tracks in the area.
Discover this scenic part of the Lake District; search for holiday cottages in Coniston.