Tuesday, 22 May 2018

A perfect day in Coniston

Welcome to my new occasional series of blogs: "A perfect day in..." featuring all sorts of fabulous places around Cumbria and how to make the most of them on a quick visit.  First up, Coniston, because we had a fabulous day there last week and I'm terribly fond of the place.

Arriving in style

Let's assume you're driving up for the day, in which case follow the signs from the Greenodd roundabout (A5092 then A5084); for me this is the best way to get the finest first view of the lake.  You'll know when you're there, it looks like this... (for Swallows and Amazons fans the island visible on the far side of the lake is reputed to be Wild Cat Island).

Not a bad way to start...
From there continue on towards Coniston, and, if you fancy a cheeky bonus tarn, park in the car park opposite the Land Rover dealer.  Follow the footpath up behind there for 10 minutes and you'll find this place:

Kelly Hall Tarn

Right, now time to head to the village where there are a good number of interesting local shops to explore and a couple of must visit places to check out.  First of all The Ruskin Museum will give you all the background you need on the place.  Don't be fooled by the name, it actually covers all of the local history, including Donald Campbell, and is a fabulous place to visit. The harbour is also worth a look as St Andrew's Church in the middle of the village.

If you have time there is also a gorgeous walk along the lake shores where you can pause to admire the scenery or indulge in some good old fashioned stone skimming contests with the kids.


For the perfect lunch with the very best views of the lake either drive, or take the launch, over to Brantwood where The Terrace Coffee Shop & Restaurant has everything covered.  Spectacular views, fab food, colossal sausage rolls and utterly sinful cakes.

View from The Terrace


After all of that gorgeous food it would be a shame to go racing off so take a tour of the house.  If, like me, you know very little about Ruskin, there's plenty to learn and if the weather is sunny the gardens are spectacular. You can always nip back to The Terrace for a fortifying cuppa, or a G&T made with one of Cumbria's awesome local gins (so long as you're not the driver!)



After a hearty lunch you'll not want much for your tea so a beach picnic as the sunsets will be what you're after.  There are several iconic jetties around Coniston so, as you make your way south along the eastern side of the lake, look for the lay-bys and small car parks.  From there you can grab a jacket, a flask of tea and a sarnie from the car, and huddle up on the shingle to watch the sun go down.  Perfect.

Where should I go next?  If you've got a holiday planned let me know in the comments below and I'll sort out another itinerary just for you!

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