Coniston is a great place for hill walking and rock climbing. Sitting under the Old Man of Coniston, there are walks across the Furness Fells and Grizedale Forest and some great rock climbing on the eastern face of Dow Crag. The disused copper mines supply a bit of the old history of Coniston and it is said that this is where the Cumberland sausage originated as the mines were worked by German workers and the sausage may have been created to suit their tastes.
When you park in the main car park in the village you can visit the fantastic tourist information centre right in the car park. It frequently has exhibitions on the latest events in the area.
In 1967 he achieved a speed of 320mph (515 km/h) but this could not be counted as a record as he lost control of Bluebird K7 before finishing the second leg and died on impact when Bluebird somersaulted and crashed.
Coniston has the third largest lake in the Lake District and has strong links to Donald Campbell who set four water speed records in Bluebird K7.
Also there was the poet, artist and philosopher John Ruskin who retired to Brantwood on the shore of Coniston Water. Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books were based here and of course we have the Gondola, the Gondola is the oldest steam yacht in the north west. It was built in 1859 by the Furness Railway Company as an attraction for the tourists that were coming in to Coniston on the trains.
The Gondola was put out of service in 1936 and it was used as a house boat until the 1960s then abandoned. In the mid 70s the National Trust restored it and it was back in the water in 1980 and in public service around Coniston Water.
Monk Coniston, close to the centre of Coniston
The Gondola on Coniston Water
You can hire rowing boats, electric boats and kayaks, you can even go on a Swallows and Amazons tour, click here for more information. Every year on Coniston Water is the Coniston Power Boat Records Week and is the only event to bring together all the power boat classes.
Large and small power boats race for the records week on Coniston Water
Brantwood was the home of John Ruskin and is the beautifully situated in the Lake District. Brantwood is a house of historical importance and a centre for contemporary arts. There are displays in the house, gardens and estate that reflect the wealth of cultural associations associated with Ruskin’s legacy. With the many exhibitions, concerts, special events and courses and with it’s education work in the community, Brantwood continues in the Ruskin tradition. Brantwood has a lot to offer every one so while in Coniston please pay us a visit. Take a look at our website for more information. www.brantwood.org.uk
The Ruskin Museum has existed in Coniston since 1901 and was set up by local artist and antiquarian W.G. Collingwood. It was set up as a memorial to Ruskin and a celebration of the areas heritage. The museum also exhibits other items relating to the copper mines, slate, geology, lace farming and Donald Campbell. www.ruskinmuseum.com
Coniston Copper Mines history go back over 400 years but the mining of copper will go back a lot further. To get to the copper veins there were ladders and staging and some of the mine areas were at around 1100ft deep and about 500ft below sea level. Even though over a 1000ft of the mines are under water it is still possible to go down 500ft through the vein system. PLEASE NOTE, Do not go down any mines under any circumstances without an experienced guide, even then your safety cannot be guaranteed.
Coniston Tourist Information Centre
The Coniston Tourist Information Centre is situated in the main car park in Ruskin Avenue. This amazing TIC is run by the Coniston community as a not for profit company. It is full of information on the area and beyond, the staff are extremely helpful and knowledgeable and the TIC it’s self is worth a visit as a gift shop. see the website for more information www.conistontic.org
Coniston Launch offer Lake cruises and group charters on Coniston Water. There are regular services covering two circular routes where you can stay on for the full cruise or get off at one of the jetties, have a look round then catch a later boat back. There is also some special cruises on Coniston Water like the Swallows and Amazons cruise, a 110 minute cruise discovering places like Wild Cat Island from the book. For more information on the Coniston Launch see the website www.conistonlaunch.co.uk
Coniston Old Man is one of the most popular mountains in the Lakes. It stands at 803 meters above sea level and is the highest of the Coniston Fells. The Old Man and Dow Crag Walk can be found at www.trekkingbritain.com The popular walk will take you from Coniston via Low Water and the slate mine ruins then crossing Goats Hawse to reach Dow Crag. After you will descend the Buck Pike and Brown Pike ridge to meet the Walna Scar Road that will take you back to Coniston Village. Walk safe and have a great day.
Coniston Old Man
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