Things to do nearby Reflections (Lake Bank)
Coniston Water is a stunning lake that stretches for five miles through beautiful countryside and mountain scenery. Surrounded by staggering mountain scenery, it’s hugely popular with walkers and offers both epic fell walks and gentle lakeside rambles.
A cruise on a Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola is a must whilst you are staying at Coniston. This stately boats can take you on one of several routes: a Walkers’ Cruise, the Ruskin Cruise, and the Head of Lake Cruise. Each are worth a try - you may even want to do all three!
One of the optional stops on the cruise is Brantwood. Once home to John Ruskin, the Victorian artist and thinker, the museum has preserved Ruskin’s house and holds many of his personal treasures, including objets d’art, paintings, and furniture. The museum hosts regular art exhibitions and other events such as poetry courses and painting workshops. You can explore the gardens, catch an outdoor theatre performance, or grab a bit at the relaxing café. Brantwood makes for a truly lovely day out.
Coniston is the lake where Donald Campbell broke the world speed record in 1955 and he was infamously killed when attempting to do the same in 1967. His boat, the Bluebird, was raised from the bed of the lake in 2001, along with his remains, and a memorial service was held in Coniston church. A replica of the Bluebird can be seen at the Lakeland Motor Museum in Backbarrow.
The Old Man of Coniston towers over the lake and a good walk up this steep fell starts from the Tourist Information in the village of Coniston. The area was hugely important for mining at one point, and remnants of this history can be seen along the walk. The top of the Old Man boasts stunning views over the Lake District and, on clear days, even to the Isle of Man! An easier ramble, suitable for all abilities, is the very popular Tarn Hows. This pretty tarn has lovely walks and you might even be lucky enough to spot red squirrels bounding through the surrounding woodland!
Dow Crag is a famous climber’s playground. With more than 100 routes up a notoriously chilly rock face, fractured by huge gullies, it offers lots of exciting challenges. You can also walk up Dow Crag; the summit is a small, rocky top with a stunning view that requires a few short ‘hands on rock’ to reach the highest point.
The village of Coniston is popular, but quieter than places like Bowness and Ambleside. The cultural history of the village is told at the Ruskin Museum, which also holds exhibitions on geology, mining and farming. Once you’re cultured out, why not head to one of the four pubs in Coniston for a good, hearty meal?
The market town of Ulverston, to the south of Coniston, is the birthplace of comic legend Stan Laurel. Naturally, the Laurel and Hardy Museum can be found here, celebrating the work of the famous double-act. Ulverston also hosts a weekly livestock market as well as a street market in the town centre. You can pick up all your necessities here at the shops and supermarkets, or why not explore one of the many antique shops and pick up a curiosity or knick knack to take home? Ulverston also has a wonderful lantern festival every year.
Grizedale Forest boasts over 4,000 hectares of oak, spruce and pine woodland. There is a network of fantastic walking trails and biking routes to explore or you can simply find a quiet spot from where to admire the wildlife and the amazing outdoor sculptures. Since 1977, international artists have created sculptures to reflect Grizedale Forest's unique environment, and it’s a fun day out searching for as many of these as possible. The forest also has three Tree Top Adventures, Segways, and a Go Ape! high ropes course.
For something a little different, head to Hawkshead. Cars are not allowed in this quirky little village (although there is a large car park on the outskirts) and a pleasant hour or two can be spent exploring its narrow streets surrounded by wonky, whitewashed houses. There are little cafés for refreshments and a number of walks lead out of the village, allowing you to explore the wider area on foot.
Lake Windermere is England’s longest lake and boasts magnificent surrounding scenery and lots to do. Get onto the water in a motorboat or on a rowing boat or sailing boat. Or, for an easier option, take a cruise around the lake: there are various different options, including a Buffet Cruise and an Island Cruise, and the boat opens up the option to visit various attractions around the lake. Hop off at Bowness for shopping and The World of Beatrix Potter, at Lakeside for an aquarium and a steam railway, or at Backbarrow for the Lakeland Motor Museum.
The cruise also opens up linear routes with its walkers’ ticket. Why not take a gentle stroll along the lakeshore or head up one of the many surrounding fells? There are plenty of routes to suit all preferences!