Things to do nearby The Beech Tree
There's certainly plenty to see and do during your stay at The Beech Tree. Check out the independent shops and cafes in the centre of the village - why not grab your lunch to go and enjoy a lakeside picnic? Take inspiration from Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, set around Coniston, and spend a day on the water itself. Hire a rowing boat or take to the water in style on the stately steam gondola. Tackle the mighty Coniston Old Man or head to the Landgale Valley for peaceful day's walking.
Coniston is a peaceful corner of the Lake District, less visited than the popular hubs of Ambleside and Windermere, despite offering the same matchless scenery and epic fell walking. The Old Man of Coniston and its satellite fells form an imposing backdrop to the village.
Coniston Water is a stunning lake that stretches for five miles through beautiful countryside and mountain scenery. Boats run on the lake, you can take out your own motor boat, or sail in style on the traditional Launch, or the impressive Steam yacht, the Gondola.
The area is very popular with walkers and climbers thanks to the superb fell walking on offer. A walk up the Old Man of Coniston starts from the centre of the village and takes in much of the mining history of the area as well as dark crags, stunning views over Coniston, and, on a nice day, even the distant Isle of Man! For something easier, head to the ever-popular Tarn Hows, suitable for almost all abilities. Keep an eye out for wildlife in the surrounding trees, including red squirrels.
Dow Crag is famous as a climber’s playground, offering over 100 routes up the notoriously chilly rock face, fractured by huge gullies. For walkers, the summit is simply one of the finest, a small rocky top with a stunning view that requires a few short ‘hands on rock’ to reach the highest point.
Brantwood is the preserved 19th century home of one of Coniston’s most famous former residents, John Ruskin, a Victorian artist and thinker. The house has been preserved as a museum but is still very much the home that he lived in. Brantwood is packed with Ruskin's personal treasures including paintings, furniture, objets d'art and other personal mementoes.
In the village itself you will find the Ruskin Museum, which charts Coniston’s cultural history and holds exhibitions on geology, mining and farming.
Coniston is also famous as the lake where Donald Campbell broke the world speed record in 1955. He was infamously killed when attempting to do the same in 1967. His boat, the famous 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.
There are four good pubs in Coniston including the Black Bull the Ship Inn. The Wilson Arms in Torver is a family owned pub with a deli.
Hawkshead is one of the Lake District’s prettiest villages. No cars are allowed in the village itself (although there is a large car park on the outskirts) and it is full of whitewashed houses, lovely little cafés, and walks in all directions. Visiting here is like stepping back into a bygone era! At Near Sawrey, just a couple of miles from Hawkshead, you will find Hill Top Farm, previously the home of Beatrix Potter. The museum has retained many of the author’s personal knick knacks and the rooms have been kept as they would have been in her day.
Beyond Hawkshead and Near Sawrey is Lake Windermere, England’s longest lake. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular location, with beautiful surrounding scenery and lots to do. There are walks galore along the lakeshore and up the fells, or why not relax on a cruise across the water? Windermere Lake Cruises have a variety of tickets such as a Walkers Ticket, an Island Cruise and a Buffet Cruise. There are also numerous options to take attractions around the lake including the Lakeland Motor Museum, Haverthwaite Steam Railway and the Lakes Aquarium.
Bowness-on-Windermere, on the eastern lakeshore, is one of the most popular towns in the Lake District. You can enjoy one of the many eateries, simply browse around the shops, or get onto the lake in a motorboat, or on a canoe, sailing boat or rowing boat! Bowness is also the home of The World of Beatrix Potter, a must visit for all fans! You can learn more about her best-loved characters, explore Mr McGregor’s garden, or enjoy a tasty treat at the café.
The market town of Ulverston is half an hour way and is known for its many festivals including the September Lantern Procession and November Dickensian Christmas Festival. There is a weekly livestock market and a street market in the town centre. Stan Laurel, the legendary comedian, is the town’s most famous son, which explains why Ulverston is the location of the Laurel and Hardy Museum. During the day there is a bus service between Ulverston and Coniston.