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Taking to the water at Coniston

Posted by Luci Ackers on 10 March 2015
Related property: Merlewood
Taking to the water at Coniston

Walking across Morecambe Bay, dining in style at L’Enclume in nearby Cartmel (perhaps after a day at Cartmel Races), enjoying the genteel charm of Grange-over-Sands or communing with nature on the many glorious walks that criss-cross the region: holidaymakers at Merlewood have much to choose from. But given the holiday site’s location at the southern end of the Lake District, it would be a shame to go home without spending time on and around at least one of these famous stretches of water. But if you have to choose one, make it the prettiest: Coniston Water.

The fifth-largest lake in the Lake District, Coniston Water is about five miles long and half a mile wide. Above its western shore, the ‘Old Man of Coniston’ looms over the lake and the pretty village with which it shares its name, and where you’ll find plenty of shops, pubs and eateries.

Coniston village

There’s much to see around the lake, in particular Brantwood on the eastern shore, John Ruskin’s former home, open to visitors, with beautiful gardens and views.

Brantwood, John Ruskin's former home

But you’ll want to get out on the water – in which case make a beeline for the Coniston Boating Centre: the place to go to hire boats (and, for landlubbers, bikes). It is open every day from 10am until dark and is guaranteed fun for families, couples and anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. You can hire motor boats, rowing boats, canoes, sailing boats, push bikes and electric bikes – so just as there is no shortage of things to do on and around the lake, there are plenty of ways to make the most of this beautiful location. And there’s no need to “go it alone” – there are lots of guided events available to everyone, especially during the summer months, including walks, cycle rides and cruises, led by knowledgeable volunteers.

Coniston Boating Centre

And at the end of your excursion, having worked up an appetite, be sure to stop in at the Bluebird Cafe. Named after Donald Campbell’s famous world speed record-breaking machines (especially, of course, the boats), the cafe is next door to the Boating Centre, looking out across the lake: an idyllic location in which to relax and enjoy a coffee and a slice of cake, or something more substantial (the cafe is licensed).

Bluebird takes to the water once again

Coniston (and Coniston Water) lie 21 miles north of Merlewood via the B5721, the A590, the A5092, the A5084 and the A593. Coniston is also just 28 miles south of the Braithwaite Court holiday site.

Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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