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Park Gate Cottage  |  Coniston

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Things To Do While Staying At Park Gate Cottage

Our Explore More Pages showcase the best along with some of the lesser-known attractions of the Lake District. We want you to get the most from your experience whilst staying in this unique area by highlighting some of our favourite places, along with those of the owners and our friends most loved walks and attractions.

Some days you may wish to stay close to home, on others, set off and visit further away landscapes. Here are just a few of the magnificent places we love, both near and far, always remembering that nowhere is more than a hour to and hour and a quarter drive away, and the journey through the landscape is always part of the days enjoyment.

We would also love to hear about you memorable moments so we can share it with others. 
Either email or post us on Facebook, Google+ or twitter or even send a post card.

Owners Sue & Jonathan's Lake District Favourites
We love the Coniston area, away from the major tourist traps and yet offering good village amenities, the beautiful Coniston Water, and of course the surrounding hills. Our cottage is within easy walking distance of the village and the lake, but feels quiet and secluded. What really seduced us, however, was the cottage's history and the fact that it was painted in 1900 by the Lakeland artist, Alfred Heaton Cooper(there is a copy hanging in the living room).

Our favourite moments staying there? Walking out of the back door, up the lane and onto the path to the Old Man of Coniston; Swimming in the lake afterwards; Oh, and visiting the wonderful Honest Shop in the village, stocked with locally-made produce. Try the millionaire's shortbread if there is any left. It is delicious. Nobody looks after the shop, just put your money in a box.


 

Exploring the area near Park Gate Cottage

Esthwaite Water & Fishery

South from Hawkshead lies Esthwaite Water, a charming little tarn offering trout fishing. The fishery will hire rods and tackle, along with boats. The catch is, I believe, two trout per head. There are barbecues on the lake shore and it is great fun to cook 'em  fresh and straight from the water - yum.

 




Claife Heights from Sawrey - Overlooking Windermere

One of the best rambles is very close by at Sawrey. The Heights rise above the west shore of Windermere. You will need an OS Map, where you can then discover some wonderful woodland, three little tarns, and at the summit a fantastic view over Windermere. I think you can get individual walk pages in Hawkhead. Take a packed lunch and make a real day of it.

 


Coniston Old Man

Coniston Old Man is the big one in the south lakes, rising over the village. Most people use the Tourist Path, which climbs a short and direct route up its eastern side passing through old quarries and passes the dramatically positioned tarn of Low Water.

Some prefer the longer route where the gradients are easier being in a series of manageable steps, and the scenery breathtaking. Access is via the ancient packhorse route of the Walna Scar Road heading from the village onto the raised moorland of Banishead on the southern flanks. This route climbs through the wild corries of The Cove and Goat's Water, past Dow Crag towering over Goat's Water and along the way there is a lot to do and, where the peak is your reward. If you make it only some of the way it will be worth it, the views and surrounding landscape a sheer joy to the eye.


Grizedale Forest - Woodland Trails - Forest Art & Go Ape

Grizedale Forest lies east of Coniston Water, with the Visitor Centre on the road from Hawkshead to Satterthwaite. A massive working forest, the Commission has endlessly striven over the decades to build tracks and trails for walkers or for those who prefer, mountain bike trails.

At the center of the woodland there is a cafe, shop, bike hire and the arts gallery. The forest chiefs are big on art, where you will find a host of woodland sculpture set along the trails. For me, it realy is best of days out, perhaps visiting some twenty times over as many years, where in summer it is all dappled leafy glades, come autum and winter the smell of loam and fallen leaves. The forest is so huge, the trials so varied one visit will not be enough.

GO APE 

At the Centre is the forests GO-APE course. A tree top scramble, with thrills, but no spills, allowing to release your inner Tarzan, and ending with a flying decent down a long zip wire - some go Yippee ki-yay... some just scream.

 

 


Near Peel Wood Coniston Water

The perfect day of splish splashing in, on and around the lake lies just a moment from your doorstep. Take the Coniston Water east lake road, and look for the laybys south of Brantwood designated for parking. Opposite you should see the sign marked 'NT Near Peel Wood'. Take the track through the little woods down the shoreline.

There are craggy outcrops and little coves, and just off the shoreline lies Peel Island, the inspiration for Wild Cat Island in Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. This a great place to chill, have a picnic and swim in the crystal clear waters

 


And now for something Completely Different - Guided 4X4 Off Road Driving 4X4

Kankku offers you a real off road driving adventure, putting you in the driving seat of their specially prepared 4x4 vehicles, where you can discover the Lake District from a new angle.

First time or advanced expeditions are available for individuals, families or groups to take the wheel of these mountain monsters, or you can bring your own 4x4 if you are happy to trash it. Learn new driving skills as you are expertly guided on challenging rough and rocky off road terrain on a gripping journey with a spectacular lake and mountain backdrop.

 


Exploring further afield of Park Gate Cottage

Bowness On Windermere

A fun day has to be a visit to Bowness with its bay on the lake. Plenty of shopping and food outlets but the best bit is to hire a boat for a trip on the lake. A rowboat for romance, a little motorboat for fun. Take a picnic and you can pull in at one of the bays or islands. If you prefer not to take charge, then hop aboard one of the steamers for a trip around the lake.

For a full night out, catch a show at the Old Laundry Theatre then book a table at the best restaurant, Jericho’s in nearby Windermere. 

 


Helm Crag - Near Grasmere

Everyone’s small mountain, and our first cilmb, some twenty five years ago on our first ever visit to Lakeland.

If you have driven from Ambleside to Keswick will have no doubt spotted the famous peak of Helm Crag's summit, known as the Lion & The Lamb, and more latterly by some as the Howitzer. Starting from Grasmere, it is an easy to moderate route. The ridge is set above stunning valleys, and its central location gives you great views to the higher mountains. The ridge walk is exhilarating and the Far Easedale Valley descent is wonderfully wild. An Os Map, a picnic, a camera to capture the view, and a friend to share the moment - perfect.

 


The Via Ferrata at Honister Slate Mine

The Via Ferrata - The Iron Way

For the brave and the seeker of thrills, then try Honister’s Via Ferrata, or Iron Way.

Set on the side of Honister Pass, high above the beautiful valley of Buttermere, this really is a unique, some would say scary, experience.

There are two different courses. The Classic course follows the ancient miner's cliff-edge footpath, high on Fleetwith Pike. The Xtreme is more of everything including the Burma Bridges; a wire bridge suspended 2,000 feet above the Valley floor and a 66foot vertical cargo net to finish off.

Not for the feint heated or those without a head for heights but a must for thrill junkies.

You are clipped to a cable so safety is ensured, but in no way detracts from the thrill.

 


A Drive Over The Mountains - The Wrynose & Hardknott Pass

The valleys of Great and Little Langdale lie in the shadow if the mighty Langdale Pikes. A series of soaring, jagged volcanic peaks, they form the great central massive of the Cumbrian Mountains, and are one of the most iconic images of the Lake District. Across the mountains run the Wrynose and Hard Knott passes. Head towards Little Langdale and use your map and signposts to find the start of the pass. These dramatic road snakes its precipitous route through the craggy mountains, offering breathtaking views and picture moments. There are plenty of stopping of spots where you can simply wander off and explore the rocky heights and breath mountain air. You can extend you outing by carrying on to Wastwater, without doubt the most haunting and dramatic of all the lakes. The view across the water is to Scafell, Great Gable, flanked by Kirkfell and Lingmell. If the mist rolls in the mood is dark, and the knowledge that the waters drop down to some 258 feet adds to the drama.

 


Wastwater and Scafell

Wastwater is without doubt the most haunting and dramatic of all the lakes. The view across the water is to Scafell, Great Gable, flanked by Kirkfell and Lingmell. If the mist rolls in the mood is dark, and the knowledge that the waters drop down to some 258 feet adds to the drama. The lake is three miles long and half a mile wide with an easy walk along the west shore with plenty of places to picnic. The screes have a sort of track at the foot, but it is exceptionally hard going and I would strongly advise against attempting this difficult route. At the head of the lake is a very small village and the famous Wasdale Head Inn, much loved by climbers and serves excellent ale, good bar food and has a pro - climbing shop. Hidden away in a little field, behind a standing of fir trees, stands St Olaf’s Church. Said to be the smallest church in England, the little graveyard has memorials to climbers killed in the Himalayas, Scafell and Great Gable.

Scafell Pike, which at 978 meters it is the highest peak in England and considered one of the most difficult of climbs in the Lake District. Next is Scafell, which at 964 meters is the second highest peak in England and offers stunning views over Wastwater to the west and the Langdale Pikes to the east. Then there is Great Gable, Kirkfell and Lingmell, these along with a host of other peaks, pikes, needles and crags. It goes without saying that these are big climbs and you must acquaint your self with the area, get maps, check weather and equip well with the right clothing. I sometimes think that for some, going a comfortable part of the way, still getting some fantastic views and memorable photographs, is far better than overstretching ones ability. 

 


A packed lunch, and around the foot of Ullswater for the best walk ever.

This is the one walk everybody should do. The track starts from the southern basin of Ullswater, going all the way to Howtown. Your journey takes you through the most splendid fell and moorland, with a view of the serpentine lake always there to keep you company.

Take a camera for some stunning shots of yourself in a cracking setting. If you make it to Howtown, you can catch a launch back to Glenridding, a splendid way to finish the day - if not you will have to return the way you came.

PS. Check the boat times.  

 


There then are a few ideas for you to try. To get the most from you visit, do have a look at our Lakeland Guide Pages, the links to the many attractions, and of course explore the wider Internet for more wonderful areas and things to.