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Windrush  |  Coniston

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Things To Do While Staying At Windrush

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.

Exploring the area near Windrush

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.


Tarn Hows - A Picture Book Water

In contrast to the larger lakes, Coniston’s majestic vastness, Ullswaters serpentine beauty, Tarn Hows is a romantic, picture book little tarn, set in the fells between Coniston and Hawkshead. Tarn How’s offers an accessible circular (1¾ miles) walk through beautiful countryside, with grand mountain views. The hard surfaced circular track makes it possible for wheelchairs and buggies, and the National Trust have made available the 'The Tramper', an all-terrain mobility scooter, suitable for those who can use handlebar steering and controls. It's part of the NT commitment to make more of our beautiful places accessible to those who are less physically able.

 

 


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

 


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.

 


A Balloon Flight Over Cumbria

Imagine the romance and thrill to soar majestically skywards with a beautiful lake and mountain stretching away before and beneath you. This dream can now come true with Virgin Balloon Flights. Flights go from Newby Bridge at the foot of Windermere, also Rampsbeck Country House Hotel in Ullswater. Wrap up warm, even in summer and make sure toy camera batteries are well charged. 

I did a flight with Clare in Egypt many years ago, and the memory still stays with both of us. So chaps if you want to make a grand romantic gesture, this could be the one. Imagine proposing to your loved one a few thousand feet above the land of poets and artists and florishing a bunch of flowers - can't fail!


Steam Yacht Gondola - The Grand Romantic Gesture

The restored Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola offers an unrivalled sailing experience on Coniston Water travelling in style in Gondola’s opulent saloons or relaxing on her open-air decks.

You can join the day to trips around the lake and a memorable experience it will be.

Now here's the thing - you can hire the yacht as a private venue. Imagine escorting your loved one aboard and setting sail with just the two of you  - and the crew. Perhaps arrange a lunch, with champagne and strawberries, and if you haven't as yet, make the proposal. Or maybe you are here in the lakes celebrating your partners or a family members birthday or wedding anniversary. What could be a better way of marking the occasion than you and your family and friends sailing around the lake, in private, without the hubbub of others?

Its not cheap, however the more of you there are the better the head rate seems, the question is - is she or he worth it?

 


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 Windrush

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 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.

 


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.

 


Cat Bells - Derwentwater

Set on the side of Derwent Water this little mountain is a must for great views. The climb is not too tough and the route well marked. There is limited parking at Hawes End, however you can arrive by taking the launch from Keswick, which adds a further bit of spice to the day. 

 


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.