Location: Coniston – Grid Reference: SD 308970
Coniston Pier. Tel 015394 36216
Coniston Water retains the true qualities of peace, remoteness and adventure that will appeal to the true ‘laker’. Here it is possible to escape for a while and enjoy the Lake District that has almost ceased to exist. There are two traditional timber launches which are named after very different writers who had close associations with Coniston. M.L.Ruskin was built in Chester in 1922 and saw war service on minesweeping duties, while her sister ship M.L.Ransome was built a year later in Portsmouth and was also requisitioned by the Admiralty.
In 2005 the passenger launches “Ruskin” and “Ransome” were converted to solar-electric power and on sunny days the solar panels can provide two-thirds of the power needed to run the boats.
Coniston Launch has two services: The Northern cruise, 50 minutes, calls at Waterhead jetty (bus interchange), Torver and Brantwood, (the home of John Ruskin from 1871 until his death in 1900), then back to Coniston jetty.
The Southern cruise lasts about 105 minutes and also calls at Torver, then Water Park (down on the east side), Lake Bank, Sunny Bank and Brantwood before returning to Coniston. Both services include a live commentary. Winter sailings are also available but with a restricted timetable.
There are special interest cruises which cover the route and follow the history of Donald Campbell’s attempt to break the World Water Speed Record in 1966/7. Another special interest cruise explores the locations used by Arthur Ransome in his much loved ‘Swallows and Amazons’ children’s books.
- Orchard Cottage B&B – 4* bed and breakfast in Coniston village. Also specialist Walking Breaks
- The Coppermines – Holiday Cottage Agency based in Coniston village
- Coniston Holidays Cottages – two 4* self catering cottages in Coniston village