Five reasons to come aboard this autumn

A sail on Coniston lake aboard Gondola is an idyllic autumn activity, enjoyed by thousands since Victorian times. Join us to find your reason to love a cruise on this old boat.

Just so you know...

This article was created before the coronavirus crisis, and may not reflect the current situation. Please check our homepage for the most up to date information about visiting.


It’s a real insight into steam power

From a distance you’ll be able to see the puffs of white smoke that float out of the tall chimney. Once aboard, you can get up close to the action and look down through an open window to see what’s going on ‘behind the scenes’. Gondola originally ran on coke from the gasworks, but now our Engineers fuel the W.Bertram and Sons Ltd boiler with compressed wood and sawdust logs. 

If you want to find out more, speak to the Engineer on duty during your cruise or better still, become one of the crew with an Engineer For the Day experience – feed the furnace, drive the boat and learn all sorts of fascinating things about what it takes to run the boat. 

Hear local history from our knowledgeable crew 

Gondola was originally built as a tourist attraction for wealthy Victorians in 1859 by the Furness Railway Company to link with the Coniston Railway line. After being abandoned following a large storm, the National Trust bought her in the 1970’s. She was rebuilt to her former glory and took to the water again in 1980.  

Coniston itself has several famous points of interest. During your cruise, the crew will provide live commentary snippets about the landmarks and the history of Gondola. Experience the film set for Swallows and Amazons, learn more about Coniston’s industrial past and see where Donald Campbell attempted to break the world water speed record but tragically died. 

Enjoy the views from another angle

A cruise down the lake offers a new way to see the scenery that often can’t be seen from the road. Gondola will take you past tiny islands, boathouses, lush fields, and jetties, all under the shadow of the Lake District fells. 

A unique way to start your day

With several stops marked out on the timetable, you can now start your days adventures aboard a steam yacht. Discover Brantwood, the home of English Art Critic John Ruskin, stop off at Monk Coniston and walk up to Tarn Hows, the iconic beauty spot once owned by Beatrix Potter, or alight at Lake Bank for a picnic on the shore. 

A cruise for everyone, whatever the weather

When the sun shines, sitting on the outer decks and taking it all in can be a perfect activity for a summers day. We’ve got the best of both worlds aboard Gondola and if the heat of the summer sun gets a bit too much, or you’re looking for somewhere to shelter from the rain, Gondola’s two opulent indoor saloons offer a space to enjoy the views, listen to the commentary and relax as we cruise you down the lake. 

Steam Yacht Gondola moored at Parkamoor jetty

Choose your cruise

More than just a boat trip, a cruise on Steam Yacht Gondola is a Victorian lifestyle experience played out on Coniston Water, one of England's most beautiful lakes.

Gondola engineer

Become an Engineer for the day 

We can now again invite you to be part of the crew for a day and see behind the scenes of Gondola, re-living the nostalgia of the golden age of steam in the engine room and up on the helm in this special gift experience.