Cruising into summer
A summer visit to the Lake District isn't complete without time spent out on the water and there's no better way to do that than by taking a cruise on the elegant Steam Yacht Gondola.
Our four daily cruises offer a chance to enjoy the beauty of Coniston Water's surroundings, dominated on the west side by the rugged Coniston Fells and on the east by dense woodland trailing down to the water's edge.
There's also a lot to enjoy on the boat itself, from the oppulence of the two saloons to the impressive sight of the steam engine in full flow.
Steam buffs may be interested in our Engineer for the Day Experience - a chance to be a member of the crew for a whole day, learning how to work a steam engine, taking a turn on the helm and enjoying a hearty crewman’s picnic.
Younger visitors can take on Captain Jacko's Challenge, our on board quiz to win a Gondola pirate certificate. Also on the pirate theme, we're running a couple of 'Nautical Knot' cruises in August (6th and 20th) where Pirate Paul will teach young sailors some useful rope skills.
If culture is your thing then combine your cruise with a visit to Brantwood House and Gardens (not NT). Disembark at Brantwood jetty and pick up a later sailing for your return trip to Coniston Pier.
In September we're holding a Heritage Open Day (8th Sept) - a free, 'behind the scenes' tour of Steam Yacht Gondola where you can view seldom seen archive material on the history of the yacht and find out about its rescue and rebuild.
September also provides a chance to combine a cruise and guided walk with a National Trust volunteer ranger up to Tarn Hows (21st Sept). During the walk you'll enjoy wonderful views, learn of the importance of Beatrix Potter to the area and tuck into a delicious cream tea at Monk Coniston.
Finally, the Grand Victorian Circular Tour will be running again this season in collaboration with partners Windermere Lake Cruises, Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and Mountain Goat Tours. This is a unique recreation of one of the Furness Railway tours of the Victorian and Edwardian era, accompanied by a National Trust guide. An epic day of touring both Windermere and Coniston by steam rail, water and road, this tour is a full day’s package including lunch at Claife Viewing Station and a full lake cruise on Gondola.