Full steam ahead for Spring

We're all steamed up ready for the season ahead. Find out what we've been up to over the winter and what we've got planned for 2017.

Hot on the heels of numerous TV appearances and being crowned Cumbria’s visitor attraction of  2016 , we are looking forward to the start of the new sailing season which begins this Saturday 1 April.

This graceful old lady requires much pampering to keep her in tip top condition so this winter, in addition to her usual maintenance programme, we've treated her to a beautifully re-upholstered aft saloon with the help of Coniston- based company ‘Loungy Upholstery’ who specialise in classic cars and boats. The intricate and specialised work was carried out by India Polkinghorn and involved individually pressing 3200 buttons on to the saloon cushions as well as cutting out and sewing 192 metres of piping. 

Our newly reupholstered seat cushions in the aft saloon
The aft saloon
Our newly reupholstered seat cushions in the aft saloon

Loungy have been a joy to work with and they’ve really done us proud, helping Gondola to retain her luxurious look and feel and complementing our gleaming gold sea serpent figurehead, which was re-carved last year. We are particularly pleased with our new comfy cushion for the poor helmsman, who up till now has never had a comfy place to sit.

Crewman Jack has also been hard at work putting his carpentry skills to good use and replaced the window frames in the first class saloon which had started to  rot.

The season ahead promises something for everyone. Family-friendly Cadbury’s Easter Egg hunts take place during the school holidays from 14th April and nautical knot cruises in August whilst those with special interests can enjoy an evening lecture in May or September by our curator Harvey Wilkinson on the significance of Gondola’s Venetian design or indulge in a cruise and guided walk with afternoon tea exploring Coniston’s Beatrix Potter connections.

The Grand Victorian 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.

See Windermere from a new viewpoint on the first floor platform
People enjoy the view south from Claife Viewing Station, Cumbria
See Windermere from a new viewpoint on the first floor platform