Coniston Circular Cruise - North
Experience all the nostalgia and elegance of the original Lake District pleasure boat.
Steam Yacht Gondola provides a rare sailing experience - steaming elegantly back in time as far as the late 18th century when the first Picturesque travellers were arriving in the Lake District. Her story rooted on and around Coniston Water, Gondola is quite literally a moving part of the Lake District’s cultural landscape, and just one of the many reason's for this national park's world heritage designation.
On the North Circular Cruise, you'll have the chance to hear about Gondola's origins and how the significance of her Venetian design is a reflection of wider social and cultural events at the time of her conception. It's been 40 years since Gondola was relaunched after her salvage and reconstruction and you can find out more from our crew who've got lots of lake stories to tell.
Hop off at Brantwood House and Gardens
John Ruskin, the eminent Victorian who lived at Brantwood on the east shore of Coniston was an artist, writer and social reformer. He wrote the ‘Stones of Venice’ in which he compares the Lake District and Venice as landscapes under threat from mass tourism. His ideas inspired his friends Canon Rawnsley and Octavia Hill about the idea of landscape and nature conservation which eventually brought about the birth of the National Trust.
Disembark at Brantwood jetty for a visit to the gardens (not NT) to find out more about John Ruskin's fascinating life and work. With changing exhibitions, galleries, family trails and quirky mountainside gardens, this is a jam-packed day out.
You can also enjoy a variety of seasonal dishes and coffee culture at The Terrace Coffee House and Restaurant which overlooks Coniston Water.
Cruise, picnic and walk to Tarn Hows from Monk Coniston
If you're feeling a little more energetic, download the Monk Coniston trail guide and disembark at our northernmost jetty for a beautiful woodland walk up to the iconic beauty spot, Tarn Hows. You can either return to Coniston Pier on a later sailing or walk all the way back to Coniston to stretch your legs further.
En route, you can visit the Victorian walled garden in the grounds of Monk Coniston Hall, a property once owned by Beatrix Potter. This place is awash with perfect picnic spots - don't forget to take a rug to sit on. If time is short, our friends at the Bluebird Cafe by the Lake provide freshly prepared take-away picnics. In summertime, you'll find an ice cream van at Tarn Hows - a tempting reward before the downhill track.
When do the North Circular Cruises run and how much do they cost?
Please check our booking page for the most up to date information - see below.