The Swallows & Amazons return

Peel Island

Experience the magic of Ransome's 'imaginary' lake aboard Steam Yacht Gondola, arguably the real Captain Flint's houseboat.

Ransome's fictional lake

Arthur Ransome's 'great lake in the north' was not based on a single location, but he did assure his readers that ‘all the places in the books are to be found, but not arranged quite as the ordnance maps’.

Take a cruise around Coniston Water on Steam Yacht Gondola looking out for some of the real places which inspired Arthur Ransome to write his world famous story.

  • Spot the secret harbour at 'Wild Cat Island' on a full lake cruise.
  • Discover 'Octopus Lagoon', the entrance to the River Crake at southern tip of lake.
  • Pass by the 'Swallows' and 'Amazons' boathouses.
  • Marvel at the mighty mountain that inspired 'Kanchenjunga'.
  • See 'Holly Howe', in reality Bank Ground Farm on the eastern shore.
'Holly Howe' below the towering 'Kanchenjunga'
Ransome's Kanchenjunga
'Holly Howe' below the towering 'Kanchenjunga'

See the new film locations

See some of the film locations used in the new Swallows & Amazons film (released 19th Aug 2016) on our full lake cruise:

  • 'Houseboat Bay', the mooring point for Captain Flint's houseboat was filmed at Low Peel Near.
  • 'Island Camp' was shot amongst the trees above Low Peel Near.
  • 'Secret Harbour' was filmed at High Peel Near.

All of these locations are on the shoreline just across from Peel Island, the inspiration for 'Wild Cat Island' in the book.

Whilst you're here

Make the most of your time on Coniston Water:

  • Ask the crew if you can be a pesky pirate and take on Captain Jacko’s Challenge – an on board fun activity trail.
  • Paddle, picnic or explore the lakeshore and woodland trails from Gondola’s jetties (we recommend the Parkamoor trail).
  • Walk up to Boon Crag Farm near Monk Coniston - the farmhouse was the location of Holly Howe Farm in the new film.
  • Visit the Ruskin Museum in Coniston and see the sailing dinghy Mavis, the inspiration for the fictional Amazon.
Gondola moored at Brantwood
Walking trail

Parkamoor to Brantwood 

Make a day of it with a cruise, walk and picnic. Catch one of the South Lake cruises to Parkamoor jetty and walk for 9.6 km above the eastern shore of Coniston Water to Brantwood, returning on the last sailing back to Coniston.

Upcoming events

Heritage Open Day- Steam Yacht Gondola: social and industrial innovation

Tue 13 Sep 2022
Steam Yacht Gondola is a milestone in mid-Victorian engineering and social development. We’re celebrating and sharing the revolutionary thinking she represents with a free event for Heritage Open Days.
Hoathwaite campsite

Swallows and Amazons style camping 

Camp at Hoathwaite, across the water from 'Wild Cat Island' - a back to basics campsite for those with a taste for good old fashioned outdoor adventure....

Film boats moored on the East shore of Coniston

Step on to the set of Swallows & Amazons 

See the real places where the new film was made.