Coniston Water is the third largest of the lakes in the English Lakes District being 5.5 miles long and a half a mile wide. The lake is situated in a U-shaped valley which was created by glacial action in the last ice age. It was known as Thurston Water until Victorian times.
Its long, straight configuration made it ideal for attempts to break the World Water Speed Record by Sir Donald Campbell in the 1960s.
A leisurely way to enjoy the lake is to take a cruise on the steam yacht The Gondola,
a unique craft which has the design of a Venetian gondola but is powered by Victorian steam engines. The Gondola is owned by the National Trust.
For the water sport enthusiast Coniston Boating Centre has many facilities to offer. Visitors can hire electric self-drive boats, rowing boats, sailing dinghies, canoes and kayaks. Sailing tuition is also available. The less active visitor can enjoy a picnic on the lakeshore or visit the Bluebird Cafe. The Bluebird Cafe, (Bluebird was the name of Campbell’s record breaking boat), is located on a pier and sells drinks and ice cream. Rowing boats are available for hire from the cafe. Donald Campbell was a frequent visitor to the cafe during his visits to Coniston Water.
For the fishing enthusiast fishing on Coniston Water is open to everyone who has a rod licence. Fishing is possible from any of the public parts of the shoreline and boat fishing is also permitted. The lake is well stocked with trout, eel, perch, char and pike.
Coniston village, on the shore of the lake, is a centre for climbers and hill walkers. For those who would like a longer stay in the area there are hotels and self-catering cottages to choose from. Younger visitors might like to see Beatrix Potter’s farmhouse which is close to the village. For the fitter and more active there are many walks around the area and a climb to the top of The Old Man of Coniston, a 2627ft hill, offers panoramic views.
Lake District National Park Authority