We want to keep you posted as to what is happening on the ground now you are able to travel and visit the Lake District again. We will be constantly editing and adding to this page, so make sure to put it in your ‘favourites’ if you want to know what is happening in and around the Coniston area.
The gardens at Brantwood are reopening to visitors from 12th April. The Terrace Cafe will also be open with outdoor seating available. The historic house will reopen from 17th May.
The National Trust have outlined the reopening plan for their properties around Hawkshead and Coniston (please note that the reopening schedule is subject to any changes in the government road map).
At Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top, they re-opened the garden from Monday 29th March, 7 days a week. Just in time to see spring bursting into life; May really is the garden’s brightest and best month as the blossom flowers in the orchard and the Japanese quince displays it’s red blooms on the front of the house. Also back is their pop-up café in the orchard, run by local coffee and cake fanatic Joey; perfect for a tasty pit stop whilst enjoying the garden. The shop will reopen on 12th April with the house will hopefully open again on 17th May – also with 7 day a week opening.
The Beatrix Potter Gallery in the heart of Hawkshead village, will reopen on 17th May, starting with 5 day opening and then building up to 7 days during school holidays. The ‘Friendship by Post’ exhibition, will be running for the rest of the year there. The exhibition explores the relationships that influenced Beatrix Potter’s world and how important correspondence by post remained to Beatrix throughout her life.
At both of Hill Top and Beatrix Potter Gallery, they will be using a new advanced booking system, with limited entries per half hour slot, whichwill only increase once confident they can do all it safely and within guidance. This means for the first time ever entry to Hill Top house can be guaranteed in advanced. Tickets are released the Friday before the following week e.g tickets for Monday went on sale this morning. They need to be booked direct on the NT websites. In quieter times we will accept walk ups but booking online is the only way to guarantee entry.
At Wray Castle, on Windermere’s west shore, the grounds have remained open throughout lockdown. From 17th May they will then be looking to open the ground floor of the castle only. The focus at Wray Castle this year will be family adventures outdoors, such as den building and the outdoor play trail, with activities around the grounds to encourage everyone to get closer to nature and notice the beauty around us. There will be no charge to enter the ground floor of the Castle when it does open. The Kitchen Court Café at Wray will also hopefully be reopening in May serving warm snacks, sandwiches, hot and cold drinks and ice cream. Picnics are always welcome in the ground of Wray Castle.
*NB Windermere Lake Cruise Boats are currently not operating to Wray Castle.
Outdoor sites, with a focus on Tarn Hows, have remained open for local use throughout and from 29th March with welcome staff and the Tramper mobility scooter available to use from late April, for those less able to get around. The accessible path is perfect for all ages to start to get back out and exploring at this majestic Lakes beauty spot. The ice cream van will be open at Tarn Hows from the 8th April. Opening times 11am – 16:30 minimum. Initially card only. People will be able to get ice cream, confectionary, packaged bakes, cold drinks and hot drinks.
Steam Yacht Gondola, on Coniston Water – a3 cruises a day from 12th April – in line with other boat operators in the Lakes. Tickets can be booked online in advance via the Gondola website. Discount for NT members.
The Café at Claife Viewing Station will also be reopening from 12th April. The viewing platform has remained open throughout for local exercise.
Learn to Navigate the Lake District Fells with WALX
WALX are delighted to introduce you to the basics of navigation, to start you on your journey of exploring the lowland valleys and then moving onto the higher fells… there’s only one way to start, at the beginning!
This 90 minute masterclass is a great starting point for anyone who feels they have little or no navigation skills. It will also greatly assist those who feel they have reasonable nav skills but want a refresher and to improve. Everyone will be surprised at how much knowledge they may already have!
“I took part in the Navigation Essentials For Walkers online course and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sean was an informative and patient teaching us about map reading, navigation and route planning. He also explained what to do when lost, how to use a compass and that nothing beats a map and compass, but that they can also be aided by technology. Thank you Sean.” Pauline
At the end of the session, your expert Navigation Coach, Sean, will suggest ways for you to put things into practice and how to take your skills to the next level.
Seminars will be conducted by Zoom. For more info and to book visit the WALX website.
Lakeland Motor Museum
With a fascinating collection of over 30,000 exhibits that trace the development of road transport throughout the twentieth century – cycles, motorbikes, motor cars and automobilia. The Lakeland Motor Museum is housed in a converted mill in the heart of the Lake District, we’re minutes from Lake Windermere
Now open every day….
With the 2m social distancing rule inside the museum and staggered entry times; every 15 minutes
All visitors will need to pre book online here.
Windermere Lake Cruises
Daily Sailings – Pier to pier sailings; Red Cruise, Yellow Cruise and Islands Cruise
Guests can now book in advance for pier to pier sailings, enjoying a return journey or disembarking and returning on a later sailing. All journeys need to be booked in advance online using the link below and both the departure time and location and return time and location will need to be booked.
Seats will be allocated at the time of the booking. The seats will be either indoor or outdoor only. Guests must ensure that they sail on the journey they have specifically booked.
To book click here here.
NEW Service from Windermere Lakes Cruises : Private Cruises
• A private skippered vessel, which can be hired by the hour.
• Available only from Waterhead and Bowness and at specified times
• This service is for large family groups who are able to travel together so will not need to socially distance from each other .
• Traditional Wooden Launches will be used on this new service
• The cost for up to 12 passengers will be £200 per hour
• Over 12 passengers and the cost will be £250 per hour
• This service can only booked over the phone on 015394 43360
Self Drive Luxury Motor Boats from Windermere Lake Cruises
This is the ideal way for families to get out on the lake in a completely socially distanced way.
Visitors can pre plan and pre book your required time. There is a choice of 3 locations to start your self-drive cruise; Bowness Beach, Bowness Dock or Waterhead (Ambleside).
Pre-booking is strongly recommended as they do sell out fast! Book here.
Please note, all passengers will by law be required to wear face coverings whilst on the large vessels.
This does NOT apply to Self Drives, only the larger passenger carrying vessels
BRANTWOOD, overlooking Coniston Water on the east side of the lake, was the home of John Ruskin, one of the greatest figures of the Victorian age.
WE’RE WORKING HARD TO REOPEN BRANTWOOD FULLY, BUT FOR THE MOMENT THE HISTORIC HOUSE IS CLOSED.
GARDENS AND TERRACE CAFÉ OPEN
Brantwood has a 250 acre estate with wood and moorland trails encompassing unique hillside and lakeshore gardens, offering magnificent views and historic features. There are picnic places and seating areas throughout and lots of space to roam and explore. Family activity pack available. The Studio is open for exhibitions and the Terrace offers food and drinks throughout the day.
Gardens and Terrace open every day 10.30am – 5.00pm
Gardens only: £6.20 Children Free
FREE VISITOR PARKING
(Dogs allowed in the gardens & The Terrace on a lead)