Coniston is a small snug village, tucked into a fold below Coniston Old
Man in the heart of the Lake District and set just a very little back from the shores of Coniston Water. Once
the locals spent their time extracting the heart of the mountain and ferrying it down to the coast on the Coniston
Railway. Now the mines are deserted (and, although largely unsecured, unsafe), the mountain stands proud and
inviting to walkers (he's a friendly sort of mountain) and the lake is especially peaceful (unlike the bustle of
nearby Windermere, a short hop across the fells). The railway station, once served by trains hauled by London,
Midland & Scottish Railway locomotive No. 1 (someone had to draw the lowest number), shut up shop to passengers in
1958, lost its the lovely overall roof during subsequent demolition and has succumbed to a small housing
This has left Coniston feeling a trifle off the beaten track (unlike
Windermere, which has the dual delights of the railway and the A591 Kendal to Keswick link road). For a tourist
industry provider, this depresses revenue. For a quiet visitor, this is a delight. With its array of Arthur Ransome
associations (for the outdoor adventure lover) and memories of speedboat trials (for the racing enthusiast) it
is a good place to pop over to for a busy but relaxed day out.
Seen here is one of the pubs, with a flank of the Old Man behind. Up the
road is a string of houses in the distinctive black stone of the Lakes.