A popular centre for walkers, climbers and cyclists, the area is also well known for Coniston Water; setting for the famous children's story, Swallows and Amazons and also scene of Donald Campbell's tragic world water-speed record attempt in 1967. Nowadays the Victorian steam yacht `Gondola' which first went into service in 1859 and was restored in 1977 by the National Trust, plies the five miles of water from April to October. You can hire rowing boats, electric boats, kayaks and dinghies from Coniston Boating Centre on the lakeshore.
Take the opportunity to visit the Ruskin Museum, for local history, and `Brantwood' on the shores of Coniston Water, former home to the poet John Ruskin.
Positioned between Coniston Water and Windermere, Hawkshead is arguably the quaintest location in the lakes, with white washed cottages dating back to the 16th century, charming old pubs and tea shops along narrow traffic-free streets.
The village is busy with tourists who come to see the Grammar school where, in the 1780's William Wordsworth developed inspiration for this early poetry and home to the Beatrix Potter gallery showing her original drawings for her children's books. The village hosts the annual Victorian fair and agricultural/sports show every summer.
Broughton-in-Furness is well situated a few miles west of nearby Coniston, and is becoming a favoured destination for the more discerning visitor, who appreciate its tranquil charm and acknowledge it as part of the "Undiscovered Lakeland". In the Square is the town hall, once the market hall, and now the Tourist Information Centre, two slate fish market slabs, and old stocks, which together with the surrounding three storey merchants houses, creates a unique feeling to this historic market town. There is also a good selection of amenities within the village including an award winning restaurant.