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Coniston is great for families – do you agree with our five top places to take the children around this south Lakes village?

The Lake

Coniston Water, the fifth biggest stretch of water in the Lake District, has Grizedale Forest on one side and the Old Man of Coniston looming on the other.

There are pleasant coves and near the main boating centre, there are wide, stony patches you can explore, set up chairs or a rug and enjoy a picnic.

You can catch the rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht Gondola to get around the lake or opt for something more modern.

We hired a speedboat from Coniston Boating Centre – the speed limit is 10mph on the water – but in an hour you travel  all around the lake.

The Old Man of Coniston

You can’t miss this mountain as it towers above the village. It is a magnet for walkers but you can do at least part of it with young children.

We would consider driving up as far as you can. There is a car park part of the way up and you can walk from there.

The first part is fairly easy before it gets steeper towards the tarns. Even if you don’t make the top, the views are great.

The old man of Coniston mountain in the Lake District sunshine

The Old Man of Coniston

Grizedale Forest

On the eastern side of Coniston is this fabulous forest. Grizedale has lots of adventure activities including Go Ape, forest trails and mountain biking.

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We hired two electric bikes from Grizedale Mountain Bikes. This may sound like a cheat, but we would recommend electric if you are pulling children behind as there are some steep climbs.

All four of us loved exploring the trails which carve their way through the forests. There is a large car park next to the refurbished visitor centre.

a bike rider in Grizedale Forest in the Lake District

Hire a bike to explore Grizedale Forest and its many miles of trails

Tarn Hows

This is the perfect lakeland walk for small children. Bought by Beatrix Potter in 1929 and handed to the National Trust, Tarn Hows is man-made but it feels like it has been there for centuries.

Walk down from the car park to the 1.5 mile flat circuit around the water.

The path around the tarn is gravelled and easy for all ages – don’t forget to stop at the far end for a picture.

There are toilets and sometimes an ice cream van at the car park.

Tarn Hows in the sunset

Tarn Hows is a family friendly walk for young children

The village

Coniston is a bustling, working village, not a picturesque tourist magnet like Ambleside or Hawkshead.

However there are good pubs – the Black Bull is really popular – plenty or restaurants and cafes plus food stores.

Coniston village with the old man mountain behind

Coniston is a working village but has plenty of pubs, restaurants and a playground

There is also a good playground on the road towards the lake.

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We rented a cottage with Coppermines Cottages, they have plenty of choice around Coniston. Ours was a classic Lakeland cottage with traditional features in a good location.

Have we missed any of your family’s favourite places? We’d love to hear your recommendations for families in Coniston.

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