10. Lake District: Langdale Valley and Coniston Half-Day Tour
Your morning starts with a scenic drive through typical Lakeland countryside to one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District, Tarn Hows. You will have an opportunity to stop here and admire the view looking over to the Coniston Hills and Langdale Pikes, which form the backdrop to this spectacular corner of the Lake District. As you descend back down from the Tarn, the surrounding countryside opens up before you, dropping away from the road down the rolling hills towards the Yewdale Valley. Plunging into a wooded, mossy dell, you emerge back onto the main road at Monk Coniston sitting on the northern tip of Coniston Water. You will pause here, at the very edge of the lake, for you to soak up the atmosphere and tranquillity. You then meander along the shore, climbing up to beautiful Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin.
You linger at Brantwood long enough for you to take in the panoramic vista of the lake, overshadowed by Coniston Old Man opposite. Brantwood is the perfect spot for photos across the lake. Down below the house, a path snakes through a garden to the lakeshore jetty where you can walk out onto the lake for more amazing photo opportunities. Looking across the lake, you will see the village of Coniston crouched at the foot of the fells. This is your next location and on arrival, your guide will take you on a short walking tour around the village pointing out all of the interesting features along the way.
You now leave this lowland area and head up into the fells and some staggering, sweeping scenery. Little Langdale is a hamlet of a few scattered stone houses and a pub in the Little Langdale Valley. See spectacular views of the Langdale Pikes, a group of peaks on the northern side of the dale. From below, they appear as a sharp rocky ridge, though they are precipitous only on their southern side; to the north, the land sweeps gently to High Raise, the parent peak of the range.
The road now turns as you pass Great Langdale which is known to archaeologists as the source of a particular type of Neolithic polished stone axe head, created on the slopes of the Pike of Stickle and traded all over prehistoric Great Britain and Europe. Great Langdale is a huge U-shaped valley formed by glaciers which opens up to you as you descend back down from the fells.