Above the tranquil surface of Coniston Water, with its gliding steam yachts and quiet boats, looms the craggy, pockmarked peak known as the Old Man of Coniston (801m). The nearby village grew up around the copper-mining industry; these days, there are just a few sleepy streets, with two fine pubs and some tourist shops, making Coniston an excellent place for relaxing by the quiet lakeside.
Coniston is best known for the world-record speed attempts made on the lake by Sir Malcolm Campbell and his son, Donald, between the 1930s and 1960s. Tragically, after smashing the record several times, Donald was killed during an attempt in 1967, when his futuristic jet boat Bluebird flipped at around 320mph. The boat and its pilot were found in 2001; Campbell was buried in the cemetery near St Andrew’s church.