Lonely Planet review
John Ruskin (1819–1900), the Victorian polymath, philosopher and critic, was one of the great thinkers of 19th-century society, expounding views on everything from Venetian architecture to the finer points of lace-making.
In 1871 he purchased this impressive house overlooking Coniston and spent the next 20 years expanding and modifying it. The house is a monument to Ruskin's passion for traditional 'Arts and Crafts' over factory-made materials: he helped design everything from the furniture to the garden terraces, and even dreamt up the wallpaper designs. Look out for his shell collection in the downstairs study, and works by JMW Turner (one of Ruskin's favourite artists) in an upstairs bedroom.
The best way to arrive is by boat from Coniston. While you wait, you can have lunch at the Jumping Jenny in the house's former stables.
If you'd prefer to drive, take the B5285 towards Coniston from Hawkshead and follow the signs.