John Ruskin (1819–1900) was one of the great thinkers of 19th-century society. A polymath, philosopher, painter and critic, he expounded views on everything from Venetian architecture to lace-making. In 1871 Ruskin purchased this lakeside house and spent the next 20 years modifying it, championing handmade crafts (he even designed the wallpaper). Look out for his vast hoard of shells and several works by JMW Turner.
Boats run regularly from Coniston. Alternatively, look out for signs on the B5285.
The formal gardens are also delightful to wander, with unsurprisingly majestic views. Afterwards, you can have lunch at the cafe in the house's former stables.