Coniston Water famously inspired Arthur Ransome's classic children's tale Swallows and Amazons. Peel Island, towards the southern end of the lake, doubles in the book as Wild Cat Island, while the Gondola steam yacht allegedly gave Ransome the idea for Captain Flint's houseboat.

You can take a tour of the lake on the Steam Yacht Gondola or the Coniston Launch, or hire canoes and sailboats from the Coniston Boating Centre.


The tourist office has leaflets on possible routes up the Old Man and other walks, and stocks a great range of maps and guides.