When I mentioned to my Airbnb-hosts Tony and Wendy that I would love to do some walking and a little boat tour on this lovely morning, they recommended to go to Coniston Water and do a trip with Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola. And to watch out for the typical Coniston sheep!
It was just a short drive from High Park Farm to Coniston and so I had enough time to explore the lakeshore a little bit (and have some coffee at the Bluebird Café) before getting in queue for the gondola.
The Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola was rebuilt and is operated by the National Trust.
Originally launched in 1859, she was built for the steamer service carrying passengers from the Furness Railway and from the Coniston Railway. She was in commercial service until 1936 when she was retired, being converted to a houseboat in 1946. In 1979, by now derelict, she was given a new hull, engine, boiler and most of the superstructure. She is back in service as a passenger boat, still powered by steam… (Wikipedia)
The Gondola glides quietly over the water – a quite special experience. And the views were just amazing!
The boat stops at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s house and gardens, now a museum dedicated to the art critic of the Victorian era.
Victorian Boathouses along the Lake. In 1847 the Windermere Train line opened the Lake District to the world – something Ruskin strongly fought, thinking that a huge number of visitors would destroy the calmness and beauty of the area. He influenced the creation of the National Trust in 1895. Today the National Trust owns a lot of land in the District.
While waiting to get off the Gondola I took a peek inside – looks cosy enough!