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The third-biggest of all the lakes and especially famous for being the scene of many attempts to break the world water speed record

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Steam Gondola
Brantwood House
Coniston Village
World Water Speed Attempts
At 8 kilometres long and 800 metres wide, Coniston Water is the third-biggest of all the lakes. It is especially famous for being the scene of many attempts to break the world water speed record.
This began in 1939, when Sir Malcolm Campbell set a record of 141 mph. Later in the 20th century, his son - Donald Campbell - followed in his footsteps, and began to set ever-increasing records in a jet-powered boat called "Bluebird K7". In the 60s, he set himself a target of 300 miles per hour. He got closer and closer, but unfortunately, in 1967, disaster struck. The Bluebird was travelling at its highest-ever speed when Campbell suddenly lost control. The boat was destroyed, and its pilot was tragically killed.

Replica Bluebird K7
Photo Copyright Mike Peel
Donald Campbell's story is still well remembered at Coniston Water, particularly at the Ruskin Museum, which has a permanent exhibition celebrating the life and achievements of one of the Lake District's greatest heroes. His craft, the Bluebird K7, was recently retrieved from the lakebed, and will in the future be incorporated into the museum.
In the present, boats on the lake travel at much more sedate speeds. The most notable is the Gondola, a reconstructed Victorian steam-powered yacht. This unique craft can carry nearly 100 passengers in unrivalled comfort. There are also several other boats and ferries on Coniston Water, such as Coniston Launch, who offer all year round lake cruises and group charters.

Steam Gondola
Photo foshie
Most of these craft, including the gondola, stop at Brantwood house. This famous townhouse was bought by the philosopher John Ruskin in 1871, who lived here for 30 years. He declared the view across the lake to be "the best in all of England." Under his ownership, it became one of the most attractive houses in the entire Lake District. Both the gardens and the house itself are open to the public all year round, which makes for a great way to spend a day. The gardens cover 250 acres of flowers, lawns, and woods, while the house's interior contains various exhibitions, including displays of Ruskin's paintings and possessions.

Brantwood House
Photo PD
The other main stop on the ferry route is Coniston village, a small settlement at the head of the lake. There are several notable landmarks here, including St. Andrew's Church, where John Ruskin's remains were buried following his death in the year 1900.

Coniston Village
Photo foshie
Another notable building is Coniston Hall, a 16th-century farmhouse with several distinctive, unusual chimneys. Even more popular is the Black Bull Inn, an historical pub that used to be on a busy coach route. It is the home of the Coniston Brewing Company, who make the award-winning "Bluebird Bitter".

Black Bull Inn
Photo Russ Hamer
The village's landmarks and houses are watched over by the imposing figure of The Old Man of Coniston, a large fell that stands nearby. It stretches up to over 800 metres in height, providing a stern backdrop to almost every picture and photograph of Coniston. This makes the village one of the most distinctive sights in all of the Lake District.

Walking near Coniston Old Man
Photo markc123

The view of the village of Coniston from the Coniston Old Man
Photo samsaundersleeds
Visitor Information
Coniston Community Tourist Information Centre, Ruskin Avenue, Coniston, LA21 8EH. Tel: 015394 41533
Steam Yacht Gondola operates a daily timetable, April to October. Tickets cost around £8 for adults, £4 children. Coniston Pier, Coniston, LA21 8AJ. Tel: 01539 441288
Coniston Launch offer all year round lake cruises and group charters on Coniston Water. Tel: 01768 775753
Ruskin Museum is open daily, 10am to 5.30pm (limited opening in winter). Entry costs around £6 for adults, £3 children. Yewdale Road, Coniston, LA21 8DU. Tel: 01539 441164

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