Langdale Pikes from Loughrigg

Coniston Launch

LA21 8AN

Tel:- 017687 75753

  • A lake cruise and waterbus service operating on Coniston Water.

  • A daily service operates around the northern half of the lake, starting from the main pier close to the village of Coniston, adjacent to the Coniston Boating Centre and Blue Bird cafe, and calling at Waterhead, Torver and Brantwood. It is used by visitors to Brantwood, walkers and those who just want to enjoy a pleasant lake cruise.

  • A second service of themed cruises exploring the southern section of the lake runs Mondays to Thursdays, from the start of May to the end of September. On Mondays and Wednesdays these cruises have a Swallows and Amazons theme, and on Tuesdays and Thursdays the theme is Campbells on Coniston.

  • Pay on the boat

  • Well behaved dogs allowed for a small fee

  • Combined tickets for the cruise and entry to Brantwood available on the boat.

About Coniston Water

At five miles (8 km) long and half a mile (800 m) wide, Coniston Water is the third largest natural lake in the Lake District. It has a maximum depth of 184 feet (56 m), and covers an area of 1.89 square miles (4.9 km2).

To the east side of the lake lies Grizedale Forest, and to the West and North West, the Coniston Fells, the highest of which, at 2,634 feet (803 m) high, is the Old Man of Coniston. The scenery on all sides is superb.

The village of Coniston is situated at the North West end of the lake. Waterhead, as the name suggests, is close to the northern head of the lake, whilst Torver is situated mid way along the western shore. Brantwood House, home of John Ruskin, is on the eastern shore of the lake.

Special Cruises

Swallows and Amazons

Coniston Water was the inspiration for Arthur Ransome's novel "Swallows and Amazons". Although the lake in the book has a fictional name, many of Coniston's landmarks can be identified in the novel, in particular, Wild Cat Island, with it's harbour. This 90 minute cruise identifies some of the many places that readers of Arthur Ransome's books will be familiar with.

For cruise times and prices, download the pdf above.

Campbells on Coniston

In the 20th century Coniston Water was the venue for a number of attempts to break the world water speed record. In 1939 Sir Malcolm Campbell set the record at 141.74 miles per hour whilst between 1956 and 1959 his son Donald set four successive records on the lake.

In an attempt to break the 300 mph barrier Donald Campbell lost control of his powerboat, Bluebird, and was killed. The remains of Bluebird were recovered from Coniston in 2001, and after restoration are due to go on display at the Ruskin Museum in the village of Coniston.

This 90 minute cruise follows the route of the heroic Campbells, concentrating on Donald's last, fatal, bid to better 300mph on water.

Cruises last 90 minutes and run Tuesdays and Thursdays from May to September

For cruise times and prices, download the pdf above.

Going Green

Both Coniston Launches use electric motors instead of diesel, with solar panels helping to charge the batteries - enabling the boats to be environmentally friendly and quieter.

Private Cruises

Coniston Launch can also offer a private cruise service, suitable for weddings and small private parties. Call 017687 75753 to discuss your requirements.

Potted History of cruises on Coniston Water

In 1859 the Furness Railway launched a steam passenger service on the Lake. The boat was named the "Gondola". She carried passengers across the lake for the next 76 years, before being retired and sold just before the second world war. She was used as a houseboat but became derelict and sank in shallow water after a storm.

Due to cutbacks by the railway company, and then the war and the austerity years that followed, Coniston remained without a regular boat service for many years.

In 1979, Gondola was rescued by the National Trust and restored. She entered into her second spell of service in June 1980, and coninues to ferry passengers across the lake. Gondola is not part of the Coniston Launch fleet, but is is owned and operated by the National Trust. For more information about Gondola, click here ...

Coniston Launch was founded in 1992 with one boat (M.L. Ruskin), to run a service between Coniston and Brantwood, also calling at Monk Coniston. A jetty was established at Torver soon after.

In 1994 a second boat was added and over the years the service has developed to that seen today. Boats no longer stop at Monk Coniston, however, they do stop at Waterhead, close by.




  • Cafe and toilets at Coniston Pier. Note that other piers and jetties do not have these facilities.

  • Pay and Display car park at Coniston.

  • Boat hire available at Coniston Boating Centre (next door to pier)

  • Regular waterbus services from Coniston to Waterhead, Torver and Brantwood.

  • Special Themed Cruises run 4 days a week

  • Stay on the boat for the full cruise or stop off at any of the jetties to catch a later boat back - ideal for walking, or visiting Brantwood.


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