We're in the Lake District for a few days and yesterday looked like being a stunner. Not wanting to waste it indoors we set off early for Coniston, hoping to beat the crowds and walk. Normally we'd head off into the fells - Coppermines Valley, Levers Water, Walna Scar - but I'm on some temporary medication which is sapping my energy so for once we kept to the lower ground, and chose a walk to the lake shore.
This was much more interesting than you might think; not only was the scenery beautiful but it took us right past the front door of Coniston Hall, a fifteenth century manor house right on the lake shore that's owned by the National Trust. Apparently they refurbished the place a few years back and it's now the booking office and shop for the neighbouring camp site, but it still looks dark, gloomy and atmospheric.
Once through the camp site (less scenic...) we could get right down to the water's edge, skim stones and paddle our aching feet.
It might not have been quite as energetic as our usual walks but it was still a lovely change from the urban environment we see too much of. Here are a few pics to show you what I mean.
The village contouring the lower slopes of Coniston Old Man (the fell in the background, not some dodgy local character!)
A slightly spooky shot of Coniston Hall. The round chimneys are a local giveaway of the age of the building.
The farm next door, complete with goats, chickens... and a peacock.
A view back through the trees to the craggy Yewdale Fells.