Coniston Launch

Lake Road, Coniston, LA21 8AN
Coniston Launch

Coniston Launch (Philip Bird LRPS CPAGB /

Much younger than the organisations that run similar lake cruises at Windermere, Keswick, and Ullswater, the Coniston Launch was founded in 1992, in recognition of a growing need to transport walkers to and from various points around Coniston Water.

Today it is still primarily aimed at fell walkers with only a limited number of tourist attractions and shops available at the various stopping points. However, if you are looking for a quieter alternative to the bustling cruises of the more popular lakes, then the Coniston Launch may be the one for you.

Planning Your Visit

Contact Details:
01768 775 753 / Website
Please see official website
Seasonal Opening:
All Year (Limited Timetable in Winter)

Things To See

There are three regular cruise routes in operation throughout the summer:

  • The Northern Service (Red Route), will take you around the northern part of the lake with various points of interest, and takes approximately 45-minutes.
  • The Wild Cat Island Cruise (Yellow Route) is slightly longer at 60-minutes, and features Wild Cat Island, which can be seen in the 1970s film, Swallows and Amazons.
  • Southern Lake Themed Cruise (Green Route), is the longest option and takes around 90-minutes, giving  you an opportunity to reach the more remote southern end of the lake.

All of the cruises start at Coniston, though you are free to join a boat at any of the jetties and pay on board. All cruises also stop at Brantwood, the former home of writer and artist, John Ruskin, which is now a museum dedicated to the man. Cruise tickets are available that include a discounted entrance to Brantwood.

There are also two special cruises that are run at various times during the summer with advanced booking recommended:

  • The Swallows and Amazon Cruise takes in many of the sights and places that inspired author, Arthur Ransome, when he wrote his Swallows and Amazons stories. The cruise is 90-minutes long.
  • The Campbells on Coniston Cruise is another 90-minute cruise that includes a talk about Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell’s attempts to break the water speed record at Coniston Water.

There are numerous lake shore and fell walks that you can take from the various jetties around the lake, and maps with the routes are available from on board the boats or at tourist information centres in the area.

Many people who live in the Lake District would argue that the early morning period is the best time to appreciate the true beauty of the fells. With that in mind, private early morning cruises are available for a set fee. These must be booked in advance.

Useful Information

  • Small folding wheelchairs are available for use on board the boats. There are floating jetties in place at many of the stopping points that allow for easier disembarkation.
  • Dogs are permitted on board and will be charged a small fee.
  • Pushchairs are permitted on board but due to restrictions in space there is a small fee for larger pushchairs.
  • There are no refreshments available on board, but there are plenty of pubs at the jetties where you can enjoy a meal or a pint of the locally brewed Bluebird ale.


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