It’s been great to be out on my own adventures again; especially back on Coniston Water.
A couple of weeks ago, Paul and I took kayaks down to the southern end of the lake and paddled out to Peel Island, otherwise known as Wildcat Island to Ransome aficionados. The secret harbour and the lookout point are there, though sadly not the lantern tree as it came down in a storm. A replacement is growing-slowly. If you don’t have your own boats, you can hire them in Windermere or Coniston, though it is rather a long paddle to the other end of the lake. Taking a cruise on the beautiful steam yacht, Gondola [National Trust], might be an easier option.
I volunteer on here once a month or so, but if I’m not there to look after you, the other crew will certainly entertain you. A family from Northern Ireland, staying at the hostel recently, said they couldn’t drag their young daughter away from the engine room, where Julian was delighting her with tales of the high seas while he stoked the boiler with compacted woodchip logs – a cleaner alternative to the coal that she would have burnt in her Victorian hay day.
Many hostel visitors come here to enjoy the walking in the hills, but do make time for a trip on one of the lakes; you get an entirely different perspective.