Canoe Days Out

Cumberland - Coniston Water - Brown Howe to the Bluebird Cafe, Coniston (and return)

This page was submitted by Keith Day (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Brown Howe picnic area and car park is on the southwestern edge of Coniston Water. From Coniston go south on the A593 for 3 miles to Torver. At the church turn left onto the A5084 and after 2 miles turn left into the car park and picnic area.

For those with SatNav the postcode is LA12 8DW

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Follow the path to the shore and launch from the beach.

General Description - Coniston is the third largest of the lakes in the Lake District being 5 miles long by half a mile wide. This trip is from the Brown Howe car park (pay & display) to the Bluebird cafe by the jetty from which the Gondola sails. The return trip is about 8 miles.

Coniston Water was the scene of many attempts to break the world water speed record between 1939 and 1966. Sir Malcolm Campbell set the record at 141.74 miles per hour in 1939 in Bluebird K4. Between 1956 and 1959 Sir Malcolm's son Donald Campbell set four successive records on the lake in Bluebird K7, a hydroplane.

In 1967 Donald Campbell attempted to improve the record but was killed when Bluebird took off and crashed at over 320 miles and hour.The remains of Bluebird and Campbell's body were recovered from the water in 2001.

Bluebird Cafe obviously commemorated this series of record breaking craft and is a good destination for the turn round point of the trip.

Comments on this trip

Alex Savage
01 Sep 2011
This is a really special place to paddle and seemingly popular with canoeists. The directions were really helpful to find the best place to launch from. Instead of going all the way to Coniston we landed on Peel Island. This was location that inspired Arthur Ransome's Wildcat Island in Swallows and Amazons. There's a handy map of places to launch on the lake at


The Bluebird cafe
Coniston Water

Advise me of new trips

The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson