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Two Fabulous Attractions In The English Lake District

Two wonderful attractions for the whole family in the English Lake District: the steam yacht Gondola on Coniston Water and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway near Lake Windermere.

Gondola is a reconstructed steam yacht which offers a wonderful, nostalgic sailing experience on Coniston Water in the amazing scenery of the ENglish Lake Distroct.

The original Gondola was launched in 1859 and is perefectly recreated in today's Gondola which certainly reflects the elegance and splendour of the Victorian era. Passengers can relax as they watch the stunning scenery of the Coniston Fells glide past the windows of the opulently upholstered saloon. While evoking memories of a distant era, Gondola glides almost silently along, powered by a very modern eco-fuel: wonderfully clean burning logs made from waste wood chips.

Although a reconstruction, Gondola is part and parcel of the history and heritage of Coniston and the Lake. She plies the lake every year between the months of April and October. The service operates seven days a week, running from Coniston Pier to Brantwood jetty. The round trip takes about 45 minutes and up to 86 passengers can be accommodated comfortably.

In 2008, Gondola's route was extended to call at Monk Coniston Jetty at the far northern tip of Coniston Water. This gives passengers the opportunity to combine a cruise on Gondola with a gentle walk to Tarn Hows.

The route takes you through the grounds of the Monk Coniston estate, famed for its arboretum and beautiful woodlands, to Tarn Hows and back to Coniston village. This walks enables you to see Pier Cottage, Gondola's home and Donald Campbell's base for his world speed record attempts in "Bluebird" in the 1950s and 1960s.

All sailings in Gondola are weather dependent. If the weather looks doubtful, please call 015394 41288 to check whether Gondola is sailing.

A wonderful christmas treat for all the family is on offer at the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, at the Southern end of Lake Windermere. This superbly preserved steam railway is part of the old branch line from Ulverston to Lakeside, where Victorian travellers would embark on the steamers to sail along to Bowness and Ambleside.

Nowadyas, the steam trains chug along from Haverthwaite to lakeside, offering a magical spectacle for youngsters and the young-at-heart alike! And at Christmas, the volunteers who run the railway ensure the trains are extra special, with Father Christmas and his helpers offering seasonal joy and goodwill! There are presents for the children, christmas cake and seasonal drinks for the adults, and carols and a good time for everyone!

All Santa specials depart from Haverthwaite Station, at 10.30am, 12.30pm, and 2.30pm. The round trip takes one and a half hours and tickets are £13.00 per person for both adults and children. Father Christmas and all his helpers board the train at Haverthwaite, where the seasonal fun begins. Each carriage is a hive of activity, as the chief elf and helpers lead the festivities with Christmas songs. There's a live band to welcome Santa and plenty of Christmas spirit as Father Christmas visits each family in their seats, where he gives a specially chosen present to each child (it even has their name on it).

If you're a grown-up, you might want to enjoy the ride with alcoholic or soft drinks and a large slab of Christmas cake. Then, to complete the day, you can dine in the station restaurant and have a delicious two course Christmas meal.

Many families make this a special part of their Christmas, bringing all the family, both young and old - all you have to be is ready for a good time!

Contact the railway at Haverthwaite Station, Nr Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 8ALArticle Search, Phone: 015395 31594

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The Lake District Guide contains hundreds of pages of information on Lakes hotels and other accommodation, as well as restaurants, walks, places to go and things to do. In fact, we have all the information you'll need for a great holiday in the Lakes. Find us at The Lake District Guide

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