The Hotel’s History

View across Coniston Water from gardens

Situated alongside Coniston Water, with lawns running down to the lakeshore, the Waterhead has been a hotel for over 100 years.

In its early days, the Waterhead frequently welcomed the illustrious Victorian artist and social critic, John Ruskin, as a guest. Ruskin’s home, Brantwood, lies just across the water and many of his visitors, including Charles Darwin, would stay as guests at the hotel. During the Second World War the hotel became a school for evacuees, Sir Robin Day being amongst its pupils.

The village of Coniston enjoys a long association with many notable literary figures. Tennyson spent his honeymoon here, Turner painted the mountain scenery, Arthur Ransome used Coniston Water as the setting for Swallows and Amazons and Donald Campbell died whilst attempting to break his world water speed record.