It is five miles long, half a mile wide, has a maximum depth of 184 feet , and covers an area of 1.89 square miles. The lake has an elevation of 143 feet above sea level. It drains to the sea via the River Crake.
It is an example of a ribbon lake formed by glaciation. Old man of Coniston rises to the north west of the lake, which is the highest fell in the Coniston Fells group.
Water Speed Record
Probably Coniston is most famous for the water speed record attempts. On August 19 1939 Sir Malcolm Campbell set the record at 141.74 miles per hour in Bluebird K4. And between 1956 and 1959 his son Donald Campbell set four successive records in Bluebird K7.
In 1966 Donald Campbell set out to exceed 300 miles per hour in order to retain the record. So on the 4 January 1967 he achieved a top speed of over 320 miles per hour in Bluebird K7. However on the return leg of this record breaking attempt he lost control and Bluebird took off and fell back onto the water and disintegrated. Campbell did not survive the crash and the attempt did not count as the all important second leg was not completed.
As already mentioned a steam yacht tours the lake in the summer months called Gondola along with two smaller motorised launches. Also Boats can be hired from the lakeside, but as with Windermere the speed limit on the lake is 10 knots, however it can be suspended if a serious attempt is to be made on the water speed record!
Coordinates 54°21′N 3°04′W