The Best Family-Friendly Hotels in the Lake District

Take the whole family along on the Rydal Water trail and then retire for the night in one of the best hotels in the Lake District
Take the whole family along on the Rydal Water trail and then retire for the night in one of the best hotels in the Lake District | © Ed Gorochowski / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Cassie Wilkins
14 December 2020

A fun-filled destination for the whole family, the Lake District has plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep a smile on everyone’s face – including llama-trekking through the fells, Viking boat trips, ziplining, SUPing and visiting Roman forts and Beatrix Potter’s House – all you have to do is figure out where to stay. To make things easier, here’s Culture Trip’s list of the best family-friendly hotels in the Lake District.

Armathwaite Hall Hotel

Spa Hotel, Hotel
Map View
Courtesy of Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa / Expedia

This impressive stately home is not only known for its amazing lakeside location, great fine dining, award-winning spa and luxury family-friendly and pet-friendly rooms; it’s also home to the Lake District Wildlife Park and close to Honister, one of the UK’s most exciting outdoor adventure destinations. Family rooms have all the usual four-star treats and treasures, along with an adjoining twin or bunk-bed room, soft bathrobes and slippers for the whole gang as well as a TV in the bathroom.

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Greenbank Farm B&B

Bed and Breakfast
Map View
Greenbank Farm B&B
Courtesy of Greenbank Farm B&B / Expedia | Courtesy of Greenbank Farm B&B / Expedia

The seven-bedroom 16th-century farmhouse at Greenbank Farm B&B is designed to be rented out by big family groups and gatherings, with guests able to share communal spaces, a private garden and an outdoor Jacuzzi. Kick it up a notch and go for the full concierge package, with your own personal chef, outdoor activities and horse-and-carriage rides on the farm’s famous Fresian horses. Rooms can also be rented individually to suit smaller families, and Greenbank Farm also offers stable sleepovers with the horses for kids (and big kids) who want to get up close and personal with these glorious animals.

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Crookabeck B&B

Bed and Breakfast
Map View

A wonderfully secluded and private spot for a family trip, Crookabeck B&B boasts a two-bedroom guest suite on a farm surrounded by Angora goats and Herdwick sheep. Within walking distance of Ullswater, this rural retreat sleeps five people, and includes two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a big, laid-back living and dining area. Breakfast is delivered right to your doorstep every morning, and there are plenty of seating areas around the farm if you feel like a spot of al fresco dining with a nice view.

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The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa

Spa Hotel, Luxury
Map View
The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa
Courtesy of The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa / Expedia

Marrying quintessential British elegance with a modern luxurious touch, the Wordsworth Hotel & Spa is a grown-up hotel with a couple of family-friendly suites. Featuring scenic views, heritage furniture, big comfy beds for the adults and plush sofa beds for up to two kids – along with special extras such as hand-made Grasmere Gingerbread – the suites make for a high-end family escape. The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa also notably features great dining options and an indoor pool for a supervised splash.

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Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa

Chain Hotel, Spa Hotel, Luxury
Map View
Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa, BW Premier Collection
Courtesy of Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa / Expedia

Overlooking the centre of Ambleside, the historic four-star, Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa is just a stone’s throw from the town’s shops and cafes, and yet still manages to make for a relaxing and tranquil getaway. The hotel has family-friendly rooms – which can sleep up to two children on comfortable sofa beds – and the pool is open to children with adult supervision, so you can all go for a nice dip to start the day or relax after a day’s adventuring.

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Abbey House Bed and Breakfast

Bed and Breakfast
Map View

Tucked away on a quiet street in the historic town of Penrith, the Abbey House Bed and Breakfast is a quaint, friendly spot for a relaxing family getaway. Including everything you need for a magical visit to the Lakes – including a big hearty Cumbrian breakfast, good access to public transport and cycling/walking trails and homely ensuite accommodation with TVs and hot drinks trays – Abbey House even has a family room that can comfortably sleep up to four people.

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  • Cuckoo Brow Inn

    Hotel
    Map View
    Cuckoo Brow Inn
    Courtesy of Cuckoo Brow Inn / Expedia
    Half a mile’s picturesque stroll from Beatrix Potter’s old home, Hill Top, the recently refurbed Cuckoo Brow Inn is a laid-back pub where the whole family is welcome, with dog-friendly family rooms upstairs and a relaxing family-friendly gastro-pub vibe downstairs. The ensuite family rooms have a big double bed and comfy bunk beds, so everyone can get a good night’s sleep and be refreshed and ready to go exploring come the morning.
    Everything you need to know

    Bank House Bed and Breakfast

    Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    Bank House Bed and Breakfast
    Courtesy of Bank House Bed and Breakfast / Expedia

    You can almost imagine you’re with the Banks family from Mary Poppins in the fabulous Victorian Bank House in Eden Valley on the outskirts of Penrith. This lovingly restored, family-run B&B has plenty of stunning period features visible in the rooms, magnificent terraces and gardens. With only four bedrooms, Bank House is best suited for young infants who can stay in a cot, or more grown-up children who can share their own private twin room.

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    The Mortal Man Inn

    Bed and Breakfast, Inn
    Map View
    The Mortal Man Inn
    Couresty of The Mortal Man Inn / Expedia

    A picturesque spot for a family holiday, the Mortal Man Inn is an old 17th-century pub in the Troutbeck Valley, right in the heart of the Lake District. Welcoming dogs and kids alike, the Mortal Man has open fires to keep everyone warm in the winter, a big beer garden to enjoy in the summer, good food and, of course, good beer. Upstairs there are 12 ensuite double and twin rooms, which can be booked out for adults and children.

    The Llama’s Pyjamas

    Budget Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
    Map View
    The Llama’s Pyjamas
    Courtesy of The Llama’s Pyjamas / Expedia

    The Llama’s Pyjamas ticks all the right boxes for a good family-friendly hotel in the Lakes. For a start, there’s the Safari Family Suite, the two-bedroom Barn Owl Cottage and Foxgloves, which has several rooms that can be rented out together for a group or a family getaway. Second, there are the actual llamas, who you can join on treks across the fells; and third, the Llama Karma Kafe, has delicious food and is open daily for breakfast and lunch.

    These recommendations were updated on December 14, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.