The Best Boutique Hotels in the Lake District

Match the picturesque scenery of the great outdoors with a luxurious boutique hotel experience
Match the picturesque scenery of the great outdoors with a luxurious boutique hotel experience | © Drew Collins / Unsplash
Cassie Wilkins

The Lake District is not only one of the most popular and picturesque holiday destinations in the UK, but its scenic valleys and fells are also home to some of the country’s best and most inspired boutique hotels.

With family-run Victorian mansions, cosy cottages, old-fashioned English pubs and luxurious spa hotels to choose from, you’re sure to find somewhere to suit. Either nestled by the coast or in the heart of a quaint village, here are just a few of Culture Trip’s favourites.

1. Hillthwaite

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Purple armchairs and a bed in a hotel room at Hillthwaite, with neutral-coloured furnishings
Courtesy of Hillthwaite / Expedia

High up in the hills where luxury meets the Lakes, Hillthwaite is the perfect spot for a romantic recharge, a celebratory getaway or a relaxing holiday, just because. Previously a private home known as Earlston House, this stylish and classy boutique B&B has 34 individually designed bedrooms, three lounges with amazing views, a bar, a terrace and garden, along with a pool, sauna and steam room. Breakfast is served in the dining room every morning, and there are also three-course dinner options available.

2. Lakeside Hotel and Spa

Spa Hotel, Hotel

Boats on the water and docks outside the Lakeside Hotel, which is surrounded by trees
Courtesy of Lakeside Hotel / Expedia

Once a 17th-century coaching inn, Lakeside Hotel & Spa is now a luxury four-star boutique hotel with an in-house Aveda spa and pool, two restaurants, a lakeside conservatory and terrace, and gardens stretching all the way down to the jetty on the shores of Lake Windermere. Contemporary yet classic, the rooms are as impressive as the location, with extra touches like private gardens and personal saunas.

3. Applegarth Villa

Independent Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Villa

A bright guestroom at Applegarth Villa and Hotel in Windermere, with a bed, dresser, bedside table and pops of lime-green in the decor
Courtesy of Applegarth Villa /

This adults-only five-star retreat in Windermere is grown up in all the right ways, with stylish decor, private hot-tub suites and decadent fine dining options. Ideal for a romantic getaway, Applegarth Villa is close to some of the Lake District’s most scenic spots, so you can dip out for a champagne picnic and take a tour of the national park before taking tea on the terrace, soaking up the opulence in the wood-panelled bar or relaxing in your spa bath.

4. HerdwickS Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Courtesy of HerdwickS / Expedia

Overlooking a lagoon and the Irish Sea in Steel Green, HerdwickS is a family-run coffee house, pizzeria and boutique hotel with four cosy B&B ensuite rooms. While the building is nice and the rooms are comfy, the clincher here is definitely the location, offering a very different side of the Lakes. Half an hour south of Muncaster Castle at Ravenglass and just an hour’s scenic drive from Windermere, HerdwickS is a great base for exploring.

5. Grange Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Grange Boutique
Courtesy of Grange Boutique Hotel / Expedia

On the southern tip of the Lake District, the aptly named Grange Boutique Hotel in Grange-over-Sands is sandwiched between lakes, rivers and the sea. Ticking all the boxes, this luxurious home-from-home is run by Nigel and Jackie, who have been lovingly restoring the iconic Victorian building to its former glory, with a bit of a contemporary “country chic” twist. Think log fires, spa baths, bespoke wallpaper, handmade beds and a big old breakfast with freshly baked bread.

6. Queens Head Hotel

Pubs with Rooms

Exterior of the Queens Head with trees around it and picnic tables in the front garden
Courtesy of Queens Head / Expedia

The iconic Queens Head Hotel has been welcoming visitors to the little village of Hawkshead since the 17th century. This gorgeous Tudor-fronted inn is a cross between a boutique hotel and a good old-fashioned pub, with the downstairs bar and dining room characterised by dark wood panelling and exposed brick fireplaces, soft seating and cosy nooks. Upstairs and in the neighbouring cottage, you’ll find 13 comfy ensuite rooms with plenty of character.

7. Diamond Lodge Boutique Guest House – Adults Only

Boutique Hotel, Guesthouse

Diamond Lodge
Courtesy of Diamond Lodge / Expedia

Originally built in 1860, Diamond Lodge is a unique adults-only boutique hotel within walking distance of Ambleside and Lake Windermere. Owned by Joe and Sarah, the recently refurbished hotel is named for Joe’s dad, who owned a jewellery shop in Ambleside. Spread across three storeys, the hotel’s scenic rooms all offer views over the garden or the countryside and come with breakfast. Guests staying in the Superior King rooms and Junior Suites also get complimentary access to a nearby spa.

8. Aphrodites Boutique Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Aphrodites Group
Courtesy of Aphrodites Hotel / Expedia

Two minutes from Lake Windermere, Aphrodites Boutique Hotel specialises in romantic suites, cabins and rooms that come with spa baths and private outdoor hot tubs. The spacious rooms are a little kitschy but fun, with mood lighting, robes and slippers, and big TVs, and some even have barrel saunas, log burners, mirrored walls and round beds. Breakfast is served in bed, or even in the bath, if you’d prefer.

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