Charming country houses and luxury hotels command acres of space of England’s northwestern corner – a magnet for lovers of the outdoors. Drink in its beauty, history and picturesque villages before settling in at one of the best hotels in the Lake District for some much-needed R&R.
A short drive from Lake Windermere, this sprawling Edwardian estate is luxury at its finest. Whether you chill out with a book on the terrace, play boules in the 14 acres (6ha) of gardens or relax with an in-room massage, there’s plenty to keep you occupied, even on a rainy day. Accommodation options range from Classic Rooms to the Hot Tub Suites with – yep, you guessed it – a veranda and a hot tub. When hunger calls, restaurant Henrock – the brainchild of chef Simon Rogan of Michelin-star fame – is where you’ll want to head.
Boasting a prime location right on Lake Windermere, you won’t find better views than at this Grade II-listed Georgian mansion house. While all rooms are fabulously opulent, book the Boat House – hidden away on its own private grounds with a hot tub on the terrace – for a special occasion. Foodies book tables weeks in advance for dinner at the AA Rosette Lake Edge Dining Room, but, luckily, you’ll get a reservation with your stay, so no need to panic.
B&B only in name, this award-winning luxury guesthouse is secluded enough for ultimate privacy, yet close to the vibrant town of Bowness. There are plenty of walking routes for the active, but, if you’re looking to relax, book one of the Lindeth Fell picnics, or snap up a complimentary pass for a nearby spa. Practically all the food, from the soup and sandwiches to scones and cake, are homemade, and, in the morning, you can tuck into traditional Cornish breakfast in the sunny dining room.
There isn’t much within walking distance of this exquisite Lakeland landmark hotel, but once you’ve checked in, we doubt you’ll want to leave. Rooms range from Standard Courtyard rooms to Windander Club rooms, which come complete with a huge soaking tub and private balcony. No amenity goes unforgotten at Low Wood – there’s an onsite health club equipped with a spa, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, infra-red sauna, steam room and gym, while lake watersports are also on offer. The two restaurants serve South American and traditional European dishes. What more could you want?
Steps away from the bustling town of Ambleside, Waterhead promises stellar food and a great night’s sleep. Luxury bathrobes, Nespresso coffee pods and Bedrock gin await you in the Luxury Lake View Rooms, but all guests can enjoy free access to the Health Club at the nearby Low Wood Bay Resort. The Bar & Grill restaurant uses local ingredients to craft its classic British menu, but for something a little different, book the Gin and Tonic Afternoon Tea. It’s every bit as delicious as it sounds.
When you’re not exploring the market town of Sedbergh, sunny days are best spent in The Black Bull’s large pub garden, enjoying an Asian-inspired local menu – if you’re visiting over a weekend, you shouldn’t miss its traditional Sunday lunch, which comes with all the trimmings. Inside, this cosy gastropub is both contemporary and comfy, with wooden floors, exposed stone and wood-burning stoves. As for the bedrooms, expect polished rustic decor with wool carpets, handwoven blankets, a roll-top bath and walk-in shower.
Book an escape to this white-washed Georgian house, and you’ll soon join the ranks of its famous alumni – it was once the holiday home of Beatrix Potter. Most of the quintessentially English rooms command far-reaching views across the lake to the fells of Old Man Coniston – bask in them while sipping on your complimentary sherry. What’s more, the cooking of the head chefs is easily deserving of the restaurant’s long-held AA Rosette, as is the award-winning breakfast of locally-sourced produce. Delish.
Lakes Lodge in Ambleside is the perfect headquarters for active explorers of the Lake District’s local culture. Located in the heart of the district, Lake Lodge is mere footsteps away from over 50 cafes, restaurants and inns. Their rooms are stylishly decorated with a fresh, light sensibility. They offer ensuite rooms and a full English breakfast buffet in the mornings, as well as Wi-Fi, car parking and a lock-up area for motorcycles and bicycles. Lakes Lodge is an ideal base of operations for the adventurous guest, and they offer impressive deals all year round.
This is an updated version of an article created by Shreyas Kulkarni.
Need more celeb-worthy stays in the Lake District? Check out our guide to the best hotels with hot tubs or the best places to stay in the Lake District. And if you still need more, there’s always our rundown of the top luxe hotels in the Lakes. For affordable hotel options in the Lake District, check out our pick of the best budget-friendly hotels in the Lake District, bookable on Culture Trip.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.