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.
Linthwaite House, Windermere
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.
Cosy, Countryside, Historic, Remote, Relaxed, Romantic, Traditional, Great Location
Storrs Hall, Windermere
Courtesy of Storrs Hall Hotel / Expedia
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.
Fine Dining, Countryside, Cosy, Remote, Relaxed, Traditional, Great Location
The Black Bull, Sedbergh
Pubs with Rooms
Courtesy of The Black Bull Hotel / Expedia
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.
Cosy, Countryside, Relaxed, Romantic, Remote, Traditional, Rural, Great Location
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.