The quintessential English getaway, Windermere is the largest lake in England and the best-known in the Lake District. Explore it all from one of the area’s best hotels.
With its mountain peaks, placid lakes and pretty villages, the Lake District is picture-perfect. At 10.5 miles (17km) long, Windermere is the largest natural lake in England, and it’s easy to see why the setting inspired Beatrix Potter, who spent much of her time in the area writing her famous children’s books. With plenty of stunning walks and charming pubs to enjoy, you’ll be loath to leave this captivating area of the country – especially after a stay at one of the best hotels in Windermere.
Beech Hill Hotel & Spa
Spa Hotel, Hotel
Courtesy of Beech Hill Hotel & Spa / Expedia | Courtesy of Beech Hill Hotel & Spa / Expedia
Thanks to its location on the edge of Lake Windermere, many of the rooms at Beech Hill Hotel come with balconies that offer brilliant views of the lake. It’s housed in a historical building that dates back to the 1900s and has a homely feel, punctuated by luxurious features. Settle in at the spa for a massage or a sauna session – perfect for soothing sore muscles after a day of exploring the area on foot. Food comes courtesy of restaurant Burlington’s, which serves dishes like ham terrine with quail egg and lamb rump with mint mash.
Hillthwaite House is an endearing boutique hotel set just back from the shores of Lake Windermere. Accommodation options range from economical Cosy rooms to the special-occasion-appropriate Signature rooms, which have endless views of the lake and roll-top baths. The indoor pool and sauna are the perfect accompaniments to a blustery day on the lake, and you can start the day with a full English breakfast at the in-house restaurant, where the views will get you excited about the day ahead.
For a stay entrenched in the literary history of the area, look no further than Lindeth Howe, which was formerly owned by Beatrix Potter. It’s safe to say the house likely played a strong role in her ever-popular children’s books, which were often influenced by her own experiences and love for country life. Rooms harness the hotel’s storybook heritage with plaid fabrics, vaulted wooden ceilings and earthy tones. Food champions local ingredients, so everything from the buttery beef to the fresh mackerel comes from nearby.
The Manor was originally built in 1850 and was home to the artist Hubert Coutts and his wife Mary. The hotel retains much of the 19th-century building’s original charm, including the timbered ceiling, Victorian fireplace and stained-glass windows. Add to that modern touches in each of the 35 bedrooms, a swimming pool and restaurant, and you have a hotel well worth considering for your visit. An added bonus: all the bedrooms have at least a partial view of Windermere.
Storrs Hall is a novel-worthy 18th-century mansion set amid beautiful grounds and once frequented by literary heavyweights Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. With large windows to look out over the view, it’s guaranteed to get the creative juices flowing. The sumptuous bathtubs are a particular favourite, and, if you can tear yourself away from this luxurious bolthole, you’re guaranteed to enjoy a walk in the hotel’s private woodlands, followed by evening drinks by the fireplace.
Owned by the Kennedy family since 1984, Lindeth Fell is a stunning Edwardian home with traditional touches such as parquet flooring, traditional sofas and pastoral artwork. Guests are welcomed with home-made scones and tea, and the friendly service from staff continues through your stay. The 14 bedrooms are all extremely spacious, with ensuite bathrooms and tasteful decor. There’s no restaurant, although cakes and sandwiches are on offer throughout the day. Guests are also welcome to use the spa at a nearby hotel.
Approaching Cragwood via a private drive feels very lavish, and the luxury continues inside with the hotel’s original country-house features, including wood panelling and ornate fireplaces. Staff are a highlight here, and their willingness to make sure you have a truly special stay is unrivalled. With more than 60 gins to choose from in the bar and a vast whiskey menu, ask for a recommendation, and relax in style.
The Lamplighter’s restaurant attracts a crowd from far and wide thanks to its outstanding Sunday lunch, especially the famed Yorkshire puddings. If you’re too stuffed to move after indulging, check into one of the 15 guestrooms – they’re simple but comfortable. And the best part? You get to wake up to a delicious breakfast. More eggs, anyone?