Spotlight on The Lake District
Popular for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations, The Lake District is one of the UK’s scenic trump cards. From Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, to Wastwater, its deepest lake, as well as beautiful market towns, spectacular walking routes and water sports in between, it’s a peaceful holiday destination and a treasure trove of discovery, exploration and inspiration. Particularly if you know the best places to stay while you’re there.
It’s a tall order to find a more beautiful part of the world for walking than the Lake District. Combining countryside and coastline, Ennerdale Country House Hotel is beautifully located in five acres of gardens close to the seaside town of St. Bees, making it an ideal base from which to tackle the Coast to Coast Walk which takes you from the town itself to the awe-inspiring Robin Hood’s Bay. Chances are you’re not going to cover the complete 190 miles, at least not on foot, but you can head out as far as you fancy and then potter back for tea at the Grade II listed building, which has been painstakingly restored with its original fireplaces and ceilings on display. And even if you don’t fancy being quite so energetic as to head out to the coastal paths, you will be pleased to know that the hotel’s own gardens provide equally stimulating vistas with significantly less effort, thanks to the tranquil landscaped gardens surrounding a picturesque Italian fountain.
For water sports
Alternatively, at Lodore Falls Lodge it’s almost impossible to beat the dramatic beauty of the Lodore Falls themselves within the hotel grounds. The water cascades over huge boulders from a distance of some 30-metres, set contrastingly against a backdrop of unmoving mountains and placid lakes. The 200-year old hotel sits within 40 acres of grounds, and while walking is still an unmitigated pleasure here, so too is kayaking from the Lodore jetty on Derwentwater, or simply sitting in the outdoor hot tub and admiring the unrivalled views.
What would an utterly British holiday be without a good afternoon tea? Unbearable, we say. And fortunately The George Hotel in Penrith stands out as an elegant experience known for its fine dining as well as its excellent lunches and afternoon teas. It’s something of a social hub with events peppered throughout the year, and while it’s supremely elegant with wood paneling, antique furniture and open fires, it’s also extremely friendly. Children and well-behaved dogs are all welcome, and its location makes it a splendid spot from which to explore the town as well.
The George Hotel
For special occasions
A Grade II listed Georgian Mansion, Storrs Hall sits on the edge of the famous Lake Windermere and as a result has unparalleled views of the water. It combines everything as far as a holiday in the Lake District goes, with incredible scenery, proximity to the water, beautiful walks, excellent food served in a restaurant that boasts three AA Rosettes, and that’s not to mention the hotel’s own grandeur and elegance at the centre of it all. In addition to 31 bedrooms the estate is home to nine log cabins to stay in and beautiful landscaped lawns to stroll throughout. So if you’re going to have an introduction to the Lake District, and take in all that makes this region so unique, it’s the perfect place to start!