If camping isn’t your thing and you prefer to stay in luxury accommodation, I’ve picked out some of the best hotels in the Lake District. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or somewhere you can take your dog, I’ve included the best boutique hotels, restaurants with rooms, dog friendly hotels, and spa hotels in the Lake District.
1. Cragwood Country House Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere
One of the finest hotels on Lake Windermere, Cragwood Country House Hotel is wrapped inside 20 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens that tumble down to the water’s edge. The Edwardian building houses original features such as wood-panelled walls, mullioned windows and tiled fireplaces that mingle effortlessly with country house design. Being surrounded by so much natural beauty and possessing such understated grandeur, it’s no surprise that romance is rife here.
The garden terrace cries out for you to indulge in a spot of afternoon tea as you soak up the hypnotic views of the lake and fellside scenery. The guest rooms range from cool and suave to cosy and chic, but you don’t have to put on any airs and graces, and even your dog is welcome to stay. The restaurant at Cragwood is a sophisticated space for fine dining. The Head Chef puts a contemporary spin on much-loved classics and each dish is a culinary work of art. Of course, as much passion goes into creating the explosive flavours as the presentation, which has earned the restaurant 2 AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence.
Prices from £149 B&B per room per night
2. Askham Hall, Askham, Penrith, Cumbria
Restaurant with Rooms
Blessed with more heritage and country house charm than you can shake a stick at, Grade I Listed Askham Hall is a fabulous stress reliever. There’s so much goodness here that you’ll leave a new person with a positively more relaxed state of mind. Standing among the centuries-old Lowther Estate, this award-winning restaurant with rooms possesses all the charms of a luxury hotel but minus the stuffiness.
Cumbrian born, Richard Swale heads up Allium restaurant and is the culinary maestro behind its success, notching up a well-earned Michelin Star in 2019. Inspired by the seasons and sourcing produce from the estate, Richard rustles up gastronomic masterpieces. The Grade II Listed gardens that flank the River Lowther overflow with herbaceous borders and pretty meadows, where you’ll find the Kitchen Garden Café tucked away inside a converted barn. An overnight stay at Askham Hall is a real treat, especially in the courtyard wing, with their original leaded windows and exposed beamed ceilings. Guests also have use of the Jacuzzi, Swedish sauna, and outdoor heated pool.
Prices from £150 B&B per room per night
3. Daffodil Hotel and Spa, Grasmere
Standing against a backdrop of lush fells and woodland that clings to the hillside, the Daffodil Hotel and Spa is a hop, skip and a jump away from the village of Grasmere. But don’t let its grand, Victorian-style building fool you – inside, its chic urbanity isn’t quite what you’d expect. Self-dubbed “city chic in the heart of the Lakes”, there are welcome surprises in store. Smooth, contemporary design flows throughout the interiors to create an unexpected contrast to the wild and rugged landscapes that surround the hotel. The bedrooms are sophisticated but not showy, many with lake and fell views, while the Lobby Bar is a sultry space you’d expect to see in the centre of a voguish city.
One of the finest spa hotels in the Lake District, you can pamper your senses with a luxury therapy at the sumptuous Germaine de Cappuccini Spa where you’ll find a thermal pool, sauna and steam room. For even more decadence, head to The Dining Room for contemporary cuisine with lakeside views. If you prefer something a little more casual, the Lounge was designed for slumping into a comfy couch with a coffee or afternoon tea.
Prices from £123 B&B per room per night
4. Merewood Country House Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere
Perched on a hillside with views that stretch across Lake Windermere, Merewood Country House Hotel dates back to 1812. There’s a real sense of history as you step into the wood-panelled hallway and the comforting smell of a roaring log fire wafts through from the Drawing Room. A large lounge with a slinky bar at its heart is filled with oversized Chesterfield armchairs and sofas – there’s an almost sexy elegance about it that tempts you to spend afternoons lazing by the fire with a glass of fine wine. Many of the bedrooms at Merewood come with priceless views of Lake Windermere, giving you an excuse to linger longer in the mornings.
There are two restaurants at the hotel, each pandering to your mood. The Grill is a casual space that serves up hearty plates of homemade comfort food while the 2 AA Rosette Arboreal restaurant provides a fine dining experience. Headed up by Carl Semple, the kitchen at Arboreal delivers an eight-course tasting menu that will impress even the most discerning foodies. Carl sources produce from the surrounding land and local suppliers to create British and European dishes that let the natural flavours take the spotlight.
Prices from £149 B&B per room per night
5. Lakeside Hotel and Spa, Newby Bridge
You can’t get much closer to the lapping waters of Lake Windermere than at Lakeside Hotel and Spa. In its former life, this distinctive building was a 17th century coaching inn, and it still retains much of its original charm. There’s an eclectic blend of old and new, and contemporary chic meets country elegance in a wonderful collision. If you really want to impress, plump for one of the Ultimate Lake View Rooms for the perfect Instagrammable shot!
The AVEDA Spa is nothing short of fabulous with its lakeside pool and Spa Garden, where you can chill by the fire pit and soak up the scenery. As well as a range of AVEDA treatments on offer, there’s a Jacuzzi, gym, sauna and steam room available. There are three dining options at the hotel: fine dining in the Lakeview Restaurant; lunches and afternoon tea at the Conservatory and Terrace; relaxed, contemporary dining at John Ruskin Brasserie.
Prices from £179 per room per night
6. The Yan at Broadrayne, Grasmere
Hugged on all sides by the Lake District Central Fells, The Yan at Broadrayne is a lovable little bolthole just an amble away from Grasmere Village. This boutique beauty has seven ensuite bedrooms contemporary in style and immaculately dressed in tactile fabrics, wooden headboards and artwork inspired by the local wildlife (there are also dog-friendly rooms available).
The Yan Bistro certainly packs a punch with its cool, rustic design – think exposed beamed ceiling, wall-mounted log burner and chunky oak tables laden with delicious homemade breads, soups and pastries. Breakfast and evening menus consist of hearty Cumbrian classics that are reminiscent of homely feasts that you would enjoy with the family. All the ingredients are sourced locally and Chef, Will, works his culinary magic to bring the array of vibrant flavours together in divine dishes. The family-run Yan is an absolute gem of a place that rivals some of the best luxury hotels in the Lake District.
Prices from £120 room only per night
7. Briery Wood Country House Hotel and Restaurant, Windermere
For a combination of country house calm, home-from-home warmth and award-winning dining, Briery Wood ticks all the boxes. Just a short walk to the banks of Lake Windermere, this is an intimate hideaway where relaxation is unavoidable. There’s an informal atmosphere at the hotel and its seven acres of woodland and gardens that envelop the building gently persuade you to switch off from the world.
Inside, the earthy palette reflects the Lake District landscape and you’ll find cosy lounges where you can flop into an armchair and kick back with your favourite tipple. Taking inspiration from the countryside and seasons, the Head Chef sources the finest local produce to deliver intensely flavoursome classic and contemporary dishes. With 2 AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence under its belt, Briery Wood has earned itself a merited reputation for dining.
AD – Book afternoon tea for two for just £49.90
Prices from £139 B&B per room per night
8. Langdale Chase Hotel, Windermere
Set against the Lake District’s canvas of dramatic fells and the glossy Lake Windermere, Langdale Chase Hotel is a Grade II Listed, Victorian Manor with serious wow factor. Once you’ve caught your breath from taking in the surrounding scenery, step inside the imposing entrance hall where a roaring fire, wood panelled walls and carved-wood staircase greet you. The atmosphere here is stirring and you’ll be swept into an era of romance where rich history courses through the walls.
The hotel was due to undergo refurbishment in February of this year but due to Covid-19, it has been put on hold for the time being. Nevertheless, you will still be charmed by its grandeur, sensory gardens, and exhilarating views. The majority of the rooms feature views of Lake Windermere, and the Lake House rooms have either a private balcony or terrace. The conservatory and 2 AA-rosetted restaurant also take advantage of the scenery, inviting you to dine on award-winning dishes whilst soaking up the panoramas.
I can’t wait to see what grand plans lie in store at Langdale Chase.
Prices from £110 room only per night