When you want to soak up some magical scenery and fill your lungs with pristine mountain air, it’s hard to beat the Lake District – a region whose tranquil beauty has inspired so many writers and artists.
With sparkling lakes, towering fells and spectacular walking routes, this serene corner of England is home to some of Britain’s most famous scenery. Visitors are drawn to the Lake District by its hiking, bird-watching and sailing potential, and to visit famous attractions such as Beatrix Potter’s House and Dove Cottage, the former home of poet William Wordsworth.
Then there are many distinctive regional culinary specialities to try – especially sweet treats such as crumbly Grasmere Gingerbread, the famous Kendal Mint Cake, Rum Butter and Sticky Toffee Pudding. Just don’t forget to pack your walking boots so that you can burn off the extra calories you’re likely to consume – and book yourself a room with a view that does justice to this beautiful part of the world. Our selection of gorgeous boutique hotels in the Lake District includes options in the most famous destination of all – Lake Windermere – as well as in some lesser-known beauty spots.
Our top 6 Lake District boutique hotels include:
- Windermere Boutique Hotel – Lake Road, Windermere, LA23 2EQ
- Lindeth Fell Country House – Lyth Valley Road, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3JP
- Nanny Brow – Clappersgate, Ambleside, LA22 9NF
- Roundthorn Country House Hotel – Beacon Edge, Penrith, CA11 8SJ
- Hazel Bank Country House – Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Rosthwaite, CA12 5XB
- The Bridge Hotel – Buttermere, Buttermere, CA13 9UZ
For starters, the contemporary and luxurious Windermere Boutique Hotel (****) is the perfect spot for romantics seeking an indulgent break right in the heart of the Lake District. Housed in a 19th century building, which was originally the second home of a well-heeled Edwardian gentleman, today the hotel’s interior is stylish and modern, with luxury spa suites that are all about feeling totally spoilt. Recently redesigned and refurbished, each suite has its own private lounge area with large widescreen TVs, CD players, king-size beds and luxury bathrooms with spa baths and mood lighting.
Some of the suites have indoor hot tubs, double walk-in showers, saunas, steam rooms and relaxation spa chairs – while for guests who really want to pamper themselves there’s a menu of 30-minute spa treatments to choose from, including Indian head massages, mini facials and luxury leg and foot treatments.
The location is pretty spectacular, too: nestled between Bowness and Windermere, it’s an ideal base for hill walking, boating on Lake Windermere, or visiting some of the region’s top attractions such as the World of Beatrix Potter and Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House.
Also in this part of the Lakes, Lindeth Fell Country House (*****) is an elegant family-run hotel overlooking famous Lake Windermere. Charming, full of character, and situated in a tranquil spot, the hotel even treats its guests to home made scones and tea on arrival.
The owners have carefully chosen contemporary furnishings that complement the Edwardian building’s period features and high ceilings, and the 14 individually-decorated rooms are spacious and comfortable.
Many have lovely lake views, and they all have Nespresso coffee machines, Egyptian cotton sheets, en suite bathrooms and flat-screen TVs. The morning brings breakfast in an airy dining room with a superb vista taking in the seven acres of immaculately-kept gardens, sweeping across to the Coniston mountains.
Close to the northern end of Lake Windermere, perched on its very own crag high above the Brathay Valley, Nanny Brow (*****) is an imposing Arts & Crafts country house in a stunning location with spectacular views over to the Lakeland Fells. It is just 20 minutes’ stroll from Ambleside, with direct Fellside access from the hotel, and close to Lake Windermere and all its attractions.
This luxury B&B has 14 guest rooms and grounds that are nestled right into the rock face. It shows off many classic architectural features of the Arts & Crafts movement, including intricate plasterwork, oak panelling and leaded oak picture windows, and all of the bedrooms are individually decorated with antique furniture – although guests can also expect modern comforts such as free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and a chic bathroom with organic toiletries.
At the north-eastern edge of the Lake District near Penrith, with stunning views of the pretty Eden Valley, the Pennines and the Lakeland Fells, The Roundthorn Country House Hotel (*****) is an elegant Grade II-listed Georgian mansion set in its own generous grounds. After a day’s hiking or exploring, guests can relax with a drink in front of a roaring fire in the residents’ lounge, enjoy a quiet night’s sleep in one of the 10 en-suite rooms, then wake up to the hotel’s Great Cumbrian Breakfast which uses fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
The Roundthorn’s well-appointed rooms are beautifully presented and include all the extra little touches that make for a really comfortable stay – from bottled water and toiletries to coffee and biscuits.
If you’d like to explore the Western part of the Lake District, and famous fells such as Scafell Pike, Hazel Bank Country House (*****) enjoys a fantastic, elevated position above the pretty hamlet of Rosthwaite, with commanding views of Scafell Pike itself as well as other famous fells.
Set in four acres of lush grounds with its own private woodland, beck-side walk and bridges, this family-run hotel offers guests a relaxing retreat amidst some of the region’s most picturesque countryside, with seven luxurious rooms and its own in-house AA rosette-awarded restaurant. Keswick is just 10 minutes’ drive down the road, as is Derwentwater, hailed as ‘Queen of the Lakes’ thanks to its magnificent scenery.
Even further west, with its charming low-beamed, slate-floored traditional walkers’ bar and restaurant, The Bridge Hotel offers the ideal base for exploring the blue ribbon lakes of the gorgeous Buttermere Valley, encircled by dramatic fells such as Red Pike, High Stile, Fleetwith Pike, Robinson, Whiteless Pike, Grasmoor and Melbreak.
This area – much of which is owned and carefully preserved by the National Trust – is a mecca for climbers, walkers and canoeists, encompassing three magnificent lakes surrounded by areas of woodland, verdant farmland and mountains.
The hotel is nestled between Buttermere and Crummock Water, with airy, individually-styled rooms, plus a shared lounge with free WiFi where you can enjoy morning coffee, cream teas and pre-dinner drinks. The smart restaurant serves up classic British dishes accompanied by a wide selection of around 60 wines, while the more relaxed bars focus on lighter dining.
Map of Boutique Hotels in the Lake District
Author: Rebecca Burns