Fancy a change from the regular Scottish/Irish whisky pilgrimage ? Why not considering a picturesque getaway south of the border, in one of the most scenic English areas, The Lakes District?
If you read my last piece regarding the rebirth of English whisky [and I hope you did 😉 – but if you didn’t you’re lucky I’m in a good mood today and thus authorize you to catch-up here!], you must know there are now more than a couple of working whisky distilleries in England (not to mention all the gin/cider/beer/liquor producing facilities), including The Lakes Distillery up in Cumbria, that I had the chance to visit last week (review coming soon!).
The Lakes District also boasts spectacular views, amazing outdoor possibilities, a quintessential rural English lifestyle and an outstanding food & drink scene. So, whether you’d like to treat yourself with a quick weekend away from the city or embark on the full Lakes experience, here are 3 accommodation options for you :
The Trout Hotel
(currently closed due to flooding)
Address: 3 Crown St, Cockermouth CA13 0EJ, United Kingdom
Nestled in the quaint market town of Cockermouth, were just a stones throw away from the spectacular scenery of the English Lake District, and just a short walk from the towns castle, its ancient market place, the famous Jennings Brewery and some rather interesting, historical buildings.
Originally built in the 17th century as a private residence, this historic building first opened its doors as a hotel in 1934. Since then, the original structure has been extended, and the old stables, tastefully converted.
The buildings unique character has been retained. The original stone walls, exposed beams and reconditioned marble fireplaces remind us of its heritage. Beautifully restored cornicing and ceiling roses, period stained glass windows, and a carefully preserved oak staircase, add a touch of elegance. The buildings charm will be sure to capture your imagination.
Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel & Spa – from £155 per night
Address: Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick CA12 4RE, United Kingdom
Armathwaite Hall has been standing magnificently on the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake in one form or another since the 11th Century.
The current owners, the Graves family, bought the Hall in 1976. A massive development programme has taken place over the years including the purchase of the adjoining Coalbeck Farm which now houses one of the Lake District’s most popular family attractions Lake District Wildlife Park which attracts over 50,000 visitors every year.
Development is continuously improving facilities including the opening of a multi million pound spa and function room development in 2009. This was the biggest development in the history of the Hall and now affords the Hall the luxury of being the only spa destination in the Lake District. The Broadwater and Limetrees Suites have allowed larger weddings and functions and the opening of the Courtyard Bar and Brasserie offers an alternative informal restaurant to the fine dining Lake View restaurant.
The Cedar Manor Hotel – from £141 per night
Address: Ambleside Rd, Windermere, Cumbria LA23 1AX, United Kingdom
This charming 1850s stone villa was built as a country retreat and has been a hotel since the Thirties. Jonathan and Caroline Kaye bought it in 2007 and launched an ambitious refurbishment with bold patterns and plush textures. Some of the design cleverly references the house’s pointed-arch windows and most of the furniture has been specially commissioned from Lake District craftspeople. The whole place sparkles.
The Kayes live at Cedar Manor themselves and are engagingly hands-on, welcoming guests with easy good humour. They’re full of helpful suggestions about places to visit and are backed by friendly, attentive staff. Waitress and house assistant Patricia Torre, from Spain, won Cumbria Tourism’s 2015 Outstanding Customer Service award. There’s no spa, gym or swimming pool.
The 10 en-suite double bedrooms – several with fine lake and fells views – are individually designed, with bright, lively décor and colourful modern furnishings. The comfortable beds have Egyptian cotton sheets, the bathrooms are sleek, well-lit and immaculately clean, and the detail is impressive – hair dryers, fresh milk, and shaving mirrors (a rarity: it was the best shave I’ve had in years). The Coach House suite in the grounds is ultra-glamorous. (full review)