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Travel: 10 of the best hotels in the Lake District

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Surrounded by one of the UK’s largest National Parks with mountains, lakes and thriving communities, the Lake District remains one of the country’s most popular places to escape and in no small part that’s because of the exemplary hospitality at its hotels, as showcased in 10 of the Good Hotel Guide’s hotels in the Lake District…

Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Windermere

Gilpin Hotel (Pic: Tony West)

A glamorous country house hotel with modern spa lodges in the grounds, each complete with an outdoor hot tub and views of the Lake District moors, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House is also blessed with a Michelin-starred restaurant, chef Hrishikesh Desai cooks contemporary British-with-a-twist dishes.

Bowness is a 10-minute drive away, but there’s plenty in the lovely grounds to fill the day, including strolls through the Victorian flower gardens and a peek at the llama paddock.

Ees Wyke Country House, Near Sawrey

In a stunning Lake District location overlooking Esthwaite Water, Ees Wyke Country House, was once the holiday home of Beatrix Potter, who checked printer’s proofs for her nascent Tale of Peter Rabbit during her stay.

Settle in to one of the traditional, country-style bedrooms before taking a sunset pre-dinner stroll by the lake.  In the winter it’s a chance to hole up with a book by the window in one of the fire-warmed lounges.

Cedar Manor, Windermere

Close to Lake Windermere, this intimate hotel has been praised for its eco-friendly credentials and its friendly customer service. A former Victorian country retreat, Cedar Manor is a five-minute walk from the lake shore, and a stroll from town. The superbly appointed bedrooms are all individually decorated – you might choose one with a canopy bed or a four-poster, or perhaps one with a view of the eponymous ancient cedar.

Askham Hall, Penrith

A Grade I listed building constructed around a medieval pele tower and brimming with the owners’ personality.  As the spring comes into full flux the gardens will be showered with blossoms, adding an extra touch of magic to the views.

There’s a shabby-chic feel in the public rooms, making them the perfect place to relax by the log fire with a drink from the honesty bar. Every one of the country house-style bedrooms is different: choose one with a four-poster bed and an antique bath, or something more modern.

Its sister inn is the nearby Queen’s Head, a refurbished 17th-century inn that’s charmingly decorated; historic low ceilings and a wood fire.

Farlam Hall, Brampton

A creeper-covered manor house in mature grounds, Farlam Hall is a charming and award-winning country house hotel in a peaceful Cumbrian village. Steeped in history and tradition, interiors offer classic style.

Sitting rooms are filled with the comforts of a cherished private house: paintings, wide sofas, a careful selection of ornaments. Generously sized bedrooms include comfy seating and garden views. Outside, guests delight in large lawns and a charming ornamental lake.

Aynsome Manor, Grange-over-Sands

In the quiet countryside, Aynsome Manor is an old fashioned hotel that has the atmosphere of a home away from home. Elegant details such as a grandfather clock and deep armchairs give it a sense of warmth and tradition befitting the 400-year-old manor house.

However, despite the grandeur, the hotel is well known for its excellent value for money.

There is a moulded ceiling in the panelled dining room, added in 1842 for a visit by the Duke of Devonshire, and attesting to its history.  Work up an appetite by climbing Hampsfell to the 19th-century travellers’ refuge built by Aynsome Manor resident John Remington.

Howtown Hotel, Ullswater

For more than a century, the Baldry family’s ancient farmhouse has stood in this remote setting.  For more than a century, too, the family has greeted guests with ‘a welcoming fire in one of the lounges, and an even more welcoming pot of tea.  Old fashioned and historic, it’s a bit like staying at one’s granny’s house as a child with its fringed lampshades and collection of glass bowls.  in In the evening a gong heralds the single dinner sitting and in between there are rural walks, steamer cruises and good, old-fashioned chats over a fireside scone or two.

New House Farm, Lorton

Peace and quiet surround Hazel Thompson’s Lake District B&B in the Vale of Lorton.  The beautifully restored Grade II listed farmhouse stands in acres of field and pasture, ponds and stream, with fell views all around.  Everything about it gets five stars: the rooms, the breakfasts, the roaring log fire and the wonderful hot tub in the garden.

Leathes Head Hotel, Borrowdale

Beautiful views of the Borrowdale valley and fells, combined with lovely walks to go with them, this charming hotel near Derwent Water brings parasols on the pretty terrace in sunshine while inside the smart, well-kept former country house sees sofas gathered around the fireplace in the lounge.  Cumbrian produce is showcased: asparagus, sourdough, crispy egg yolk, mushroom ketchup; duck, pickled turnip, spelt, artichoke and candied endive for an idyllic Cumbrian escape.

Lindeth Fell, Bowness-on-Windermere

Magnificent gardens and exceptional views greet you at Lindeth Fell, a place where superb hospitality knows no bounds and naturally beauty is at its absolute finest. Lindeth Fell is a wisteria-draped Edwardian country house B&B, surrounded by Lakeland fells and encircled by spectacular gardens and grounds. Spend your days playing croquet, reading books and tucking into cream teas. It’s the best of old school charm and contemporary travel and absolutely showcases the best of British in all its glory.