Laid-back Lake District break spells out why Wordsworth loved the stunning region

Storrs Hall Hotel
Storrs Hall Hotel

WILLIAM Wordsworth’s poetry is forever linked to the Lake District.

Now I’m getting a poet’s-eye view of the land that inspired him.

He is said to have recited “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud” right here in the drawing room at Storrs Hall and, peering out at the spectacular vista, it’s easy to see the appeal.

I must admit, I feel just like that cloud, floating along on a cool breeze, at one with the tranquility of thesurroundings.

Storrs Hall has that kind of effect.

It sits right on the banks of Lake Windermere, and there’s something about the stillness of the water, which sprawls for miles against a backdrop of stunning hills and greenery, that brings instant relaxation.

Storrs Hall

The hotel, which was built in the late 1700s, has a wealth of history and has played host to some of the greatest names in English literature. It was a favourite haunt of Wordsworth, poet Robert Southey and Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix Potter.

We’re lucky enough to be spending two nights in the opulent Executive Suite.

Suite

Contemporary wallpaper and soft furnishings complement the antique furniture, while the bedroom – big enough for a family of five – and walk-in shower make you feel like you’re in the lap of luxury.

There’s even a flatscreen telly in the toilet so you can catch up on your soaps while enjoying a big bubbly bath!

And the huge sash windows mean you can see out across the lake from the comfort of your Egyptian cotton-covered plump pillows.

Sash windows

In fact, if someone asked me to describe my idea of heaven, I’m pretty sure this might be it.

The locals will tell you the Lakes get their fair share of sun but it can be pretty rainy too and the first day of our stay is weather for the ducks.

However, that’s just the perfect excuse to curl up with a good book before dinner, which turns out to be an experience to remember – all six courses of it.

Our mains – beef and duck – are cooked to perfection.

The desserts, including the chocolate, popcorn and salted caramel combo and the sweet and sour strawberry and pistachio fusion, are equally stunning.

Thankfully, next day the sun is out so time to explore.

We take a stroll around the hotel’s 17 acres of grounds and discover a private jetty and an old temple. Then it’s off out just a few minutes’ drive away to beautiful Bowness-on-Windermere.

Storrs Hall Hotel

It’s a tourist hotspot in the summer.

But once you battle your way through the crowds, there’s plenty to see and do, from the marina and ancient St Martin’s Church to the great-for-all-ages Beatrix Potter museum.

And, of course, as laid-back life in the Lakes dictates, it’s obligatory to visit a cosy pub or two to sample the local ales, or stop off at one of the many shops selling the region’s famous choc-dipped ice cream or handmade fudge.

You get a completely different view from the water though, so we make the most of the weather and take a cruise up the lake to Ambleside.

It’s best known as a hub for hikers, boasting the most walking routes of all towns and cities in the UK.

Whether you’d prefer a bracing climb up a fell or a relaxed ramble around the leafy Rothay Park, there’s something to suit all fitness levels.

We opt for the latter, followed by a short drive along the road to Grasmere.

After all, no visit to the Lakes would be complete without a stop in at Wordsworth’s first family home, the 400-year-old Dove Cottage and a chance to stock up on the village’s famous gingerbread for the drive home.

With all the sweet treats on offer, we leave feeling a little heavier than clouds, but happy, chilled and full of love for the Lakes.

 

The Facts 

 

Rooms at Storrs Hall are priced from £180. The Executive Suite starts from £390.

The hotel has a three for two offer on B&B rates until October 13 – pay for two nights and get the third night free. Visit storrshall.com or call 015394 47111. For cruise info, call 015394 43360 or visit windermere-lakecruises.co.uk

For Lakes tourist info, golakes.co.uk

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