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The Belsfield, Bowness-on-Windermere, Lake District
An iconic hotel in the heart of popular Bowness and on the shores of Lake Windermere, in 2014 it was acquired by the Laura Ashley group and given a fresh new look in the designer's trademark style. Public rooms are large and elegant, with glorious lake views, and include a choice of two restaurants - the 2 AA Rosette-awarded fine dining restaurant or the breezy brasserie - which should keep the family happy. Only the top-tier bedrooms have lake views, but all are light and sleek with designer touches. There's a terrace and lawned gardens for idling away the time over coffee while watching lake activities.
Slipping out for an early-morning stroll along the lakeshore, before the crowds are up and about, is a delight.
Centrally located in the middle of Bowness, many of the Lakes' top attractions are within 30 to 40 minutes' drive of the hotel.
By car: 55 minutes from Penrith, 2 hours from Leeds and around 5 hours from London. Free private parking is available at the hotel.
By train: Windemere station is a 7-minute drive from the hotel with trains from Manchester Piccadilly (2 hours). Oxenholme the Lake District is a 30-minute drive away, with trains from Glasgow Central (2 hours) London Euston (3 hours 40 mins) and more. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
People who want to take the Lakes at a more leisurely pace will feel at home here, and it's particularly suited to family get-togethers. We love the way public rooms have been turned into elegant spaces and highlighted with decorative plates and art deco mirrors.
Service & Facilities
If you can bag the window table in the small Library, you can (almost) imagine this is your private country house…
- Lakeside setting
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
- Lounge Bar
- Drawing Room
- Packed lunches
- 24-hour front desk
- Room service
All rooms, of whatever category and price, have the same attention to details in the colour schemes and fittings, and feel equally cosy. If you want more privacy, go for one of the Garden rooms in a separate wing; otherwise, it's great to wake up to views of Windermere in any of the Lake View rooms or suites.
Compact & Cosy Double, Classic Twin/Double, Lake View Twin/Double, Garden Zip & Link Double, Four Poster Suite, Family Room
Facilities include: Laura Ashley design, plush bedding, complimentary Wi-Fi, ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, ironing facilities
Food & Drink
With the choice of two restaurants - and the Brasserie also includes salads and platters - it means most tastes, however fussy, can be catered for. Afternoon tea is a big thing here, with most dietary needs catered for (vegan, vegetarian, gluten- and dairy-free), as well as special children's portions.
The Belsfield Restaurant: Modern, stylish surrounds, lake views, garden terrace. 2 AA Rossettes. Mains from £13.95. Serving daily noon - 8.30pm.
The Belsfield Brasserie: Lake views, garden terrace. Casual, classic dining. Classic British menu. Afternoon tea and sandwiches served from noon - 5pm.
Lounge Bar: warm, intimate ambience. Wines, gins and classic cocktails.