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Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel, Windermere, Lake District
One of the Lake District's long-established country house hotels, this former Victorian hunting lodge sits high above Lake Windermere with far-reaching views. Additional rooms and suites have been added in former cottages, plus some contemporary chalet-style buildings, yet the heart of the hotel is in the beautiful Arts and Crafts main building. For many guests, the draw is the three AA Rosette dining served in a choice of two dining rooms. Plus there's an indulgent afternoon tea, taken in the lakeview lounge or on the terrace. With a small spa - including outdoor hot tub - and dog-friendly rooms, this hotel suits people wanting a relaxed break in quietly luxurious surrounds.
Taking a walk from the hotel across fields and through woods, without needing to use the car, is a real bonus.
Although only a five-minute drive from Ambleside or Windemere, Holbeck Ghyll feels slightly more remote and offers spectacular views over the lake.
By car: Just over 2 hours from Durham and 3 from Edinburgh, 2 hours 45 minutes from Sheffield and 5 hours from London. The hotel offers free parking.
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
The hotel suits people wanting a relaxed break in quietly luxurious surrounds, with the formality of fine dining. The views are a show-stopper and equally the detail of the Arts and Crafts craftsmanship is a joy.
Service & Facilities
We really enjoyed exploring the local walks - up Wansfell Pike, if you're feeling energetic - without having to take the car.
- Free parking
Sauna & steam room
Outdoor hot tub
- Family-friendly cottages
Dogs are allowed in outside rooms, plus the lounges, and are welcomed with a bed, bowl, treats and personalised card.
It's nice to come across a hotel where all rooms, of whatever category, have both a bath and a shower. we love the lakeview rooms in the main house, with cosy window seats for looking out over the waters.
Double Rooms, Junior Suites, Suites, Cottage
Facilities include: en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower, bathrobe, slippers, hairdryer, Freeview TV, ironing facilities, lake or garden views, lounge are, King-Size bed, tea and coffee-making facilities
Food & Drink
This is a whole evening affair - from the canapés to the petits fours - so don't be late! The halibut, which comes with wild garlic, bergamot and Jerusalem artichoke, is soft as silk, and goes well with the recommended Picpoul.
Restaurant: Smart fine dining or casual daytime dining. Spectacular views. Award-winning, fresh, local flavours. Fine dining à la carte or tasting menus served 5pm-8.15pm Thursday-Monday with smart dress code. Mains from £19. Afternoon tea for two £32. Light meals from £11 served throughout the day.