The Independent’s journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

<p>Sunrise in Grasmere, the Lake District</p>

Sunrise in Grasmere, the Lake District

Best hotels in the Lake District for 2022, from 5-star luxury to spa hotels

Where to stay in the Cumbrian beauty spot

Olivia Blair,Hazel Davis,Jade Bremner
Monday 20 December 2021 11:10
Comments

There’s a reason the Lake District is a Unesco World Heritage Site: it offers extraordinary landscapes, fantastic walks, peerless views... and some fantastic hotels from which to explore it all.

It’s more accessible than you think, too, with trains from London Euston to Oxenholme taking under three hours, and the journey from Glasgow taking just over an hour and a half.

After a slew of new openings and refurbishments in recent years, there’s something for everyone when it comes to places to rest your head. From family-friendly to pet-friendly, luxury to budget, here are some of the best.

The best hotels in the Lake District are:

Best for quintessentially English style: The Belsfield

The Belsfield enjoys a prime location on Lake Windermere

Neighbourhood: Bowness-On-Windermere

In a prime location overlooking Lake Windermere, it’s hard to compete with the view here. Nevertheless, the Belsfield tries – renovated in partnership with Laura Ashley in 2014, the 62 rooms are impeccably furnished, and there’s a fine dining restaurant and a swimming pool too. A five-minute walk from the hub of Bowness-on-Windermere, it is particularly ideal for a first visit to The Lakes.

Price: Doubles from £159

Book now

Best for mini-moons: Gilpin Hotel and Lake House

The Gilpin is known for its 'mini-moon' scene

Neighbourhood: Windermere

The Gilpin has a reputation as a couples and ‘mini-mooners’ hotel – so it’s of little surprise the rates are high. The hotel is spread across the lodge, which has 25 rooms, plus the Lake House which once belonged to the owner’s grandmother and houses the higher category rooms. A standout feature is the ‘spa trail’ – a three-hour couples-tastic experience including private use of a pool, a hot tub and time in the ‘snug’ (essentially a summer house) with afternoon tea.

Price: Doubles from £275

Book now

Best for variety: The Swan

The cheery Swan has a good mix of rooms for most budgets

Neighbourhood: Newby Bridge

Overlooking the water in the village of Newby Bridge at the south of Lake Windermere, the Swan’s rooms cater to every type of customer. The ‘cosy’ rooms are fairly affordable, but there are also luxurious loft suites, two-room family suites and even a £400-per-night studio named “The Love Nest”, complete with double walk-in rainfall shower. There’s an ESPA spa, gym, and even a marina to moor the boat that you’re obviously bringing.

Price: Doubles from £193

Book now

Best for privacy: The Samling

No table is a bad table at The Samling

Neighbourhood: Windermere

The Samling sits on 67 acres of land – with just 12 bedrooms, suites and cottages to share it. Guests get panoramic lake and mountain views, plus a private hot tub from which to enjoy them.

Price: Doubles from £490

Book now

Best for budget: Hawksmoor Guest House

Hawksmoor's bright B&B rooms make it a good affordable option

Neighbourhood: Windermere

A 12-room B&B that’s a 15-minute walk away from the village of Bowness, Hawksmoor, is an affordable choice for the Lakes. Rooms are modern (think statement wallpaper), and perks include free fishing and use of the highly-rated spa at a nearby hotel. The award-winning breakfast is not to be sniffed at.

Price: Doubles from £127

Book now

Best for individual style: The Cranleigh

The Cranleigh's outré furnishings give a different take on the Lake District

Neighbourhood: Bowness-on-Windermere

Another Bowness hotel, the Cranleigh’s 18 rooms are all decorated individually, but overall they’re contemporary if not outré. If you're a fan of mirrored walls, peekaboo bathtubs and leopard print, you’ll be in your element. Very un-Lakes-like, but appealing for that very reason.

Price: Doubles from £149

Book now

Best for contemporary chic: Langdale Hotel & Spa

The Langdale splits its accommodation between rooms and lodges

Neighbourhood: Windermere

In a small village near Ambleside, the Langdale mixes up its rooms with one, two and three-bed lodges. The look is contemporary – rooms range from clean-and-simple to statement wallpaper and nickel bathtubs by the bed, while the lodges are scattered around the 35-acre estate. Facilities include a 21m pool and tennis court.

Price: Doubles from £221

Book now

Best for deer-spotting: Armathwaite Hall Hotel

Armathwaite's decor fits with its country pile surroundings

Neighbourhood: Bassenthwaite

A four-star hotel at the tip of Bassenthwaite, in the north of the Lake District, Armathwaite is an old country pile surrounded by 400 acres of secluded deer park. The decor’s fairly traditional, in line with the castle-like exterior, but the dark wood furniture is pepped up with patterned sofas, colourful cushions and the odd statement wallpaper.

Price: Doubles from £285

Book now

Best for panoramic views: Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

The Macdonald Old England is a relative behemoth of the Lakes, but the position is unbeatable

Neighbourhood: Bowness-on-Windermere

Sitting on the shore of Lake Windermere, the Macdonald is one of the most iconic hotels in the Lakes. It’s one of the bigger properties around, with a whopping 106 rooms, but the views make up for it – even the Lakehouse restaurant has panoramic views.

Price: Doubles from £184

Book now

Best for a proper lakeside experience: Cragwood Country House

Cragwood Country House is all about comfort

Neighbourhood: Windermere

If there’s one thing the Lake District does very well indeed, it’s water – and Lake Windermere is the perfect backdrop for a stay at Cragwood Country House. The rooms are so comfy that you might not find time to venture down to the water (especially if you bag yourself one of the lakeside rooms), but if you do, you can access it via your very own private jetty. With 20 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland and delicious seasonal produce in the restaurant, you need never leave the estate.

Price: Doubles from £159

Book now

Best for nature: Haweswater Hotel

Haweswater Hotel is in the middle of a nature reserve

Neighbourhood: Bampton

Where better to enjoy some of the country’s finest wildlife than slap-bang in the middle of a nature reserve? Haweswater Hotel is directly on Alfred Wainwright’s famous coast-to-coast path, set in beautiful gardens overlooking one of the region’s largest lakes. You’re surrounded by myriad birdlife and there are red squirrels galore. The hotel is finished to a high standard but the vibe is still a classic one, with sleigh beds, original wooden floors and Art Deco fixtures and fittings.

Price: Doubles from £199

Book now

Best for literary lovers: Lindeth Howe

Lindeth Howe was Beatrix Potter's holiday home

Neighbourhood: Bowness-on-Windermere

Beatrix Potter wrote some of her most beloved stories while staying at former mill-owner’s holiday home Lindeth Howe (it’s her writing in the logo) in Bowness-on-Windermere. Potter later bought the house for her mother after her father died. Inside, Potter’s legacy is everywhere, from the book-themed restaurant, to the heavy floral bedrooms. Although the writer no longer owns the property, it’s the ideal place in which to lose yourself in your favourite book for the weekend. There are even dog-friendly rooms so you can take your four-legged friends along with you (it’s definitely what Beatrix would have wanted).

Price: Doubles from £130

Book now

Best for romance: Askham Hall

Askham Hall is a Grade I listed house

Neighbourhood: Penrith

In the grounds of the Lowther Estate, you couldn’t ask for a more romantic getaway than Askham Hall, whose core dates back to the 14th century. The Grade I listed house has two churches within half a mile making it the perfect wedding venue. Make whoopee in the lavishly decorated Lonsdale Room, the former private bedroom of the Earl and Countess of Lonsdale, with its original Emperor four-poster bed and spectacular views, and lock eyes with your beloved over the Michelin-starred menu lovingly curated and cooked by head chef Richard Swale.

Price: Doubles from £130

Book now

Best for luxury: The Forest Side Hotel

The Forest Side Hotel offers pure luxury

Neighbourhood: Grasmere

If you like your interiors to be painstakingly executed with a keen eye for comfort then you’ll love The Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere. Designed by James Mackie, with luxurious wall coverings and fabrics by Zoffany, the beds are specially made by luxury bedmaker Harrison Spinks and the deep-pile Herdwick carpet comes courtesy of Wools of Cumbria. Every step you take here is carefully cushioned. Max out in a master suite with a double-ended bath and a glass or two of something fizzy.

Price: Doubles from £309

Book now

Read more on UK staycations

The best spa hotels in the UK for a relaxing staycation

Best country hotels: Where to stay near London for a weekend away

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in