Luxury in the Lake District, UK
I have lived all over the world from Europe to Asia but like so many travellers, knowledge about my home country is sketchy at best. Which is disappointing really, because I grew up in one of the most beautiful parts of England, the Lake District.
As a child, I completely took the beauty and adventure for granted – family camping trips to Grizedale Forest, long summers in a dinghy boat on Lake Windermere, and feeding the swans at Fell Foot Park, were just something we did. It was only recently, when I was showing some friends around the area, that I realised how lucky I was to have grown up there. Today, I consider myself a complete city girl, but there’s no doubt about it, a few days in the Lakes always leaves me rejuvenated and just that little bit calmer.
Home of William Wordsworth and Peter Rabbit, England’s largest National Park offers lots to see and do, but it’s the tranquillity and serenity that captures the hearts of most visitors. Rolling hills, winding tree-lined roads and of course, the plethora of shimmering lakes (12 of which are the largest in England), fill the view for as far as the eye can see. If you’re lucky enough to catch the Lake District on a day when the sun is shining or even just peeking through the clouds, I can promise, you would never want to leave.
If you’re anything like me, you will already be planning your holidays for 2014, so if you haven’t visited this beauty-spot, make this part of your travel plans for next year. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit to avoid the summer crowds.
What to do:
Explore the countryside
Spend the day discovering the natural beauty of the area by walking or cycling. With over 3500 kilometres of rights of way, there’s lot of choice when it comes to determining your route, from gentle strolls around the lakes to the more energetic such as climbing Castle Cragg.
Be a water baby
From canoeing to windsurfing, or simply having a paddle at the shoreline, the numerous lakes, tarns, plus the coastline, mean there’s plenty of options to enjoy water activities. If you prefer a more relaxed option, choose to cruise the lakes on a steamer or on one of the many boats that depart regularly.
Take in the sights
There are a number of attractions in the area so whether you’re footloose and fancy free, looking to entertain the kids or hoping to get active, you can easily spend several days keeping busy. As a writer, I love visiting poet William Wordsworth’s cottage and museum and my interest in history had me fascinated by Muncaster Castle. Whatever you choose, just be sure to intersperse every activity with a stop at one of the many coffee shops for a toasted tea cake and a hot pot of tea.
Where to stay
Beautifully maintained, The Netherwood Hotel is a stunning, luxurious spot which sees traditional log fires and dramatic sweeping staircases mix with modern comforts such as a spa and en-suite bathrooms with modern facilities. Overlooking Morecambe Bay, the location is a photographer’s dream and even the simplest of activities, such as an afternoon coffee in the library, turn into memorable pleasures.
Perhaps more notable for its renowned restaurant, this beautiful hospitable haven offers 17 rooms in the historic village of Cartmel. Situated near a river, complete privacy ensues as every guest not only enjoys a wonderful night’s sleep but also an extraordinary meal at an award-winning restaurant.
Currently ranked number one on TripAdvisor, Grasmere Hotel is a luxurious country house set on the edge of Grasmere village. Each room has a different design and the conservatory restaurant overlooks the garden and river Rothay. Built in 1871, the house showcases various Victorian features while outside, various walks and attractions keep visitors busy.