12 of the Best Places to Stay in Lake District

Glacial lakes, fell mountains and cosy gastropubs put the Lake District at the top of our list for a UK break this summer. Get back to nature and feel inspired with these brilliant places to stay in the national park.

There's a reason Beatrix Potter, William Wordsorth, Alfred Tenyson and myriad other writers penned literary masterpieces during summers spent in the Lake District. Rainy days here are as dramatically beautiful as the sun-drenched, and there's nothing more rewarding than curling up with a good book following a long walk.

Explore the pretty towns of Grasmere, Coniston, Ambleside and Cartmel. Rent a paddleboard, ride a horse, or simply lose yourself in nature for a few hours. When you come back, these off-grid converted vans, luxurious spa hotels and cosy treehouses are the perfect places to bed down.

Bed down in these Lake District boltholes

hotel

Another Place

Penrith, United Kingdom

On the shores of Ullswater, wild-swimming fanatics will love this home from home, which places its surroundings at the centre of its being. Open-water swimming, sailing, paddleboarding - you name it, everything revolves around the water. The colours and textures of the hotel's interiors reflect the wholesome living you'll adopt as soon as you arrive. If it's too grey outside for a dip, the indoor club has a heated 20m pool and spa treatment rooms.

Address

Another Place, The Lake Rampsbeck Grange Watermillock Penrith Cumbria CA11 0LP

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The Boathouse at Storrs Hall

Windermere, United Kingdom

With its own mini lagoon on Lake Windermere, The Boathouse arguably has the best setting in the Lake District. An adorable bolthole for two within a 200-year-old stone cottage bridged over the water, it's atmospheric and luxurious in all the right ways. Expect a hot tub, firepit and plenty of outdoor space. If you fancy a bit of hotel life, Storrs Hall do a cracking afternoon tea with quintessential scones, finger sandwiches and tartlets galore.

Address

Storrs Hall, Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 3LG, UK

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Linthwaite House

Bowness-on-Windermere

The icing on the cake at this country-house hotel is Simon Rogan's restaurant, Henrock. True to Rogan's ethos, the focus is on beautiful local ingredients, many grown on his own farm just a few miles away in the Cartmel Valley. Henrock is launching a spring terrace pop-up on 14 April for five weeks, serving casual comfort food overlooking the lake. Afternoon tea also gets a Rogan twist, with his very own label Hampshire Rosé Brut. For a more isolated stay, a number of private lake suites were built in 2019, with king-sized beds and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Address

Crook Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3JA

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Rothay Manor

Ambleside, United Kingdom

A boutique hotel with just eight rooms, Rothay Manor underwent a huge refurbishment in 2020. Husband-and-wife owners Jamie and Jenna Shail spent lockdown 1.0 repainting the front of the house before gutting the historic, Grade-II-listed manor. There's a fine-dining restaurant with a tasting menu featuring dishes such as Scottish langoustine with carrot and yuzu, as well as a handful of charming pubs down the road in Ambleside. Dogs are welcome and horse-riding can be done from outside the front door.

Address

Rothay Manor Hotel Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH

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Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Windermere, United Kingdom

With mountain views to the west and tranquil woodlands to the east, Gilpin's spa suites are gorgeous pods in which to hunker down for the weekend. After a wholesome day marching around Lake Windermere, it's exactly what you'll want to come home to. The larger suites all have their own cedarwood hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas and massage chairs, as well as cocktail bars and private terraces. In the evening, Michelin-starred HRiSHi combines Cumbrian produce with flair. For groups, the Lake House just down the road - featuring its own jetty and swimming pool - can sleep 12 and be booked for exclusive use.

Address

Crook Road Windermere LA23 3NE

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The Samling

Windermere, United Kingdom

The Samling sits in a bowl of Lakeland fellside, looking out south along Windermere and west towards the Coniston Old Man mountain range. It has vast grounds, including woodlands, a vegetable garden, ornamental water features and beehives. The Samling's restaurant and immersive chef's table is led by Robby Jenks, who uses the kitchen-garden produce at the core of many of his dishes. There are several walks and even a national trust trail starting from the hotel, and watersports aplenty on the lake. Inside, freestanding copper bathtubs and vaulted ceilings set the scene for a bit of Jane Austen romance.

Address

Ambleside Rd, Windermere LA23 1LR

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Brimstone Hotel

Ambleside, United Kingdom

Slap bang in the middle of the Lake District, this boutique 16-suite hotel describes itself as "more than just a hotel". What this means in practice is that they've got complimentary beer, wine, nibbles and treats in the Reading Room for you to graze on at any hour of the day, hiking gear for you to borrow from the boot room at leisure, and cosy blankets to snuggle up by the outdoor fire. Think of it as a stay with your most hospitable friends, who happen to have an adults-only spa and an indoor-outdoor pool.

Address

Brimstone Hotel, The Langdale Estate, Great Langdale, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9JD

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Hinterlandes

United Kingdom

A vintage American school bus in a field in the Cumbrian hills is exactly what John and Hannah Graham dreamed up in this holiday home for two. Hinterlandes moves between fields in the same remote corner of the Lake District every few months, going completely off-grid and leaving no trace. Inside the revamped van, you'll find an Aga along and all the mod cons - including a top-notch sound system - in surrounds of gleaming wood and latticed glass. For a combination of quirky and unique, this can't be topped.

Address

Various locations

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The Lodge, Edenhall Estate

Penrith, United Kingdom

Hidden deep in the woods, this log cabin was built as a passion project out of larch wood grown on the Edenhall Estate. There are three bedrooms, a log fire and squishy sofas perfect for lazy afternoons playing board games and disconnecting from the outside world. Close to the Pennine Fells, the lodge overlooks the river Eamont. Catch your own wild trout for supper, grill it on the barbecue then unwind in the outdoor hot tub as you count your lucky stars.

Address

Penrith, CA11 8ST

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The Yan

Ambleside, United Kingdom

If you're on a gastronomic tour of the Lake District, The Yan is an unmissable stop. Billed as a "bistro with beds", it's built on a 17th-century former farm at the foot of the fells, just outside the picturesque village of Grasmere. It's renowned for its spectacular comfort food, and everything - right down to the tomato ketchup - is made from scratch by chef Will Manley and his team. A solid "Yan brekkie" of spicy beans, sausages, poached eggs and the rest will set you up for a day in the great outdoors.

Address

Broadrayne Farm, LA22 9RU

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Brownber Hall

Cumbria, United Kingdom

A pair of boutique private rentals in the Yorkshire Dales, Brownber Hall and House offer the quintessential British country home experience with added chic. The estate overlooks Howgill Fells, just a stone's throw from the Lake District. The grand Hall sleeps up to 15, while the Victorian farmhouse next door sleeps eight. Both properties are fully kitted out with cooking facilities, but Brownber Kitchen will also rustle up picnic hampers, dinner parties and home-cooked meals to fill the fridge with.

Address

Newbiggin-on-Lune Kirkby Stephen CA17 4NX

hotel

Netherby Treehouse

Longtown, United Kingdom

Feeling nostalgic for camping in the woods and building dens? This two-bedroom treehouse is a childhood fantasy with sophisticated low-key luxe interiors that adults will appreciate. With views out onto the Scottish border, the Northern Lakes, Gretna Green and Hadrian's Wall are all within reach. There's a hot tub, wood-burner and fully functioning kitchen to cook up a storm among the treetops, making it an ideal bolthole for a family weekend away. Throughout the summer months, the river Esk has a prolific run of salmon and sea trout.

Address

Target Field Near St Andrew, Kirkandrews-on-Esk, Carlisle CA6 5NF

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A Pocket Guide to the Lake District