Five Idyllic Lakeside Hotels in the UK

Umpteen happy weekends spent in the home counties are imprinted in our minds and now we're in the mood for a refresh. Where weekends away are concerned, Britain's many lakes have caught our intrigue - and waterside lodgings have cinched the deal.

Of course, the Lake District is a good starting point, but if you're not willing to drive 268 miles from London, here are a few other lakeside retreats. Unwavering urbanites you may want to sit this one out.

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Kinloch Lodge

Isle of Skye , United Kingdom

Venture down a long drive to the head of Loch na Dal and you’ll find Kinloch Lodge, positioned at the foot of a mountain. In the Isle of Skye – a locale justly described as one of the most spectacular places on earth – Kinloch Lodge is held in high regard. Rooms are decorated in dusty shades and luxuriating textures, chosen to reflect Skye’s distinctive landscape. With views across sea-Loch na Dal, roaring fires and giant beds, if it weren’t for the whisky on tap downstairs we’re not sure you’d ever leave your bedroom.

Address

A851 Sleat Isle of Skye IV43 8QY

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The Gilpin

Windermere, United Kingdom

The first point of order at Gilpin Hotel and Lake House is to choose your room. Will you opt to stay at the Georgian main house, the Garden Suites (they’ve a hot tub) or the Spa Suites (premium cabins with treatment beds and private sauna and steam rooms)? If your budget won’t quite stretch to the Spa Suites, the hotel’s main spa, the Jetty Spa is right on site and open to all guests. With treatment rooms positioned by a private lake, The Gilpi is the ultimate in plushness and pampering, and thanks to the layout you’ll feel like you’ve the place to yourself. Just before all that soaking makes you start to prune, head back to your suite, change from robe to glad rags and report to the drawing room for pre-dinner libations at 8pm sharp.

Address

Crook Road Windermere LA23 3NE

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The Forest Side

Ambleside, United Kingdom

We’d go as far as to say designer James Mackie has perfected the contemporary country look at The Forest Side hotel. It’s a spot that was made for adventurous epicureans and the design-minded alike. After checking in, draw a bath and strike up a fire for a cosy in-room experience. Just the right amount of twee, rooms come with (eye-roll) “postcard views” in the form of fluffy Herdwick sheep grazing on the grounds – almost too lovely to believe.

Address

Keswick Road Grasmere Ambleside LA22 9RN

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Another Place The Lake

Penrith, United Kingdom

Fell-flecked scenery, private lakes and great food; are we in Eden? Positioned on the shores of Ullswater and set in 18 acres of National Park, Another Place The Lake is a great base from which to discover the Lake District. On the lake-step, you’ll find running trails, horse-riding, cycling and kayaking – and even wild swimming for the brave. They do a good job at coaxing guests into exercising here too – “active relaxation” is their guise for striking a balance between getting among the elements, getting cosy, having fun and finding quiet. Regardless of your expected excursion levels, no pep talks are needed for a trip to the Rampsbeck restaurant. Expect regional produce, with local Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay shrimp.

Address

Watermillock Ullswater Penrith CA11 0LP

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Bovey Castle

North Bovey, United Kingdom

Two words: rolling valleys. Located in the heart of Dartmoor National Park in Devon, Bovey Castle is serious stuff. First opened as a hotel and golf resort in 1930, this castle hotel comprises of 60 grandiose bedrooms in addition to 22 self-catering country cottages. Now that you’ve your sleeping set-up sorted, who’s up for a country pursuit? Grab your waxed jackets and wellington boots, folks – we’re going on a moorland AF excursion. There’s a range of activities – from horseback riding to off-road driving – available, but if afternoon tea is more your game, attentive staff will be able to arrange a booking for you.

Address

Dartmoor National Park North Bovey TQ13 8RE

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