Where to stay in the Lake District

The Samling, Windermere

What’s so special

A trip to the country doesn’t have to mean abandoning luxurious living. The Samling offers guests 67 acres of countryside and views of Lake Windermere. At the same time it offers the kind of top-notch comfort and service that has attracted guests including Nicole Kidman and Stella McCartney.

How they rate it

“Surrounded by woods and neatly trimmed lawns, it feels deliciously secluded,” says Oliver Berry in The Daily Telegraph. The hotel is a late 18th-century gabled house that “still has the air of a stately country manor: tall windows framed by ruched curtains, lounges filled with antique armchairs and pianofortes, walls decorated with Wedgwood and watercolours”. You have the choice of five bedrooms in the main house or six cottage suites. “The cottages offer the most luxury: the best are Lethera and Hovera, split over three floors and… decorated using local stone [and] slate.”

The menu

“Expect haute cuisine” with dishes such as quail with orange sauce and pepper-spiced rhubarb.

The cost

Double rooms from £180 including breakfast. To book a stay, visit mrandmrssmith.com or call the Smith’s Expert Travel Team on 0845-034 0700.

The Angel, Bowness

The Angel, Bowness

What’s so special

At the other end of Windermere lies this pretty little pub with rooms. Forget all your preconceptions of the Lake District, there’s no Beatrix Potter paraphernalia here, no mentions of whether William Wordsworth ever wandered past. No, the Angel simply offers fantastic food, and beautiful contemporary accommodation.

How they rate it

The Angel is “a bit of a surprise in Bowness-on-Windermere, where the competition tends to do a good trade in scampi and chips and frozen lasagnes – at this pub with rooms you’re more likely to find Morecambe Bay potted shrimp, or wild boar and apple sausages”, says Rhiannon Batten in The Guardian. Nor are the bedrooms “your average pub lodgings. These have properly big beds, bright, patterned wallpapers and some very bling chandeliers.”

The menu

Settle in the terraced garden to dine in summer, or snuggle up by the fire in chillier months and enjoy hearty British food, including pan-fried plaice or duck and damson sausages. Wash it down with the local beer, Coniston Bluebird.

The cost

Double rooms cost from £70, including breakfast. Find out more at www.theangelinnbowness.com, or call 015394-44080.

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