If you fancy an active break in the British countryside, Ruth Jackson has found the perfect location.
There’s a certain type of British hotel that we just can’t seem to get enough of. Whether it is Babington House, Soho Farmhouse or, for those on a stricter budget, The Pig chain, such hotels are all booked solidly year round. They appeal to “dandies who want to go for a big walk in the countryside, but want to return to a hotel that feels like it’s in the city (ten kinds of coffee, super-fast Wi-Fi, gin cocktails…)”, says Caitlin Moran in The Times.
The newest hotel to join that list is Another Place, The Lake. It is in a fantastic location right on the shoreline of Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District, and is an easy ten-minute drive off the M6. And the “easy-to-live-with yet stylish and appealing decor, which features good local art on the wall, plus plentiful sofas… perfectly embodies the Georgian origins of the building while appealing to a young, sporty clientele”, says The Daily Telegraph.
The bedrooms are spacious and attractive with excellent views. There are 20 in the main house that have more traditional decor, while another 20 (including dog-friendly rooms) are in an extension. These are “altogether more contemporary in feel, with vintage touches, a soft palette, contemporary lighting and space to relax”. The beds are huge and comfortable and many of the bathrooms boast freestanding baths where you can soak after an active day.
But that’s enough about the decor – this is the Lake District, so presumably you didn’t come to sit in your room. Ullswater is a short stroll across the lawns and there are fantastic walks and hikes right from the front door. The activities on offer are all chalked up on a large board in reception every day. There’s sailing, paddle-boarding, kayaking, wild swimming, cycling, horse riding and hiking to choose from. The hotel also has an indoor glass-walled pool – so you are never away from the views – and an excellent spa. There’s an outdoor hot tub, too.
“It will appeal to dandies who want to walk in the country, but return to a hotel that feels like it’s in a city”
The hotel’s dog-friendly rooms were popular when we stayed – nearly everyone had a dog. Unusually, the hotel has also thought about dog owners in the public spaces too. Dogs are allowed in the casual restaurant, the Living Space, meaning you don’t have to leave them in the room every evening.
The only drawback to the hotel is the food. Breakfast was excellent, with a varied spread including waffles, full English, and pastries. But dinner was another matter. The “menu is largely yesteryear Britannia: Herdwick lamb, Morecambe Bay shrimp and Lakeland beef”, as Grace Dent points out in The Guardian. We found the portions huge and the food heavy and unappealing. We overheard similar complaints from other guests. Moran also complained about the food, describing the bruschetta as “made by someone who’s never seen bruschetta”.
Still, with a huge range of activities, an idyllic location, comfortable rooms and a pet-friendly policy, I would certainly stay at Another Place again. Just have dinner elsewhere – the world-famous Sharrow Bay is just across the lake.
Double rooms cost from £170 B&B. See another.place or call 01768 486442.
A luxurious alternative in the Lake District
“For a combination of standout views, lovely bedrooms and serious cooking – wrapped in low-key luxury and a calming atmosphere – it’s hard to beat” The Samling Hotel near Lake Windermere, says The Daily Telegraph. It is set in 67 acres and has a fantastic level of privacy – the hotel only has 12 bedrooms, so your company is provided mostly by the deer that roam the fields and woodland.
The bedrooms are “executed studies in creamy calm: think powder-soft carpets, milky walls, velvet sofas, pillow-heaped beds and the sleekest of furniture”.
Rooms start at £470. Dogs welcome. See thesamlinghotel.co.uk; 015394 31922.