Top 10: The Best Lake District Hotels for Walkers

Ullswater Lake, Lake District, England
Ullswater Lake, Lake District, England // Photo by JoeDunckley/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Oliver Berry and Helen Pickles, The Telegraph, February 1, 2018

An insider's guide to the best hotels in the Lake District for walkers, including the top places to stay in Ambleside, Buttermere, Coniston, Stonethwaite, Langdale, Ullswater, Keswick, Grasmere and Troutbeck, featuring cosy rooms, crackling fires, real ales, stupendous views and great food.

The Mortal Man Lake District, Cumbria, England

7Telegraph expert rating

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A wonderful old inn situated high in the hills above Windermere, with cosy rooms, homely furnishings and a cracking beer garden. There has been an ale-house on this spot since 1689, and it was rumoured to be a favourite watering hole of the Lakeland poets, including Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. There are walks aplenty on the doorstep: one of the best routes runs over the top of Wansfell Pike before meandering down through Skelghyll Wood and Ambleside to Windermere’s shoreline. Rooms are simply furnished, all en-suite, and all with a view. Read expert review. From £70per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best hotels in the Lake District

Bridge Hotel Lake District, Cumbria, England

7Telegraph expert rating

A classic Victorian hotel in an isolated location in the valley of Buttermere, with traditional rooms, a formal restaurant and a lively bar. As its name suggests, the hotel sits right beside Buttermere’s humpback bridge, between the valley’s twin lakes, Buttermere and Crummock Water. The valley is a long drive from anywhere – cut off from neighbouring Borrowdale by the Honister Pass, and a good 10 miles from Keswick – so it’s ideal for peace and quiet. It's a walker’s favourite: Buttermere’s hills, including Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag, Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike, can be linked for a fantastic day walk. Read expert review. From £69per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The most romantic hotels in the Lake District

Eltermere Inn Lake District, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

This inn has a picturesque position a couple of hundred metres from Elterwater's village green, surrounded by green lawns leading down to the lakeshore. There are walks from the doorstep, such as to Loughrigg Fell, while it is a 10-minute drive to the heart of Langdale valley for tougher trekking up its famous 'Pikes'. The house is quintessentially Georgian, with high ceilings and original cornicing. Each room has its own character and unsurprisingly, the priciest rooms have the best views: Lingmoor and Loughrigg have romantic window seats looking out across the lake. Read expert review. From £110per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The Lake District's best pubs and inns

The Langdale Hotel Great Langdale, Lake District, England

8Telegraph expert rating

A low-key, resort-style hotel in a forested estate in the heart of the Langdale valley close to some great walking. No tacky gift shops or twee tea rooms, just a couple of decent pubs within strolling distance plus close to great hill walks such as the Langdale Pikes and Coniston Old Man. The leisure complex includes a 20-metre pool, gym, sauna and steam room as well as a swanky spa (with own-brand Pure Alchemy products) and 'thermal experience'. Bedrooms are roomy, with super-king-sized beds, and tubs as well as showers in contemporary, white bathrooms. Read expert review. From £125per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best family-friendly hotels in England

The Langstrath Country Inn Lake District, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

In Stonethwaite, a tiny hamlet of former miner’s cottages, whose residents once toiled at the nearby Honister Slate Mine. It’s a great location for hikers – there’s a lesser-known route to Scafell Pike from the nearby village of Seathwaite, and the dramatic Langstrath Valley is on the doorstep. Outside, there’s a typical slate roof, sash windows and whitewashed façade; inside, the inn is divided between a homely bar, an excellent bistro and a cosy, rather old-fashioned resident’s lounge, with walking books to browse. Rooms are plain and practical with a bath (in most) for a good soak after a day's hard walking. Read expert review. From £104per night.

• The best Lake District hotels

Kirkstile Inn Lake District, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

A 17th-century Lakeland inn, away from the tourist honeypots, with a deserved reputation for its food, own-brew ales and genuine welcome. This is a good base for visiting fells in the Western Lakes, such as High Stile and Haystacks, for lakeside walks from the door, or for trips to the coast (20 minutes away). There's a series of cosy bar areas, a decent fire, and a smart dining room serving serious walkers' food (steak and ale pie or seabass with ale-battered prawns). Exposed beams and low windows add a cosy feel with most rooms enjoying wake-you-up views of the striking Melbreak fell. Read expert review. From £99per night.

• The most romantic Lake District hotels

Howe Keld Keswick, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

This modern b&b is well placed for walking, five minutes from the lake, and a 20-minute drive from lovely Borrowdale; it's also a good base for visiting northern fells such as Skiddaw and Blencathra or family-favourite, Catbells. Interiors are light, cool and uncluttered with a Scandinavian feel. Rooms are airy and restful and even the smallest feel spacious. Front rooms have the best views. Breakfast is a short but well-chosen offering that includes crowd-pleasers like the full Cumbrian. There's a small sitting room, with a good range of books on the Lakes, climbing and travel, and a tiny front terrace. Read expert review. From £130per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best pubs and inns in the Lake District

Raise View Grasmere Grasmere, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

A smart b&b with designer touches, a relaxed feel and friendly, outdoors-enthusiast hosts. Grasmere is one of the Lake District's prettiest villages – and a good central base as Keswick, Ambleside and Coniston are all between 15 and 30 minutes' drive. For a b&b, there's a well-above average range of extras. Apart from a comfortable lounge with an honesty bar and plenty of walking books, there's a sun-trap garden, a drying room and cycle storage. All rooms have good views, the rear rooms boast the best with uninterrupted vistas over fields and fells. Splash out with the suite and you can soak in the tub beside the window. Read expert review. From £120per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

• The best hotels in Cumbria

Wasdale Head Inn Lake District, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

The inn sits at the end of Wasdale's only road, a good half-hour drive from the nearest village (Gosforth). It's overlooked by the Lake District's loftiest fells, including Scafell Pike, Scafell and Great Gable, and apart from a handful of farmhouses and parish church, it pretty much has the valley to itself. The interiors are just as a Lakeland inn should be: snug lounges warmed by crackling fires, a lively walkers' bar and hallways lined with climbing kit. It's worth paying extra for a larger, superior room; the ones in the separate barn having more character and the best views. Read expert review. From £118per night.

• The best hotels in Cumbria

The Leathes Head Keswick, Cumbria, England

8Telegraph expert rating

A small country house hotel in a peaceful location with striking views over the fells and Derwentwater. It's midway up Borrowdale – arguably the Lake District’s most attractive valley – and sits surrounded by sheep-dotted fields with uninterrupted views to fells such as Catbells and Skiddaw. The solid and unshowy base aims to keep a welcoming home-from-home atmosphere without fuss and frills. Despite the traditional surrounds of the restaurant (cherry-red dado, ranks of cutlery on white-clothed tables), dishes are creative and modern. Breakfast is a decent cooked choice. Read expert review. From £120per night. Check availability. Rates provided by Booking.com.

 

This article was written by Oliver Berry and Helen Pickles from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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