Armathwaite Hall, once a noble family's estate and Victorian country home, is now a luxury hotel, spa and country club on 400 acres in the heart of England's Lakes District. It's not alone, however, in the quality of its guest accommodations and holiday offerings. Several hotels within minutes of Armathwaite Hall offer amenities, views and cuisine of a quality to make a stay in this part of Wordsworth's beloved Cumbria unforgettable.
Borrowdale Gates Hotel
A country house hotel a six-minute stroll from Armathwaite Hall, the Borrowdale Gates Hotel dates to 1860. Set in two peaceful, wooded acres, it has sweeping views, open log fires and comfortable armchairs. Each of its 10 restful, pastel- or earth-toned accommodations has vistas of the Borrowdale hills and valley. Upgraded amenities include Egyptian cotton linens, four-poster beds and corner baths. Rates include breakfast, with an extensive cold buffet followed by hot options, and dinners highlighting local ingredients like Lake District produce, Fells lamb and Borrowdale trout.
Leathes Head Hotel
An Edwardian home on more than two acres of grounds, the three-star Leathes Head Hotel is a one-minute drive from Armathwaite Hall. Overlooking the Borrowdale Valley, the slate-constructed hotel has twin and double rooms. Guests enjoy CD movies from the hotel's library. Heated towel rails provide extra luxury. Three lounges provide relaxation. Children 15 and older are welcome. Rates include full Cumbrian breakfast and three-course dinner in the dining room. Hikers can request packed lunches for an additional fee. A typical dinner entree is baked cod fillet in lemon, spring onion, ginger and butter sauce.
Family-friendly Borrowdale Hotel stands in the shadow of Shepherd's Crag, site of the challenging Little Chamonix rock climb. Summer visitors arrive to fresh, cold strawberry tea; winter ones, to cheery fires. The mid-19th-century hotel welcomes well-behaved dogs for a fee. Less than 1 mile from Armathwaite Hall, the Borrowdale offers three classes of individually decorated rooms. More spacious than standards, most classic rooms have sweeping views. Prestige rooms -- some with four-poster beds -- provide robes and slippers. The hotel bar and conservatory serve lunch and traditional afternoon tea. Formal, five-course dining room dinners end the day in style. Guests have use of the swimming pools, tennis and squash courts, children's play area and fitness center at the Lodore Falls Hotel, seven minutes away.
Bybeck Bed and Breakfast
In the village of Grange, a one-minute stroll from Armathwaite Hall, is the Bybeck Bed and Breakfast. The green slate house's twin and double rooms have power showers, flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and Borrowdale and Grange Fell views. Children 14 and older are welcome. Rates include continental or full English breakfast, with free-range eggs and locally raised sausages. A shuttle bus to the nearby market town of Keswick stops regularly at the hotel. Armathwaite Hall and the other Borrowdale hotels provide nearby dining options.
- bassenthwaite lake 5 image by PeteG from Fotolia.com