The Lake District Guide

Welcome to your guide to the Lake District's best Country House Hotels

The Lakes is privileged to have so many fine country house hotels, some of which are as good as any in the world. They range form contemporary designed hotels with a minimalist feel through to the traditional chintzy country house, so choose carefully to make sure you get exactly what makes you feel most comfortable! Some of our favourites are listed here.

Our Top Recommendation! The Samling, near Lake Windermere

The Samling hotel is renowned as one of the most luxurious hotels in the country. And no wonder. One look at its website will show you that staying here is an experience different to almost any other hotel you've ever visited.
Set in 67 acres of classic Lake District landscape, the hotel consists of 11 beautifully appointed bedrooms with stunning views over Lake Windermere. The restaurant at The Samling uses the finest, freshest local ingredients cooked to perfection and has received numerous Michelin stars and AA Rosettes over the years. You can easily see why The Samling is one of the most popular hotspots for foodies in the UK!
Famous fans at the hotel include Tom Cruise, the Beckhams and Stella McCartney.
While many things about the hotel stand out, one of our own high spots was relaxing with champagne in the hot-tub - it's a must at this luxurious and elegant hotel!
The Samling, Ambleside Road, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1LR
For more information and contact details, click

Southern Lake District Country House Hotels

Windermere - Holbeck Ghyll

Boasting breathtaking views over Lake Windermere and the Lakeland Fells, Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Restaurant and Health Spa is nestled amongst acres of natural beauty - an oasis of calm, far removed from the stresses and strains of everyday life. A range of accommodation is on offer: choose from luxurious en-suite rooms in the main house, which features a wealth of Arts and Crafts detail, to contemporary Lodge rooms set in the hotel grounds. The restaurant, under the guidance of Head Chef David McLaughlin, who has held a Michelin star for 10 years, is open to residents and non residents for all meals. Specialising in traditional British cuisine with a distinct French influence, the menus will simply amaze.
Indeed, Holbeck Ghyll amply fulfils the description of "luxury country house hotel". Its very location, overlooking the shores of Windermere and the Langdale Fells, is a great backdrop, but the experience of true luxury begins once you step inside. From the superb bedrooms, with every comfort attended to, through the attentiveness and warm approachability of the staff, to the magnificent Michelin starred dining experience, Holbeck Ghyll always delights.

Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel, Holbeck Lane, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1LU

Phone: 01539 432 375 Fax: 01539 434 743 E-mail: Web:

Central Lake District Country House Hotels

Ambleside - Rothay Manor

This hotel was voted Small Hotel of the Year 2006 in the Cumbria for Excellence Awards, which proves that the hotel staff know a thing or two about keeping their guests happy. Not surprising, considering they'll be celebrating the fortieth year of continuous ownership by the Nixon family this year! The Rothay Manor team is particularly proud of the quality of the hotel's food, and this is certainly outstanding, but it has much more to offer than gastronomic delights.
For one thing, the setting is beautiful. Rothay Manor is a Regency Country House Hotel and it's set in beautiful landscaped gardens only 400 yards from the head of Lake Windermere. For another, the atmosphere is both relaxed and friendly and the rooms are very comfortable and pleasant with delightful views over the fells. Some of the rooms have king sized beds, and there are two private suites in the garden.
I especially like the "Special Interest Holidays" which run from October to May, where you can learn more about or enjoy a whole range of subjects including antiques, painting, walking, bridge, gardening......and so on. They're also open at Christmas and New Year, and I highly recommend these breaks (though you'll have to book early to be in with a chance!). The hotel tells me that families and disabled visitors will always receive a warm welcome.
Rothay Manor, Rothay Bridge, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EH
Phone: 015394 33605 Fax: 015394 33607 Email: Web:

You might also like to look at the entry on the Gourmet Restaurants page for this hotel.

Northern Lake District Country House Hotels

Keswick - Swinside Lodge

Swinside Lodge Hotel is an attractive luxury hotel run by the owners, Mike Bilton and Kath Bilton, who pay attention to all the little details which make a stay in any hotel very special. The number of returning guests is a tribute to the success they have brought to this establishment. This small luxury hotel has seven rooms, each of which has its own character and style, and all of which have stunning views of the beautiful local scenery. Many guests come back year after year to their favourite rooms, all of which have been refurbished to a high standard.
The hotel looks out over the Lake District mountains, and is only a few minutes form Keswick - yet it is a haven of tranquillity and peace, set apart from all the busyness of the Lakes' tourist centres. There is abundant wildlife around the hotel, including the elusive red squirrel in the gardens. Guests who like to dine well will be delighted with the four course dinner which is available each evening; there is a well-chosen and extensive wine list, all of which have contributed to the hotel gaining the rare and very significant two AA Rosettes. Mike and Kath have also been designated "Lakeland Hotel of the Year" by The Good Hotel Guide, and "Lakeland Small Hotel Of The Year" by Cumbria Tourism.
Swinside Lodge is perfect for ramblers and walkers, with many beautiful walks starting right outside the hotel door. You can also enjoy Lake cruises on Derwentwater, visits to historic houses and castles, the tranquillity of beautiful gardens, and many local villages and craft shops.
Web address: Email: Phone: 017687 72948 Fax: 017687 73312

Temple Sowerby - Penrith

A beautiful and intimate hotel with only twelve bedrooms in the north Lake District. Very conformable and charming. In the best tradition of the English Country Hotel! Some of the rooms have king sized beds.
Temple Sowerby House Hotel & Restaurant, Temple Sowerby, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 1RZ
Phone: 017683 61578 Fax: 017683 61958 Email: Web:

Low Lorton, near Cockermouth - Winder Hall Country House Hotel

This historic manor house has an interesting an unusual history. Although the present fabric dates from the seventeenth & nineteenth centuries, and includes an ancient priest hole, there has been a manor house on the site since Saxon times (i.e. before 1066). It is recorded that Malcolm III of Scots visited the lord of the manor in 1053, and was right royally entertained, as was his prerogative, as at that time, the whole of the Lake District formed part of the kingdom of Scotland.
Today, the visitor is treated as royalty by the current proprietors Ann and Nick. Our favourite part of the house is the oak panelled dining room, the perfect setting for the most exquisite food, all organic and free range and all fresh local produce. We recommend that you try the lamb dishes. This is certainly some of the best lamb we have ever tasted, and tastes even better when complemented by excellent wines from the well-chosen wine list.
The bedrooms are all individually and tastefully furnished with modern fittings. The lounge is stately but comfortable; if the weather permits, try sitting out in the stunning garden or go to the summer house with its fine views of the fells of Lorton Vale - perhaps try a gentle stroll down to the river.
Winder Hall Country House Hotel, Low Lorton (Near Cockermouth), CA13 9UP
Phone: 01900 85107 Email: Web:

winderhall hotel

Western Lake District Country House Hotels

Moresby Hall, Whitehaven

Now, if you're someone who wants something a bit different from the norm, you might want to check out the beautiful and individualistic accommodation on offer at Moresby Hall. This building is certainly impressive, and it offers accommodation of unique character. I can't do better than quote what the owners said to me: "Our focus is about relaxation, superb quality and genuine hospitality at our family home." In fact, both Jane and David have travelled extensively, and from their own experience they know what the discerning guest wants. As for the food - well, it's simply superb. Jane is both creative and skilled, and the products of her kitchen are a feast for the eyes and the tastebuds alike. If you're thinking of a personal celebration or ceremony, Moresby Hall is a licensed venue for small and intimate civil weddings and partnership ceremonies. If you're in business, there are also superb conference facilities for up to 36 guests in the delightful surroundings of the Fletcher suite.
Moresby Hall
, Moresby, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 6PJ
01946 696317 Fax: 01946 694385 Email: Web:

moresby hall

Eastern Lake District Country House Hotels

Overlooking Ullswater, this charming 18th-century country house is set in nearly twenty acres of attractive parkland with paths running down to the lakeshore. There are many original features, and the furnishings include elegant period pieces and delightful antiques. The comfortable lounges include a bar which opens out on to a sunny summer terrace; the attractive restaurant looks out over magnificent views, delighting the eye and the palate at the same time. The chef has an innovative approach which incorporates fresh local produce of the highest quality, and the results are of the highest standard. Indeed, the team of chefs, under the watchful eye of Master Chef Andrew McGeorge, are justly famed for their high standards and skill; as a result, the restaurant is recommended by all of the most important guides. Their skills have resulted in the award of 3 AA Rosettes, given to only the top ten percent of restaurants.
All the bedrooms are different in both size and aspect, but they are all individually decorated and furnished to the highest standards, and include several deluxe rooms, with private balconies which offer spectacular views over Ullswater and the local fells; the remaining rooms overlook the delightful gardens. All rooms are ensuite, with bath and shower, and all the facilities you'd expect from a country house hotel, including complimentary fruit and mineral water.
Rampsbeck Country House Hotel, Watermillock, Ullswater, CA11 0LP
Phone: 017684 86442 Web: Email: