Richard Dash and Jamie Carter share their luxury experience at The Swan Hotel & Spa, in Newby Bridge.

In today's fast-paced world, where an ever-growing list of exotic destinations often calls our name, it's easy to overlook the beauty on our doorstep. Yet, there is something inherently magical about indulging in a staycation. The Lake District, with its picture-perfect views, reminds us of the importance of slowing down and savouring the simple pleasures that surround us.

We had the pleasure of visiting one of The Lake District’s glistening gems. For those who are no strangers to the Lake District, and spa stays in general, you will probably know of the Swan Hotel & Spa in Newby Bridge. For those not so familiar, allow us to introduce you to our new favourite escape.

Great British Life: And relax...And relax...

The Swan Hotel & Spa is a boutique hotel with modern comforts and historic charm, offering some much-needed R&R. Welcoming guests of all ages, and even your four-legged friends, The Swan Hotel has a whopping 82 bedrooms, four luxury self-catering cottages, a spa and wellness space, and a British pub and brasserie.

Given that we live in Wilmslow, The Lake District is around an hour and a half away from us. A simple drive and once you’re in the Lakes, it’s a beautiful journey. As a bonafide country bumpkin, I appreciated the rolling hills and winding country lanes. Felt like home.

On arrival, we were greeted by Hope at reception. Once we picked up our jaws from the floor (the grand fireplace really is something special) she checked us in and took us through our itinerary, what we could expect from our visit. Thanks for putting up with our incessant questioning, Hope.

Great British Life: Enjoy some R&R poolsideEnjoy some R&R poolside

After checking in and dropping our bags into the room it was time for our visit to Holte Spa. If you’re looking to boost happiness and reduce stress levels, you’ve come to the right place. The hotel’s impressive Holte Spa, complete with an expansive spa garden and bar, is a haven ready to be explored, boasting an authentic indoor and outdoor Finnish sauna; an al fresco hot tub; a naturally filtered hydrotherapy pool; a state-of-the-art steam room and cosy relaxation corners a plenty.

Ordinarily, the thought of a spa scares me to my core, partly because we’re not Instagram models who feel particularly confident whipping our towels off, but this Spa felt different. We were armed with robes and towels to cover our modesty but frankly, no one cared what we looked like. Everyone was too busy having their own fun. There were people of all ages, shapes and sizes and we felt right at home.

Great British Life: Find your zen in the outdoor spa areaFind your zen in the outdoor spa area

After making the most of every single minute in the Thermal Spa it was time for our Drift Away Back Massages; it’s an exhausting job, but someone has to do it, right?

After peeling ourselves up from the massage beds (admittedly Jamie isn’t sure if he fell asleep, it was a Temple Spa-infused haze for him) we took ourselves up to our room to get ready for dinner.

The hotel takes inspiration from the surrounding British countryside and offers a range of dining experiences. You can enjoy light lunches and smoothies at The Swan Cafe, tuck into Pub classics like fish and chips or their Signature burgers at The Swan Pub, or indulge in a more elegant evening at The River Room, a modern British brasserie serving unpretentious plates of honest, locally sourced produce in a relaxed setting with a crackling open log fire.

Our eyes were set on The River Room (as if you had to ask). We dined on three delectable courses, with “ooooohs” and “ahhhhs” aplenty. It’s very clear The Swan not only has the hotel and Spa nailed, but the kitchen team is very talented too.

Great British Life: A steak worth going back for...A steak worth going back for...

Before you get too excited and book your tables, it’s worth noting the dishes noted below are no longer available as we snuck in just before the spring menu switchover. We are, however, very confident that the Spring Menu will deliver a delicious experience just as good as ours.

To begin, we had Rosemary Seared Scallops and Slow Braised Pig Cheeks. I’m a sucker for a succulent pig cheek, and they did not disappoint. Beautifully soft and rich in a fine sherry jus. Jamie’s scallops were generously meaty, cooked with fragrant perfection and wrapped in pancetta for an additional layer of flavour.

Onto the main event; for me, a 9oz Aberdeen Angus Fillet, finished with smoked bone marrow butter and accompanied with the usual, but still delicious, suspects - hand-cut chips, onion rings, flat cap mushroom and grilled tomato. Cooked beautifully, this was melt-in-the-mouth perfection. Jamie went for the honey glazed duck breast, served with fondant potato, creamed garlic winter greens and cherry jus.

Yes, of course we had pudding: sticky toffee pudding with white chocolate ice cream for me (I went off menu and the team took it in their stride) and chocolate fondant with Baileys ice cream for Jamie.

In our experience, hotel restaurants often a lot to be desired, it can feel almost like the team runs out of steam and think: “we’ve got you here, you can make do with our food”. Not at The Swan. It felt like the approach was quite the opposite: “we’ve got you here, join us for dinner this evening so we can make your stay even BETTER.” Our meal exceeded all expectations and had us floating to our room to fall into a gluttonous stupor.

Great British Life: Chocolate fondant heaven...Chocolate fondant heaven...

Each of the hotel’s bedrooms are quirky, yet elegant. Interiors are brightly coloured with bold accents, nodding to the building’s historic past and reflecting the natural charm of the Lake District. Splendid Rooms and Suites boast breathtaking views overlooking the lakes. For families and larger groups, The Nests are luxury, self-catering cottages, accommodating up to eight guests, complete with log burner fires and private patios. After a soul-soothing power shower, we effortlessly drifted off to sleep.

Morning broke and, unexpectedly, we didn’t immediately have food on the brain. We took the opportunity to have a slow morning and enjoy the peace for a little while longer.

After getting ready ourselves ready for the day we made our way to the River Room, now set for breakfast. Included in the stay was a complimentary continental breakfast. Fresh pastries, granolas, fruits, juices and that important toaster (is it really a holiday if you’re not standing waiting for your toast to pop out?). After a healthy serving of pastries, we enjoyed a Full English Breakfast; a plateful of gorgeous, high-quality, local produce. Just what we needed before a day exploring the Lakes.

If you’re an adventure seeker, The Swan has its very own marina open to guests. You can also test your balance on the lake and grab a paddleboard or take a more relaxed approach and hire a boat. For adrenaline-seekers, the local Graythwaite Adventure offers everything from 4x4 off-road driving and clay pigeon shooting to water sports, axe throwing and bushcraft in ancient woodland.

As avid travellers ourselves, we know how tempting it can be to hop on a £45 flight to Italy, but we implore you to take a moment to slow down, enjoy a moment to yourself and immerse yourself in everything The Swan has to offer. You won’t regret it.

Thank you so much to all of The Swan team for their unrivalled hospitality. We had the most incredible time.

The Swan Hotel & Spa

T: 015395 3168 X: @swannewybridge | F: @swanhotelandspa | I: @swanhotelnewbybridge