10 romantic hotel breaks in Lancashire and the Lake District
St Valentine's Day is the perfect excuse to indulge in a pampered break to make a fuss of the one you love. What could be nicer than a touch of luxury at one of region's top hotels with good food and wine and perhaps a spa treatment to make the wind-down complete Whether you're looking for peace and quiet in stupendous countryside or a bit more town centre bustle, there really is something for everyone. Here are just a few ideas from Lancashire Life
Taking the crown for the most romantic hotel in the UK – and voted third in the world - the five-star Cranleigh Boutique, in Bowness-on-Windermere, is just minutes from the lake shore and has designer bathrooms, mood lighting and luxury furnishings in its modern bedrooms. A concierge service enables guests to request champagne on arrival or even a helicopter ride across the fells. Tel 01539 443293
Another hotel by a lake is the Eltermere Inn, at the foot of the Langdale Valley so it’s perfect for working up an appetite with plenty of walks, cycle trails and fishing from its private jetty. Run by the Jones family it has updated individually-designed bedrooms and a new bar, and guests can enjoy the facilities at a nearby leisure club, afternoon teas and suppers on the terrace. Tel 01539 437207.
Gilpin Lodge Hotel on Crook Road in Windermere is an award-winning hotel serving fine food, it has garden rooms with hot tubs, on-call spa therapists for in-room treatments and tasteful design throughout. Three years ago Lake House – six individual suites sharing a fully-staffed boutique hotel and bar with swimming pool and spa - opened. A chauffeured car ferries guests to the main hotel. Tel 01539 488818.
Situated in a corner of Lancashire between the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales lies Hipping Hall at Cowan Bridge. Eat like lords and ladies in the 15th Century dining room from either the seven-course tasting menu or three-course table d’hote. The luxuriously appointed individually designed bedrooms are comfy and relaxing, offering a welcome hideaway from the stresses of life. Tel 01524 271187
Also tucked away on Crook Road, Windermere, is another gem. Linthwaite Hotel is a masterful blend of luxury melded with informality. With commanding views of Windermere and 14 acres of gardens including a fishing tarn stocked with brown trout, there’s fine dining in the unstuffy restaurant or on the veranda before relaxing in one of the contemporary bedrooms. One has a retractable glass panel for stargazing, another a hot tub. Tel 01539 488600.
Nestling in one of the quieter parts of the Lake District is the Punchbowl, at Crosthwaite in the Lyth Valley. This refurbished inn is a blend of old charm and new luxury giving a mix of comfortable interiors, good beers and seasonal food served in either the contemporary-style restaurant or a more traditional menu in the pub bar. Complimentary afternoon teas for residents. Tel 01539 568237.
Looking for somewhere a little different? Ribblesdale Park a five-minute walk from Gisburn, has a noble past. Oliver Cromwell is said to have stayed at the old house and, more recently, Prince Charles has enjoyed its hospitality. Stay in one of the cool lodges with private hot tub, four poster bed and Jacuzzi bath and order up a hamper of goodies or a massage. The on-site café will deliver meals too. Tel 01200 415300.
If you want a little retail therapy as well as a luxury stop-over try The Salutation, in the centre of Ambleside. Here you’ll find luxurious facilities and friendly staff and a well-appointed health club and spa complete with pool, fitness room, sauna, steam room and Canadian hot tub. Eat well in the Garden Room Restaurant, Lounge Bar or Bistro areas provide both casual and evening dining venues. Tel 01539 432244
Enjoy Michelin-star food at the Samling, which has been voted the Best Boutique Dining hotel in the world. Built in 1700, the hotel sits snugly in 67 acres of wild flowers, woodland, garden and fields in Windermere. Bedrooms are all startlingly different - you could chose a cottage in the grounds or a room over three floors and the top-notch restaurant uses only the finest local ingredients. Tel 01539 431922.
Reinvigorate body and mind at Stanley House set in 54 acres of Ribble Valley countryside at Mellor. The award winning spa therapies, state-of-the-art gym and energy-giving cuisine are housed in a hotel which combines a Grade II listed house with 18 newly constructed bedrooms, all with the latest technological advances. Modern British food in the restaurant and classsics in Mr Fred’s. Tel 01254 769200.