12 autumn getaways in Lancashire and the Lake District

The Hydro at Windermere

The Hydro at Windermere - Credit: Archant

Autumn is the perfect time for a break in Lancashire or the Lakes. Here are a dozen of our favourites


Sharrow Bay, Ullswater

This could be a contender for any ‘Best View’ competition but the Sharrow Bay is much more than just a pretty place. It was one of the pioneers of the country house hotel movement created by Frank Coulson, who leased the Victorian villa in 1948.

It has been through many changes over the decades but the core values of great service, luxurious facilities and fine dining burn as brightly today as they did almost 70 years ago.



Derby Arms, Thornley, near Longridge

Interior design has been one of the striking features of the inns transformed by the ubiquitous Seafood Pub Company and the much-loved Derby Arms just outside Longridge is a prime example. It manages to combine all the charm of a country local with the vibrant atmosphere of a contemporary dining pub.

The good news is you don’t have to go home after your delicious dinner – there are six premium en-suite bedrooms.



The Hydro Hotel, Windermere

A rolling programme of renovation has ensured that this hotel, with a great view over Windermere, reclaims its reputation as a top place to stay. Perhaps the most notable features are the grand public rooms which have been imaginatively furnished and decorated in some original wallpapers.

It was built as a water cure hotel in the late 19th century, catering to wealthy northern industrialists.



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Lyth Valley Country Inn, near Kendal

From the people who brought you the brilliant Brown Horse in the Winster Valley, this recent addition to the Lake District hotel scene sits between Scout Scar and Whitbarrow Scar in an area famous for its damsons and rolling pastures.

It has nine newly refurbished bedrooms well away from the hubbub of the area’s traditional hotspots. There’s a raised deck to enjoy morning coffee, an oak panelled dining room and some excellent beer from its own Winster Valley Brewery.



Lodore Falls Hotel, Borrowdale

The new look four star hotel, by Derwentwater, has unveiled a renovated function suite and brand-new adjoining conservatory as part of a £10 million development by Lake District Hotels.

This completes a ground floor refurbishment with high end interior design and furnishing giving it a contemporary, stylish and cosy look. Watch out for the ten dramatic feature lights with 860 crystal droplets.



Eltermere Inn, Elterwater

Much loved by those in the know, the Eltermere has a very nice bar but don’t be fooled by the name – this is more country house hotel than inn. Although it’s close to some of the Lake District honeypot locations, its position down a country lane means it is an oasis of calm and elegance.

The décor has been put together by someone who really has an eye for combining sophistication and comfort. This isn’t a cheap place to stay but the 18th-century former farmhouse is just what you need to set you up for the long winter ahead.



Dale Lodge, Grasmere

The staff at this fine old Grasmere Hotel get almost as many rave reviews as the place itself. Dale Lodge is a Georgian house right in the middle of the village.

On one side of the building you have an elegant dining room, comfortable lounge and luxurious mews rooms with hot-tub and on the other you’ll find the lively Tweedies Bar, a temple to proper beer and hearty, well cooked dinners which can be enjoyed in the bar or the more formal restaurant.



George & Dragon, Clifton

If they could all be like this there would be no pub closure crisis. The 18th century coaching inn has been beautifully restored and the scrubbed wood tables, slate flags and comfortable sofas make it a perfect place for a long, lazy lunch. And if you don’t want to go home, it also has some very elegant bedrooms.

The pub is part of the Lowther estate and virtually all of the food comes from the gardens and fields around Askham Hall, its sister venue just up the road.



Cedar Manor, Windermere

This is one for the connoisseurs – a multi-award winning boutique hotel just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Windermere. It has ten luxury rooms and suites and each one was individually devised by a top local designer and hand-crafted in the neighbourhood.

It was built in the 1850s as a country retreat and its retains that air of calm seclusion. It also gets top marks for its food with an AA rosette.



Parkers Arms, Newton in Bowland

A recent winner of the Lancashire Life Dining Pub of the Year award, this is just the place for an eating, drinking and walking break during the early autumn. Don’t just take our word for it – top food critic Jay Rayner is a big fan and it always makes the country’s Top 50 Gastropubs.

It’s in a remote corner of Bowland and was once the coach house for Newton Hall. The team running the Parkers produce some exceptional plates and the two bedrooms are simple and cosy.



Hipping Hall, near Kirkby Lonsdale

Another Lancashire Life winner from the small but wonderful group run by Andrew Wildsmith. Hipping Hall is a remarkable 350-year-old old manor house transformed into a luxurious boutique hotel.

Surrounded by stunning countryside where the three counties meet, its three rosette kitchen – overseen by head chef Oli Martin - serves exceptionally fine food on exclusive crockery in a wonderful old dining room. And the bedrooms are beautiful.



Cuckoo Brow Inn, Far Sawrey

The National Trust home of Beatrix Potter is just a short walk from this old inn, which has welcoming fires and some good beer. The food is contemporary British with Lakeland twists. We tried the thickly-carved Cumbrian Ham and Fried Duck Eggs – it was delicious.

A programme of renovation and restoration has created 14 en suite bedrooms and it’s OK to bring Fido. The Cuckoo Brow welcomes ‘muddy boots, wet dogs and children.’