The perfect relaxing break in the Lake District

Tour of the Lake District's most ROMANTIC areas

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The nine-bedroom hotel is located in the idyllic Lake District village of Near Sawrey and provides an oasis of calm to ramblers and visitors to the world-famous national park. We’ve come for one night for dinner, bed and breakfast as part of a two-night summer staycation in Cumbria.

On arrival we are greeted by owner Richard Lee. He has been running the hotel for 20 years and acts as chef, maintenance manager, personal host, walking guide and comedian to all his guests.

He shows us into the hotel lounge with views over the fells and we are given loose leaf tea and homemade sponge cakes to enjoy while pursuing the dinner menu for later that evening.

It’s one of the most personal greetings we’ve ever received at a hotel, and it’s clear from the get-go that he and his staff can’t do enough for us.

We’re shown to our room on the top floor with breathtaking views across the fells, a king-size bed with crisp white sheets and a state-of-the-art ensuite.

A complimentary decanter filled with Harvey’s Amontillado Sherry sits on the bedside table ready to warm up any weary ramblers.

There’s not long before dinner, so we meander down into the gardens for a lake-side walk – the only sounds we hear come from a flock of spring lambs gallivanting in the meadow beside us.

Back at the hotel we head to the dining room where Richard – dressed in his chef’s uniform – serves us home-grown spuds and local salmon alongside a bottle of crisp white wine he personally recommended.

We finish off with local cheese and crumble before sipping a Lake District whiskey and watching the sunset.

The next morning calls for a walk and we choose a two-hour (10km) route from the hotel which takes us down to the Windermere shoreline and along Rawlinson Nab. The hotel offers guests maps and walking guides which are easy to follow.

But first it’s time to refuel – and a breakfast of ‘au natural’ porridge with whiskey and cream followed by a fresh poached haddock fillet goes down a treat. By the time it comes to leave we’re already desperate to book to come back again – the local area has so much to explore and we think that a week here next time is probably more to our liking…

Returning to the hotel after our walk, we drive down from Ees Wyke into Far Sawrey and stop at Joey’s Cafe for a coffee and vegan sausage roll while we wait for the ferry to take us over to Bowness.

The drive around the lake is only around 15 minutes but we want to experience the boat ride. It costs us £5 for one car and looking at the hills from the water gives us a new perspective.

From here we drive for a mere five minutes to the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa – our home for night two of our trip.

The 55-bedroom hotel sits on the Eastern bank of Windermere and offers breathtaking views over the Western fells.

After dropping our bags in a lovely ensuite room on the top floor, we head down to the Lakeview Spa. For £17.50 per person, guests can enjoy three hours in the wellbeing centre which boasts a 40ft indoor pool, two outdoor hot tubs on the spa terrace, a Himalayan sauna and an aromatic steam room.

More adventurous visitors can take advantage of the watersports on offer – including wakeboarding/surfing on Windermere.

After a long morning walk and an afternoon of swimming, we’re starving by dinner time and the award-winning Burlington’s Restaurant does not disappoint.

The hotel’s lakeview restaurant has held AA rosettes for the last 20 years – and the food really is something special. For a bargain £39.95, we enjoy three delicious courses, including cod loin and mushroom risotto followed by pistachio creme brulee and homemade shortbread.

When morning arrives after a solid night’s sleep, the continental breakfast sets us up for the day – though visitors should note that cooked breakfast isn’t included in the bed and breakfast rate – and this and other extras at the hotel soon add up if you don’t watch out.

Ees Wyke Country House Hotel, Double room from £206.00 (summer) or £165.00 (winter). Dinner available for £45.95 for three courses.

Beech Hill Hotel and Spa, rooms from £103. Latest offers can be viewed here.

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