Friday, 13 November 2015

Relax in the Lake District

Relax in the Lake District where there is plenty to do, even if it rains

Written by Wendy Gomersall
The Lake District has some of England’s most beautiful landscapes, so where better to stay than a hotel overlooking one of its most celebrated assets, Lake Windermere. The picturesque resort town of Bowness-on- Windermere is the perfect place to settle for a few days and The Belsfield is the ideal hotel in which to stay. Not only does the grand Victorian property have wonderful views over the water, it has also undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment in partnership with Laura Ashley.

The property was originally built as a private home for a baroness and later owned by Henry Schneider, the British industrialist and politician. Now it has a modern glass reception and 62 delightful rooms and suites featuring the popular design brand’s distinctive fabrics, furniture and fittings. Facilities include a large lounge and handsome cocktail bar, plus heated indoor swimming pool, gym and sauna.

travel-590-2Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway

The fine-dining restaurant serves a five-course dinner for just £38, comprising delicious local foods such as chicken, venison, lamb and cheeses. There’s also a more casual brasserie, where you can warm up on a Cumbrian lamb hotpot or traditional fish and chips after a day’s sightseeing. Or take The Belsfield Afternoon Tea (£28.90 with a glass of Champagne) in the lounge or on the terrace if it’s warm enough.

Outside, the hotel is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and everywhere you go there are stunning views of the lake. The hotel is within easy walking distance of the town centre, where you will find quaint shops – Huttons sells delicious handmade chocolates, and Sweet Traditions offers confectionery from your childhood days, such as floral pips and fruit salads.

The Mere Gallery and La Galerie D’Art have souvenirs, or if you need a new outfit, head to the Blue Owl boutique. The town also has a charming old-style, threescreen cinema, The Royalty, where you can buy ice creams served by an usherette in the aisle.

travel-590-3The Belsfield features Laura Ashley designs

Organised activities include the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, which is running Santa Specials in December, as well as the Lakes Aquarium and the Lakeland Motor Museum, both near Newby Bridge.

You can’t visit without taking a boat trip, and it’s a short walk from The Belsfield to the waterfront where you can set sail for anything from 45 minutes to three hours aboard Windermere Lake Cruises. A Freedom of the Lake ticket allows you to hop on and off any WLC cruise all day.

Double rooms at the Laura Ashley The Belsfield Hotel, including breakfast for two, cost from £129 per night in November: 01539-442448,

Contact Wendy at
Prices are correct at the time of going to press.

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