Best Lake District Hotels:
Not everyone gets up to the Lake District in England but if you have the opportunity I strongly suggest planning it into your itinerary. The region is north of Liverpool and Manchester as you get close to the border with Scotland. A good Lake District Map is here
and you can get a good idea of just how big this region is. Get on the M6 highway and it will take you all the way up here. Exit off at Kendal into the heart of the Lake District. With all the lakes you will find more bed and breakfast accommodations and guest houses than full fledged hotels. I stayed at the MacDonald Old England Hotel
in Windermere but all of these towns are loaded with smaller lodging options which should make for a romantic getaway. The weather is definitely colder as you get up into northern England and when I was there in March 2009 the high temperature was only about 45 degrees, although we had no rain which made for a nice weekend.
The top towns for tourism are placed like Ambleside, Keswick, Ambleside, and Hawkshead. Expect to pay a premium even in the off-season as most hotels don't budge much on their rates - we paid $175 (US) a night to stay in Windemere. I was able to find a discount code online that gave us a free bottle of wine and breakfast was included in the rate. No matter where you stay you are only a short drive away from all the sights. Take a hike, walk along the lakes, or do some shopping in one of the many towns that dot the Lake District England. I did most of my research on Tripadvisor.com as they have extensive consumer reviews on hotels throughout the entire Lake District and each hotel is ranked and rated by people who have stayed there. Top places include Cedar Manor Hotel
and Gilpin Lodge
in Windermere and The Waterhead HotelThe Cottage in the Wood
and feedback is excellent. Some of these hotels and inns book up fast as they are small with a limited number of guest rooms and events like weddings often dominate certain weekends up here. My advice is to visit in the off-season and avoid the summer crowds. The drawback to going in winter or early spring is that weather can be bad (rainy and cold) so you may not get to do all the outdoor activities that make this spot so special. I would recommend making Windermere your homebase so to speak and then take day trips from there. The lodging options in Windemere are many and the lake tours on boat are the perfect way to finish an afternoon. We found the town inviting with things like Beatrix Potter museum (she wrote the Peter Rabbit books amongst others). Driving around the Lake District was easy as traffic was light in March and we visited the grave of William Wordsworth (great English poet) in the town of Grasmere.
Luxury Lake District Hotel:
I must say that the Macdonald Old England Hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere has an great reputation and our stay was lovely. The location couldn't be better as it backs up to the lake and dinner and breakfast are served overlooking this gorgeous scenery. Ferry boats take you back and forth across the lake but it's just as enjoying to stroll through town or walk along the lakefront. The rooms are spacious and the dinner was just perfect in the dining room. There is a large pool and exercise room if you want a workout or visit their spa for some relaxation. The parking is a bit confusing as it's offsite and you need to walk from the car park to the hotel (2 blocks or so). I wish the staff would park the car for you but that was not offered. For less than $200/night the hotel offers good value - look online for discount or promotion codes related to "Macdonald hotels" and you should find one or 2 that work when you book your reservation via their website.
Best B&B in Ambleside:
Ambleside is just up the road from Windermere and is another quaint town worth considering if you are going to be in the Lake District. The Riverside Hotel
is top rated on lots of travel review websites and for good reason. You can get a four poster bedroom with ensuite spa bath for around $75 per person per night. The rooms offer television and a full English breakfast is included in the price. Car parking is available if you need it. The location is ideal for walking in the Lake District or perhaps venturing out on a bicycle. You can find out more on their homepage HERE
Guest House in Keswick:
Deep in the heart of the Lake District lies the town of Keswick. It's rugged but beautiful and the top rated Oakthwaite House
at 35 Helvellyn Street, Keswick CA12 4EP, England is the #1 spot to stay as voted by those on TripAdvisor. David and Karen Faria are the owners and the Victoria town house is literally 5 minutes walk from the town center. They offer 4 guestrooms, so book early as they do fill up quickly during the peak season. Room rates are very reasonable ($55/per person) and with your bed and breakfast accommodation of course comes an exquisite breakfast. Some of the terms people use in describing Oakthwaite House include "Lakeland jewel" and "lovely romantic getaway". You can find them online HERE
Windermere Lake District Hotel:
You don't need to go any further than The Cedar Manor Hotel & Restaurant
to see just what the Lake District can offer in terms of lodging. Built in 1854 this manor style hotel has 11 bedrooms (ensuite) and is absolutely gorgeous inside and out. When you drive up you will instantly fall in love with the setting. The rooms are spacious and nicely furnished (the executive rooms have flat screen TV's). The restaurant serves up delicious food like Mallard duck breast, fish pie, and wild seabass. You feel welcome from the moment you step out of your car and the staff is attentive and friendly. You can find this hotel online