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Escape to the North Lakes

Escape to the North Lakes

Armathwaite Hall Hotel sits nestled at the top of Basenthwaite Lake under the imposing shadow of Skiddaw

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The Lake District is well renowned for its stunning views and outdoor pursuits and, as such, if you are looking for the opportunity to explore what this beautiful location has to offer, but want to do it in style and opulence, then Armathwaite Hall Hotel could be the place for you. It is well placed so one feels far from the buzz of normal life, while remaining within easy access of Carlisle (25 miles) and Penrith (24 miles) and it’s high-speed rail link between London and Scotland. The historic town of Keswick is eight miles away.

The hotel itself is approached by a rather grand drive way, complete with gate house and the Hall is set within 400 acres of gardens, deer park and private woodland. The Hall has been on the site, in one form or another, since the 11th century and has been in the ownerships of the Graves family since the 1970’s.

We arrived on a wet June day, having taken on Skiddaw, so felt we had earned our time out to relax and escape from our four children for a brief, but massively welcome, 24 hours! Despite the fact that it was June the great hall had a roaring log fire blazing, which given how cold we had been having summited one of Cumbria’s tallest mountains, was a welcome surprise and immediately created a sense of warmth and intimacy. The hotel is a mixture of old and new. The original hall contains formal dining space, along with the aforementioned Great Hall, and a stylish and recently renovated cocktail bar.

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Care has been taken with everything by mixing original period features with a contemporary feel which, to our minds, created a sense of formal grandeur without being too pompous.

The more recent additions to the hotel contain the Spa and treatment centre and fully equipped thermal suite. There is also a well-equipped gym and outdoor hot tub, in which you can enjoy a glass of champagne - if you so choose – as you might imagine, we did!

Following on from the rigours of climbing Skiddaw we both decided to enjoy a full massage which did not disappoint and helped soothe our aching muscles. The therapists were knowledgeable and set the perfect tone to allow us both to relax completely.

Our room in Armathwaite Hall was dominated by an absolutely stunning view with a southerly aspect which looked down Bassenthwaite Lake in the direction of Keswick. We were able to enjoy the sight of the local sailing club on the tranquil waters and were tempted to have a swim, but on second thoughts decided to enjoy it all from a distance.

The room itself benefited from period features juxtaposed with luxurious touches and the bed was extremely comfortable with a choice of different pillows to suit every taste.

Ahead of dinner, we both enjoyed a drink from an extensive cocktail menu, which whet our appetites. Guests can choose from the formal dining room or the brasserie - the latter offering light bites throughout the day and a more relaxed menu. We opted for the more formal dining room and certainly were not disappointed by the menu, which benefited from locally sourced produce scrumptiously cooked in a stunning dining room with views over the lake. No jeans or trainers allowed but we were happy to ditch the trainers and dress up accordingly.

As well as the expected three courses we were also treated to a tasty amuse-bouche and a pallet cleanser prior to the pudding. We enjoyed some delicious wines from an extensive and well thought out wine list. Our intention was to retire to the bar for a digestive but by 11 p.m. our efforts up Skiddaw were starting to kick in and we chose to retire to our sumptuous and comfortable bed.

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Breakfast was served in the conservatory at the front of the hotel, which was light and airy and again benefited from the amazing views over Bassenthwaite Lake. The weather had vastly improved and we were able to get a far better sense of the hotels setting and picturesque surroundings. The Cumbrian breakfast offered did the job of satisfying my husband’s hearty appetite and I enjoyed a selection of delicious fresh fruits, yoghurt and a beautifully made cappuccino.

For anybody who has a keen interest in getting out into the wilds a short distance from Cheshire, but is also looking for a little luxury to go with it, they would be well advised to consider a visit to Armathwaite Hall Hotel. Dogs and children are also very welcome, although I have to say we enjoyed leaving ours behind on this occasion!

Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4RE

Hotel t: 017687 76551 Spa t: 017687 88900 e:

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