Weekend Away - The Wordsworth Hotel Grasmere
Natalie Anglesey wanders lonely as a cloud as she visits the Lake District on a weekend escape.
Although as a nation we love to travel abroad. So much so, that sometimes we forget there are many wonderful places to explore in our own country. A case in point is the stunningly beautiful Lake District which is only a couple of hours drive away.
There’s plenty to suit all requirements: including the ever-popular Windermere, with a plethora of shops nestling round the beautiful lake. However, we enjoyed the towns glorious views en route to more genteel Grasmere and our destination The Wordsworth Hotel. This well-known, four-star spa hotel, located in the heart of the charming village, is built of Lakeland stone and named after the famous romantic poet, William Wordsworth, who lived in the village for many years.
Several important people have visited there including presidents and royalty. There were portraits of both Prince Philip and Prince Charles on the walls and I slept in the spacious Woodrow Wilson room with lovely views of the neighbouring mountains.
The hotel enjoys two acres of grounds and each of the 38 guest bedrooms and individual suites benefit from being individually designed with luxurious touches, including Egyptian cotton sheets, free internet access and Temple Spa amenities. The premium rooms also offer Grasmere Gingerbread, fluffy robes and slippers as standard.
The Signature Restaurant holds one AA rosette award and is one of the finest restaurants in the area serving lunch and dinner to residents and non-residential guests, with delicious seasonal menus created with local produce. Next door is the Dove Bistro, where traditional pub classics can be enjoyed with a glass of ale. Lunches and afternoon teas are also served in the hotel, where guests can enjoy the surrounding views, from either the Conservatory or Garden Terrace.
The Wordsworth Organic Spa makes a stay even more special with a small indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and Jacuzzi among the facilities to help you relax. Lauren, who runs the spa, is an expert in both specialist massages and beauty treatments which I can heartily recommend.
The Wordsworth Hotel is ideal for a romantic weekend break but it’s also popular for weddings and events, with its setting providing a superb backdrop to enhance any occasion. As the hotel is not too large it’s also an ideal venue for those seeking an exclusive use venue for either business or leisure - so it may be wise when booking to check what else is happening.
What to Do
Grasmere, flanked by two small lakes, Grasmere and Rydal Water, is a wonderful location from which to explore the Lake District. In the quaint village you can purchase Grasmere’s famous gingerbread and lunch by the riverside.
Fans of Wordsworth can visit the house, which was initially home to the poet, his sister Dorothy and eventually his wife and some of his children. How they could all cram into tiny Dove Cottage, which is preserved as a museum, is a miracle.
The more imposing nearby Rydal Mount, which is also open to the public, was Wordsworth’s family home once he became famous and where he spent the majority of his life. He was visited by the great and good and, among his famous friends, fellow poets like Coleridge who all became known as the Lakeland Poets. In the village you can visit the graveyard where William and his family are buried.
Where To Go
Families can enjoy Brockholes Family Activity Centre, a short drive away, where they can walk through the treetops or take a faster zip-wire, sail on a yacht and picnic in the grounds with a lake view.
Hilltop, Beatrix Potter’s Cottage at Sawrey, where she wrote many of her famous books. I saw children painting their favourite characters sitting on the back lawn. You can also visit her little garden - Mr McGregor may be away - but I did spot a real rabbit although he wasn’t wearing a blue jacket!