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Best Lodging - Help

Newfoundland and...
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Best Lodging - Help

We have a chance to get to the Lake District and will be entertaining friends there - we are looking for a traditional, classically styled English lodging complete with fireplaces and the best possible scenery available in the area. Which of the following would best offer what we are looking for and provide the best once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit the area for a few days late in the summer?

- The Samling

- Armathwaite

- Gilpin

- Holbeck Ghyll

- Lodore Falls

- Sharrow Bay

- Punch Bowl

While we prefer classic to contemporary styling, we are hoping to find a hotel that has lush, plump down duvets and a renovated feel, as some of the reviews we have read have suggested that some accommodations might be bit tired - we have business relations with the friends we are trying to meet up with and we are hoping to impress them with the nicest accommodations there.

We are walkers/hikers and it would be explore the best scenery the LD has to offer.

Thank you for your help.

Keswick, United...
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1. Re: Best Lodging - Help

Holbeck Ghyll is one of our favourite getaway treats, and has a traditional feel - it has a lovely oak panelled hall wtih a huge fire place, and fires in the lounges. There are traditional rooms in the main house, with some more contemporary rooms and suites in the grounds (one of which was occuppied by Renee Zelwegger when she was filming Beartix Potter). The food (1 Michelin Star) and service are impeccable, and the views are wonderful.

Gilpin is more contemproary in decor and feel, although it is also based around a lovely house - Its a while since we stayed there, but very comfortable, and wonderful service.

Sharrow bay is very traditional - wonderful views, lovely restaurant. We haven't stayed there as its not that far from where we live, but have eaten there many times. The location is a little more remote, it you want to be near to the busier towns.

Armathwaite Hall and Lodore Falls are not in the same class as the above.

I dont know much about the Samling, except I do always wonder how people negotiate the steep switchback driveway to get up there. which probably keeps it exclusive, as you cant easily call in - blink and you've missed the discreet turning.

The Punchbowl is a lovely pub/inn serving reliably good food - very different from the hotels you are considering, and although we've eaten there several times, we've never stayed.

Yorkshire Dales...
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2. Re: Best Lodging - Help

I have eaten at Holbeck Ghyll and it was indeed lovely. Some of the tables in the dining room have superb views down to the lake so if you choose this place try and get one of these. It has an old fashioned feel and the service was superb. We were parked quite close to the door but it was raining and a lovely man got a huge umbrella and walked me to the car door to keep dry. I remember nice touches like that. I also remember the food being so good we wanted to scrape every bit off our plates!

The Punchbowl is prettily situated but I suppose you would call it a 'gastropub' and not a Hotel as such. The food was good but not in the Holbeck Ghyll league. The rooms were refurbished a while back but I've not stayed in any of them.

Newfoundland and...
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3. Re: Best Lodging - Help

These responses are VERY helpful - thank you for replying so thoughtfully. So, we have dropped Armathwaite and Lodore from this list and this confirms what we were seeing online - Punch Bowl does not sound like we are looking for (we are looking for more the stately estate feel with the nice crackling fires and extensive grounds with gardens/views). For a return visit (if we are lucky) we might try Punch Bowl as it does sound nice.

Anyone out there familiar with the Samling and how it would compare to the others? I see it is listed on Mr. and Mrs. Smith but that is not always a guarantee of anything. I'll be checking out Holbeck right away as it sounds like a sure bet.

Any other replies on a choice between the following (and your reasons) would be super:

- Holbeck Ghyll

- Samling

- Gilpin (if this is contemporary then we will knock it off as well)

- Sharrow Bay

Many thanks again,

Dana

London
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4. Re: Best Lodging - Help

I've also eaten at Holbeck Ghyll and was *extremely* impressed with the quality. Not stayed there, so can't comment on the accommodation, but if it's half as good as the restaurant you'll be well looked after.

I've never been to Sharrow Bay, but when I was nearby a couple of weeks ago I was chatting to one of the locals about it who told me that it had been coasting on its reputation for a while, has not had the investment it needs to keep it up to scratch, and is now not up to its previous standards. You might want to check out some recent reviews to see if that rings true with recent guests.

Holbeck Ghyll is probably in a better location than Sharrow Bay or Samling if you are interested in some hiking, although I don't think it's really the best location for hiking. Perhaps you might consider the Inn on the Lake in Glenridding? It's a pleasant enough hotel with a good restaurant, though it's probably not up to the standards of Holbeck Ghyll. It is, however, in an absolutely cracking location for hiking and generally enjoying the scenery.

You could also consider Lyzzick Hall. Never been there myself, but I've seen excellent reviews, and the location is also pretty handy for some fine hiking.

Newfoundland and...
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5. Re: Best Lodging - Help

This is terrific news - I'd never heard of Lyzzick or Glenridding - I will look them both up.

Sad about the Samling as it does not seem to be drawing as much attention on the posts so I also wonder if it's all it claims to be - the location is a concern I guess as well, as many posters have advised to stick to Grasmere/Buttermere (though accommodations there certainly seem more limited). Anyone else out there experience Samling in relation to these others?

Thank you again.

Sunny Lancashire
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6. Re: Best Lodging - Help

Hi there - apologies for hijacking the thread, but I'd also suggest a quick look at the Swan Hotel at Newby Bridge. We stay quite regularly and, to me, it blends and nice mix of traditional and contemporary. Good food and handy for exploring - either by car or with a bus stop almost directly outside.

Edited as the Trip Advisor link is to the wrong hotel. You need to search for "Swan Hotel & Spa".

Edited: 15 May 2013, 05:01
Newfoundland and...
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7. Re: Best Lodging - Help

Hi Stuart,

Thank you for this - we did see a Swan Hotel in the listings but there are a lot of hotels with the name "Swan" in the UK and I had not been able to sort them out. So I will look this up for sure. What is the scenery like around Newby Bridge? I've heard some say that the scenery gets better as you move up North, but I have not found anything up that way, except an attached cottage at Caldbeck (I think) and Armathwaite Hall (not sure if this is recommended - the emails received so far have been pretty complacent so not sure about the service, or the rooms for that matter). It would be GREAT to find somewhere around Buttermere, but so far no luck. I'll check out the Swan tonight.

Sunny Lancashire
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8. Re: Best Lodging - Help

I spent 20 years growing up in the Lakes... so am hopefully reasonably qualified! Newby Bridge is nice. It's at the south end of Lake Windermere and The Swan is situated on the river banks at the end of the lake. It's a traditional old coaching house hotel, but with a modern/traditional decor and interior.... with pool, spa, nature trail walk, nice restaurant and 'traditional' cosier pub/bar. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite (tourist) railway runs past the back of the hotel, so it's nice to walk out the back of the hotel along the nature trail that skirts the river bank and watch old steam trains running past! Various walking paths run off from the hotel itself or the surrounding lanes. Within a few minutes drive you've got the likes of Lakeside (for Windermere Lake Cruises) the Newby Bridge Hotel at Lakeside has good reviews, Fell Foot National Trust property/gardens/park, Lakeland Motor Museum....and then slightly further Conishead Priory, Grizedale Forest Park, Windermere itself, Sizergh Castle (National Trust) etc.

Not sure what travel plans you've got for car hire or public transport but there's probably better public transport options in that area of south lakes as the main Lancaster/Kendal/Windermere bus service stops at Newby Bridge enroute to Barrow and Ulverston.

Windermere itself (and Bowness on the lake shore) is quite touristy, though by that I mean lots of 'outdoor' shops selling walking boots, fleeces, jackets etc along with cafe's serving the tourist market. That said the drive up the side of the lake from Newby Bridge and/or the Lyth Valley is stunning, with some huge lakeside properties on display as you drive through Storrs. And there are still plenty of walks leading out from Windermere. It's also got the lakes steamers, Beatrix Potter world and other attractions, although Ambleside and Grasmere are certainly 'quainter'... Grasmere more so (being smaller) than Ambleside.

I've not been to the Samling but agree with Misinformed's views about the drive up there. I'm sure it's got nice views but it's still quite remote - half way between Windermere and Ambleside. Moving further north you then get up to Keswick (on Derwentwater and quite a popular market town - with access to Borrowdale valley (Lodore Falls that has been mentioned), Watendlath, Grange and some nice lakeside or fell walks - and then further west (14 miles) to Cockermouth/Buttermere/Loweswater, Crummock and Ennerdale. These are the far quieter Northern Lakes. Cockermouth is nice (I grew up here) and the Trout Hotel is quite nice.... but nothing amazing and not rural. Buttermere and Loweswater are far more in the country and remote. Places like the Kirkstile Inn at Loweswater are popular for food and very traditional....but personally I wouldn't say they'd be particularly memorable stays accommodation-wise, or necessarily as a central base for exploring. Armathwaite Hall is quite a pretty setting (popular wedding venue I think), west of Keswick on the north side of Bassenthwaite Lake. Caldbeck to me is a pretty little village (bit like a little Cotswold village) but not really as accessible to the main Lake District attractions and fells.

Cambs
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9. Re: Best Lodging - Help

Have you considered the Rampsbeck at Watermillock - gets good reviews here? On the shores of Ullswater so in a beautiful situation.

Caldbeck is a lovely village (and I have stayed in a fantastic attached cottage there) but the surrounding landscape is much bleaker than around Ullswater/Derwentwater and the central Lake District.

Newfoundland and...
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10. Re: Best Lodging - Help

Thank you Ursa for your post - I wonder if we are looking at the same cottage you stayed in. The comments on the surroundings are much appreciated as this helps with the decision - Rampsbeck - I have not come across this hotel at all and will look it up promptly - I appreciate this recommendation.

StuartD - Wow - what an awesome post. Thank you for being so helpful - you have nicely "carved" out the areas for me and provide a good idea of the preferred areas of the Lake District - I'm running off your post so I can hang on to it and use it for travel planning in the area. Based on what I am seeing for availability now, it may end up being Armathwaite by default, but I wonder - how long would it take to go from there to Lancaster? In any event, I read your post with interest, thank you for replying in such detail and for taking time to share your Lake District with me.