Some places are just great all year round. Every season is different but just as beautiful. I’m talking about the English Lake District. Of course. And Hillthwaite might just be the perfect place to stay.
We treated ourselves to a few days in the Lakes just before Christmas. It was cold, a little wet, and properly autumnal. Just what you’d expect.
Windermere is central Lake District and it’s a little over 2 hours from North Wales straight up the M6. If you leave after breakfast you can be there for late morning coffee.
Hillthwaite is our destination. It’s a 34 room, 5 star boutique B&B, with spa facilities. When we visited in November we chose Dinner, Bed and Breakfast but they’ve recently transitioned to offering just Bed and Breakfast.
It’s our 4th visit to this lovely Spa Hotel and the best so far. Hillthwaite is perfectly perched on the side of a hill above Windermere town overlooking the Langdale Pikes, just a stones-throw from Windermere Lake. You can imagine the views.
It’s the first time we’ve stayed since Hillthwaite’s upgrade 2 years ago and what a transformation.
We took advantage of their 25% off seasonal offer and booked a Classic Plus room which would have been lovely. But what joy awaited us – a happy upgrade to the Signature Room, 2 luxury levels up and the best room in the hotel. What a treat.
There are only 2 signature bedrooms (15 & 16). We had Room 16 – a huge room with a floor to ceiling bay window overlooking the Lake – the perfect spot to sip our Nespresso coffee in the morning and our complimentary wine in the evening. The roll top bath even had a built in flat screen TV. Quite a novelty. You can imagine Mr Bond’s joy at the prospect of watching Pointless in the bath. Perhaps we should have thought of this in our own new bathroom.
For a special occasion you can add extras including a bottle of fizz, fresh flowers, chocolates and balloons, or even a specially made celebration cake.
We checked in early afternoon so managed to squeeze in an Afternoon Tea of freshly baked warm scones with jam and cream next to the the roaring log burner. You can order a full Afternoon Tea for 2 with all the trimmings for an extra £49
Breakfast was a full English spread of delights with a few Cumberland specials thrown in for meat eating sorts. It properly set us up for the day and very little lunch was needed.
Out and About
The forecast wasn’t good so cosy afternoons by the fire were much more appealing than soggy hikes around the Fells.
But it’s the Lakes and after 2 days of mist and rain, the sun finally made an appearance on the glorious autumn scene. It’s hard to believe there’s anywhere in the UK more breathtaking in the autumn sun. We took in Ullswater, Grasmere, Hawkshead and Ambleside, visiting favourite spots and enjoying the jaw dropping scenery. We cruised up Windermere, strolled around Wray Castle, munched gingerbread in Grasmere and fed the ducks in Bowness. All the things.
But the best thing about this trip was coming home mid afternoon, grabbing a good book and curling up by the log burner with a pot of tea.
The spa facilities are brilliant too. A lovely pool with sauna and steam room. You can even order a massage in your bedroom to ease any aching muscles.
I’ll let you into a secret. We booked for 2 nights and stayed 3. I blame the sunshine. After 2 days of rain, it seemed a shame to go home just as the sun came out. Our final night was spent in one of the lovely classic plus suites in the annex.
Will you visit?
We have loved all our visits to Hillthwaite and especially this latest one. The upgrade is simply stunning. The service is friendly and attentive. The bedrooms are a treat. And the comfortable lounge is the perfect spot for a gin cocktail as you watch the sun dip behind the lake.
Hillthwaite is a B&B now but it’s very close to Windermere town with plenty of nice restaurants for the evening.
We found an excellent coffee shop on the High Street in Windermere – Homeground – it comes highly recommended if you like good coffee and home made cakes.
If you fancy a trip to Hillthwaite, there’s a “Fells and Fireside Winter Break” on offer – 10% off 2 nights B&B. Or if your’e thinking ahead to Valentine’s Day – how about 2 nights, full breakfast, rose petals, prosecco and late checkout from £315.
We’ll be back. Maybe for a spring break.
Have you visited the Lakes? Where’s your favourite spot? I’d love to hear.