Lovely stay at the Lancrigg Hotel in the Lake District: 9/10 for quirky pet-friendly 'country house'
Nestled just 800 yards from the heart of Grasmere, this eye-catching bright yellow 10-bedroom hotel is set in 30 acres of gardens and woodlands. It has a fascinating history, as the famous 19th Century Romantic poet William Wordsworth was so captured by the Grade II building that he bought it as a summer retreat for his friend and asked her to paint it yellow, as well as scattering holly and hazel seeds around its grounds himself. His sister Dorothy, to whom he was close, described its terraced walk as their 'favourite haunt.'
The family-run hotel is headed up by Ian, who took it over earlier this year and is aiming for a relaxed, informal, 'country-house' feel. He hopes visitors, who are straying slightly off the beaten track, will stay a few nights to try out their restaurant, countryside walks and nearby villages.
I visited with my mum and we stayed in the split-floor Wordsworth Suite, which boasted a stunning cranberry coloured four-poster bedroom, second bedroom and family-sized bathroom complete with a whirlpool bath!
The dining room had spectacular views of the surrounding gardens and Grasmere fells and the food on our stay was second-to-none. We plumped for wine expertly recommended by Ian, who had previously lived in France for more than 12 years. I recommend the smoked salmon fishcakes, which came with a delicious salsa-style sauce and salad garnish and the rich, spicy, green chilli and prawn risotto. Their quirky deep-fried banana bread dessert with ice cream, is to die for.
We were up early the next morning for a very generous fry-up before heading off early for the stunning, largely uncrowded Easdale Tarn walk. This takes just over an hour, starts just steps away from the hotel and weaves up a cobbled path running alongside a waterfall, around the beautiful Tarn and back down the other side. We managed to squeeze in a spot of shopping in Ambleside on the way back as well but to get the most out of your trip I'd recommend at least two nights, to squeeze in the famous Helm Crag as well.
For more information, call the hotel on 015394 35317.