PULL back the curtains and you’re met by unarguably one of the best views in England.
The Waterhead Hotel in Ambleside sits on the northern shores of Lake Windermere right in the heart of the Lake District. It is a perfect base for exploring the wonderful natural beauty of this corner of Britain, which while far from a secret, has never lost its charm. It really does feel as though you leave behind the stresses of everyday life as as soon as you turn off the M6.
There’s no disputing that in the height of summer it can get very busy – particularly around the lakes themselves and in villages such as Grasmere, and towns such as Windermere itself – but there really is an awful lot of outdoor space, and a lot of it is absolutely stunning.
For walkers, cyclists and sailors the Lake District offers almost too much choice. For those less energetic there’s is no less choice, from the many boat trips offered on the lakes, to many historic and heritage sites, including those of big name writer Beatrix Potter’s house Hill Top alongside Lake Windermere, or the various William Wordsworth associated houses, and the poet’s grave at Grasmere.
The Waterhead makes an excellent central base for exploring whether on land and water. Overlooking the lake it boasts a delightful garden, and as rain is always a possibility, a stylish conservatory should cover be required.
Where the four star hotel – run by the select English Lakes group – truly shines is in attention to detail. Attention to every detail.
When the head barman already knows a guest’s name before they have even found their way to their room is impressive to say the least.
And when the guest gets to their room they will find it equally impressive. Getting a hotel room right may seem simple on paper, but in reality it’s amazing how many get it wrong. There appears nothing the people behind The Waterhead haven’t thought of – from the placing of hooks to hang a coat on to locally sourced biscuits (from nearby Grasmere, and to borrow from the beer ad ‘probably the best ginger biscuits in the word). Wonderfully comfortable and huge beds and contemporary bathrooms with all mod cons – they almost make you not want to leave the room to take in the natural beauty of the Lakes.
Anyone staying at The Waterhead would be doing themselves a disservice if they did not book into the restaurant for dinner – classic cuisine with a modern twist. Try crayfish, ricotta and spinach ravioli or wild mushroom, shallot and thyme risotto arancini for starters, and then Roast chump of Cumbrian lamb or grilled fillet of sea bass – all superb. If you decide to finish with the cheeseboard be warned. There are cheese shops which offer less of a selection. The wine list is well-chosen and reassuring unpretentious.
And then prepare for breakfast – a range of cooked options and a buffet. You won’t go hungry at The Waterhead.
Guests can also take advantage of the leisure and beauty facilites just a couple of minutes drive away at the Low Wood Bay resort.
It is not hard to understand the allure of the Lake District, and the reason people return again and gain. The same can be said for The Waterhead.
Visit englishlakes.co.uk to book and for further details.