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Lisa Harris takes a hike beofre a dip in the spa at this glorious hideaway...

Soggy boots and windswept hair were so much easier to tolerate knowing that, at the end of a day’s hiking, I was going to slip into a hydrotherapy pool, bask in a Finnish sauna or relax with one of 12 thermal therapies at the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa in the Lake District. My boyfriend is a keen walker and usually prefers roughing it with a tent and a camping stove, but even he was a convert to the discreet luxury of this four-star hotel on the shores of Derwentwater lake.

Our home for the next two nights was one of the hotel’s new spa suites, with a private balcony, mini lounge area and free access to the spa. Furry blankets, wooden panelled interiors and a welcome bottle of prosecco made it feel all the more luxurious. The spa itself is a temple of chic, with stylish treatment rooms, salt steam rooms, herbal saunas and underwater loungers in the outside pool that has views across the hills to Derwentwater.

Built in 1870 on the site of an old coaching inn with the Lodore waterfalls running through its ornate gardens, the hotel is beautifully nestled in the Borrowdale Valley. There are plenty of walks straight out of the front door, where you immediately encounter the spectacular wilderness. A steep climb through Lodore Woods took us along a beautiful river and up to the picturesque Watendlath Packhorse Bridge. We were lucky with glorious sunshine, and once we reached the peaks of Eagle Crag I was speechless at the astounding beauty of it all. The Lake District matches the Alps at times like this, when all you can see for miles is mountains and never-ending adventure.

Dinner at the hotel’s Lake View Restaurant that evening was just as uplifting as the views, with a melon and ham amuse-bouche, smoked Eden Valley duck breast starter, and unctuous slow-cooked ox cheek with confit potatoes for main. The night before we’d enjoyed dinner at Mizu, the hotel’s in-house Asian restaurant, with sushi, yakitori skewers and steamed dumplings – an elegant contrast of flavours created with the same local ingredients.

Lodore Falls has the confidence of a long-standing hotel that knows how to cater for everyone while still feeling personal and unique. There are touches of tradition in the plumped-up cushions, formal dining, roaring fires and red carpets, yet the modern parts of the hotel are sleek with Scandi-inspired furnishing and touch-pad technology. Even four-legged friends are welcome: guests with accompanying pooches can dine in the dog-friendly library lounge and there’s a ‘dog’s dinner’ on the menu.

On the morning we left, I walked down to the shore as the mist rose romantically off the lake. If I wasn’t already smitten with the Lake District, this did the trick – we’re already planning our next trip back.

How to book

B&B at Lodore Falls Hotel is from £200 for a standard room and £470 for a spa suite. For more information, visit lake districthotels. net/lodorefalls

 

About the author

Lisa Harris

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