Beautiful isolation in the heart of the Lake District...
Located near the edge of the Haweswater reservoir, the Haweswater Hotel is the perfect place to relax if you're seeking to combine long mountain walks in a stunning, isolated setting with rest and relaxation in a stylish bolt hole.
The hauntingly beautiful surroundings of the Haweswater Reserve, a protected area of dramatic fells, rivers and woodland, is the perfect tonic for city slickers looking to escape the rat race to indulge in the peace and tranquility of nature in all its glory.
The journey to The Haweswater Hotel...
As there is nothing more frustrating than getting stuck in London traffic in the pursuit of a countryside escape, my friend and I caught the train from London to Penrith, the gateway to the Northern Lakes, and home to the Penrith Castle ruins (where my husband proposed to me during my last trip to the Lake District nearly four years ago).
Once I was done reminiscing, we picked up our rental car from local car rental company Eden Garage (0176-836-1212) and were soon on our way. The drive was only 30 mins away, which gave us enough time to appreciate the rolling countryside. You know you're in the countryside when your nearest neighbours are a flock of sheep!
Along the way, we came across the Llama Karma Kafe, and its takeaway arm, the Deli-Llama. This cute Peruvian themed cafe, sells a variety of interesting gifts and even has a llama in the back garden (as you do). It's a great place for families to stop off at to stretch the legs on a long journey as it has a nice garden with unique seating (see pics below). Llama lovers can also enjoy on and off-site llama treks via their sister company, Lakeland Llama Treks.
Arriving at The Haweswater Hotel...
When we pulled up in front of the beautiful stone clad building covered in striking bright red ivy, I was blown away by the hotel's location perched on the edge of the Haweswater reservoir. The construction of the Haweswater reservoir started in 1929, amid great controversy from locals who were up in arms about the decision as the valley at the time was populated by farming villages, which would be flooded to make way for its construction. Today, the reservoir provides water for one in four homes in the Northwest.
As a gift to the local community, the hotel was built in 1935. Many of the furnishings in the hotel are a nod to the era, with 1930s touches to be found in the dining room, lounge and bedrooms.
The hotel changed ownership in February 2015 and is currently being refurbished throughout. I had the pleasure of staying in Loft Room 1, which has been tastefully refurbished with modern industrial touches and 1930s furnishings, which have been harmoniously combined.
Our room was large with a fabulous view looking onto the garden and the reservoir. The antique bed was exceptionally comfortable with high quality sheets and a thick duvet - the mark of a fab accommodation in my estimation.
The urban chic bathroom with its blue, claw-footed bathtub and a sleek, oversized shower cubicle, is great for couples who want to relax or indulge in a spot of romance. As I was with my friend, romance wasn't on the cards, but I was already planning my next visit with my husband.
Enjoy an invigorating walk in spectacular surroundings...
After we checked in with the friendly and laid-back staff and dropped our bags off in our room, we decided to explore the local area and take in the stunning landscapes. The area is extremely popular with outdoorsy types who love to go on long hill walks, so we thought we'd give it our best go.
We took a left out of the hotel property and walked for about an hour along the reservoir, which was eerily quite and utterly breathtaking. I was fascinated by how the reservoir changed colour throughout the day from a steely, slate grey to obsidian as the sun dipped over the hills.
There is something quite grounding about walking in the vastness of nature with nothing other than your thoughts to keep you company as you reflect on how stunning nature can be.
The Golden Eagle Restaurant at The Haweswater Hotel
At first glance, the disjointed menu didn't look very promising - many of the items seemed more akin to pub lunch offerings (e.g. Cajun chicken sandwich, fish and chips, burgers, Ploughman's etc.).
However, after perusing the menu for some time, there appeared to be some standout dishes on offer including the ribeye steak, the Cumbrian pork served with black pudding and dauphinoise potatoes and the risotto of the day.
The wine list is quite limited and the food pairings recommendations list that they give you with the wine is a bit naff, but that being said, the presentation of the food was superb and the the quality was also fantastic, which quickly dispelled any doubts we'd initially had.
During our visit we also had the pleasure of meeting Head Chef Phil Clarke, who was genuinely lovely and takes great pride in his food. He informed us that many of the dinner menu options were dictated by the hill walkers who make up the majority of the hotel's business, so it will be interesting to see how the menu evolves over the next year.
After a fabulous day, we retired to our room and woke up feel totally revitalised, an amazing feat considering we'd only stayed one night! The next morning my friend and I enjoyed breakfast in the dining room. My friend enjoyed the stewed fruits and coffee and I decided to treat myself to the scrambled eggs (very fluffy) and the local sausage (fab quality and full of flavour).
Relax in the garden...
After our lush breakfast, we took a few moments to relax in the private garden before our departure. If we had more time at the hotel, we definitely would have spent a couple of hours in the garden simply reading a book or enjoying a coffee, as it was so magical.
All in all, it was a truly wonderful stay and I would heartily recommend The Haweswater Hotel to anyone in desperate need of a bit of peace and relaxation.
How to book:
Phone: 01931 713232
From £155 (for a loft room).
Penrith, CA10 2RP
*During this trip I was hosted by the lovely team at The Haweswater Hotel. All words and opinions are my own.
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