The Lake District’s ultimate family hotel just got better
Time for an upgrade
The first clue comes from the ‘sheep shed’, where in 2019 we squirmed in wetsuits dangling from racks and shivered to the pier. Free swimsuits remain (in all shapes and sizes), but the hangar has been upgraded with underfloor heating, luxurious showers and spacious changing rooms. It’s suddenly, very obviously, not for the sheep.
The same goes for a new architectural suite in the trees – soon to be completed, but already the antithesis of the improvised haunts of my childhood memories – and the hotel’s six new shepherd’s huts, scattered on the ground, overlooking the lake and built in hard. sustainability standards. On closer inspection, the cabins are pairs of conjoined twins, attached by a glazed wedge, so ours comfortably housed our family of four (five, including the dog).
The first “cabin” houses a jeweled lounge with a wood-burning stove, sofas, kettle, enamel mugs and mini-fridge. A sliding door reveals a sweet slice of a bunk room, which the kids loved (older, ganglier teens might have to tuck in, so the hotel recommends them for under-10s).
It’s the adjoining cabana that’s home to the real prizes, though: a cloud-soft king-size bed under a star-gazing window, covered in tasselled throws and an embarrassment of plush cushions. Farrow & Ball color schemes reflect the falls outside, and in the small but sophisticated en-suite there are fluffy bathrobes, as well as the hotel’s Land & Water toiletries.
There’s Wi-Fi (but no TV), daily housekeeping and, outside, luxuries to green the shepherds. Light bulbs hang above giant beanbags on rocking chair frames, and there’s a private fire pit.