Top 50 Boutique Hotels

48 Hours in Windermere, Cumbria

Undoubtedly one of England’s most beautiful untouched landscapes, the Lake District has plenty on offer for tourists but how can you best spend 48 in Windermere?

By Charli Tomney | 12/04/2024


Windermere, Cumbria

What it has to offer:

Home to England's largest natural lake at 10.5 miles long and containing 19 islands, it’s the perfect year-round Lakeland destination. Surrounded by lush greenery, rolling hills, serene woodlands this town is ideal for a romantic getaway for those looking to leave the hustle of the city behind. If you’re the active type, look no further as the Lake District offers you a plethora of outdoor leisure activities from hikes and walks to kayaking and paddleboarding.

Literature lovers can follow the footsteps of former resident Beatrix Potter and explore the scenery that inspired her legendary tales. Cruise along the lake and meander around the gardens, visit the historic houses or immerse yourself in history at Wray Castle. There is so much to enjoy whether you’re taking the whole family for the holidays or wanting a long weekend with a loved one.

Where to stay:

Surrounded by 21 acres of gorgeous grounds glittering with streams and fish-stocked ponds ready to be explored is the impressive Gilpin Hotel & Lake House. Offering you the choice of the chilled and contemporary Gilpin Hotel or their country house, Gilpin Lake House, which is surrounded by 100 acres of grounds, you’re assured to find a comfy and stylish place to lay your head. Out of the 30 rooms we recommend the Garden Suites which boast their own patios and outdoor hot tubs.  

The hotel includes a sauna, swimming pool, two restaurants (including Michelin Starred SOURCE) and spa treatment rooms, its no wonder it won 2022’s Unique Experience Award. An absolute must-book for your Lake District escape.

For stunning views across Windermere, The Samling is the place for you. The elegant hotel is contained within 67 acres of grounds and is home to twelve stunning bedrooms all designed with your comfort at the heart.

They offer two dining options including fine dining in the main restaurant and a more laid-back approach in the Gathering. The boutique hotel also offers guests The Reverie hotel bar, wine tasting, glamping and drinks on the jetty.

For ultimate luxury and style, perhaps Linthwaite House is more to your liking. This country house brings a touch of class to the Lake District with its 14 acres of gardens and woodlands, 36 opulent bedrooms, and on-site restaurant, Henrock, overseen by Michelin Starred chef Simon Rogan.

The hotel is embellished with the founder’s art collection including an array of sculptures throughout the gardens. Guests can stay in the main house or splash out on a secluded chalet amid the woods, hot tub included.


Where to eat:

Honestly, some of the best food offerings you can find will be where you stay. Cumbria offers some of the best produce and cuisine in the UK with chefs taking influence from the abundance of treats on their doorstep.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Gilpin Hotel & Lake House (@gilpinhotel)

The Gilpin’s one Michelin Star SOURCE, which means ‘a place where something originates, where development and growth are nurtured’, combines exquisite produce, distinct flavours, seasonality, sustainability, and precision. Two dining options are on offer, a ten-course tasting menu, or a shorter daily changing option of three courses, snack, bread and pre-dessert. We would of course opt for the full culinary experience to immerse yourself in executive chef Ollie Bridgewater’s unique offering.

Whilst staying at The Samling you absolutely must book into the one Michelin Starred restaurant for one of the most memorable dining experiences to be had in the Lake District. Executive Head Chef Robby Jenks is at the helm serving unique and refined menu centred around the core ingredients in each dish.

Enjoy an intimate Chef’s Table experience or simply enjoy the delights in the main restaurant. The hotel has an excellent wine collection to enjoy alongside your immersive meal, or perhaps a perfectly crafted cocktail is more to your taste.

Linthwaite House’s Henrock, is the seasonally minded restaurant of Simon Rogan. True to Rogan’s ethos, the focus lies on beautiful local ingredients with inspiration taken from his travels, particularly Hong Kong, Malta and Thailand. You could enjoy dishes such as slow cooked pork saddle with confit Therador leeks, hen egg cream with fermented mushroom, or Gaythorne Hall Farm Cumbrian Peking duck breast served with red currant, hoisin gem and hen of the woods.

Sights to visit:

One of the joys of the Lake District is that you can amble about in the lush greenery for hours and fill your day with nature and exploration wither on foot or by bike, but for those wanting an itinerary you can of course make the most of the activities available.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Windermere Lake Cruises (@windermerelakecruises)

Sporty folk can make the most of the lake by engaging in the variety of water-based activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, sailing, wakesurfing and even waterskiing. For a more relaxed approach, why not hire a boat and cruise around soaking up the landscape from a differing perspective.

Windermere also offers nature lovers an award-winning aquarium which boasts the UK’s largest freshwater fish collection, as well as a Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway with steam locomotives which travel three and a half miles along the lake.

The World of Beatrix Potter is a family-friendly spot which brings her famous tales to life with its indoor re-creation of the Lakeland countryside, complete with sights, sounds and even smells.