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Lakeside Hotel & Spa, Newby Bridge, Lake District
This large, family-friendly hotel might have the best waterside location of all the hotels on Windermere - not just because of the amazing views but also because it's right next to a cruise-boat landing stage. Furnished in a traditional but comfy style, the sprawling building offers a choice of dining venues - fine dining or a more traditional pub - and a vast range of bedrooms. Less than half the bedrooms have lake views, but all are generous in size and include family suites and some with patios. For relaxation, the Aveda spa includes a good-size pool plus small garden with a firepit. During the day most guests spend time in the long and light-filled conservatory - perhaps for lunch or afternoon tea - with its uninterrupted lake views.
Gummer's How, opposite the hotel, is an easy climb and rewards with fantastic 360-degree views, including of Morecambe Bay.
The hotel is on the shores of Lake Windermere at the southwestern end. The small village of Newby Bridge is a 5-minute drive away, and the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, a family favourite, is nearby.
By car: the hotel is 1 hour 40 mins from Manchester, around 3 hours from Edinburgh and 5 hours from London. There is free parking on site.
By train: regular services from Manchester Piccadilly, London Euston and Edinburgh Waverley to stations nearby. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Families, groups of friends or couples looking for a leisurely rather than active break will enjoy the pool and spa, choice of dining, and relaxing views. The long conservatory, with its traditional wicker furnishings, is a delightful spot to sit and switch off.
Service & Facilities
Taking a swim in the 17-metre pool with views through the huge windows to the fells opposite almost feels like swimming in the lake.
- Spa and wellness centre
- Swimming pool
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
The spaciousness of the rooms is a definite plus, even without the lake view, plus practically all bathrooms have a bath as well as shower. Any of the Lake View rooms get our vote as the best - some have patios leading to the lakeside gardens.
Lakeland View, Garden, Interconnecting Family, Ultimate Lakeview & Terrace rooms, Woodland View, Junior, Lakeview, Panoramic Lodge, Courtyard Family suites
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, complimentary robes, Hungarian goose down duvets, spa access
Food & Drink
Breakfast is served until a decadent 11am - and 11.30am at weekends - and includes unusual choices such as porridge with maple-glazed bananas, avocado and bacon on rye or smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and potato cake. As an alternative to dinner, chef offers a mixed sweet and savoury afternoon tea; a great idea if you never have enough room for pudding after dinner.
Lakeview Grill Restaurant: formal fine dining, modern British cuisine, charcoal grilled rare-breed steaks. Open for dinner every day. Three courses £44 per person.
John Ruskin Restaurant: casual, family-friendly, modern British cuisine. Open every day.
Lakeside Terrace & Conservatory: amazing lake views and alfresco dining. Open for lunch 1-2pm (two courses £25) and afternoon tea 1-4pm (£32 per person).