I’ve always kind of wondered why everyone waits for the summer to arrive in the UK and then immediately leaves to go on holiday, meaning they miss all the best weather? Surely when the sun is shining in Britain (which admittedly doesn’t happen all that often!) you want to stick around and make the most of it! With this idea in mind, last week I indulged in a little summer staycation and took a road trip to England’s Lake District for a relaxing few days.

I was thoroughly regretting this decision about 45 minutes from arriving in our first destination, Ambleside, as the rain was coming down in sheets and we couldn’t see any of the striking scenery because of it. Summer…what summer?! Luckily for us the rain stopped half an hour after arrival and it was blue skies all the way from there. Lucky or what!
LAKE DISTRICT UK

Ambleside

Ambleside was our first stop in the Lake District and we couldn’t have asked for a better place to start our staycation. We checked into Lake House, our base in Waterhead Bay, a short 10 minute stroll from Ambleside and it was picture-perfect.
AMBLESIDE ACCOMMODATION, LAKE DISTRICT UK, LAKE HOUSE AMBLESIDE REVIEW
Our room was in The Hideaway, separate from the main building, and it was incredibly peaceful. It was clean, comfortable and had everything we could possibly want for a short break.

A bottle of wine was waiting for us upon arrival (always a lovely touch!) which set the mood for our staycation perfectly! There are lots of little touches that make all the difference such as free DVDs to watch in your room, which was perfect for a cosy night in after dinner at Waterhead Bar & Grill, just across the road.

WATERHEAD BAY, AMBLESIDE, LAKE DISTRICT UK

Pretty views at Waterhead Bay

Ambleside itself is a fairly large town with plenty of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. We tried out Fino wine bar and enjoyed a wee drink in the sunshine outside of The White Lion.

LAKE DISTRICT UK, AMBLESIDE ACCOMMODATION, LAKE HOUSE AMBLESIDE

Prosecco in the sunshine!

It’s the kind of place you could spend a few days in and go walking, cycling (which we did!) and exploring. There are plenty of different restaurants, bars and pubs to keep you occupied in the evenings or if you’re just not as adventurous as you might be!

Grasmere

Grasmere is one of the most adorable little towns I’ve ever had the pleasure to discover. We impulsively decided to take a detour here and have a wander round its pretty little streets punctuated with colourful cottages and elegant cafes.
LAKE DISTRICT UK, GRASMERE
There were some cute little boutique style shops selling local produce and handmade crafts which are always fun to have a nosy round. I could have spent much longer here browsing in all the little shops and sitting in pretty cafes with river views and little ducks swimming past. So idyllic!
LAKE DISTRICT UK, GRASMERE

Keswick

Keswick is a market town in the north of the Lake District, not far from beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake. We stopped in Kewsick en route to Bassenthwaite and found a bustling town full of life and with plenty of locals and visitors strolling its sunny streets.

LAKE DISTRICT UK, KESWICK,

Image source

There was a large outdoor market there on the day we visited which sold everything from handcrafted slate goods to local food and drinks. It was perfect for a stroll around. There were also plenty of outdoor cafes to eat in whilst enjoying the sunshine and indulging in a spot of people watching. We ate in Maxwell’s Cafe Bar which served lovely light bites that were just right at lunchtime.

Bassenthwaite

We really hit the jackpot with our accommodation in Bassenthwaite. We arrived at Ravenstone Lodge on a beautiful sunny day to find a stunning outdoor terrace with the most lovely views. When we walked in the door we were greeted by the friendly owner of the hotel, Mike. He showed us around and then took us to our room, complete with four-poster bed. Is there anything more luxurious than a four-poster bed? I certainly don’t think so.

We changed and headed out in the direction Mike told us to follow towards Bassenthwaite Lake. We wandered through fields and up and down hills for around 20 minutes admiring the countryside and beautiful views around us. We came to the lake and sat down on the grass to rest and take in the sunshine.
BASSENTHWAITE LAKE, LAKE DISTRICT UK
There wasn’t another soul around and it was the most peaceful spot I’ve enjoyed in ages. I didn’t really want to leave!
LAKE DISTRICT UK, BASSENTHWAITE ACCOMMODATIONWe rewarded our walk with a few drinks on the terrace at Ravenstone Lodge admiring the stunning views and watching the occasional person paragliding overhead. It felt wonderfully indulgent sitting in the sunshine with such beautiful scenery around us.

Another fabulous thing about Ravenstone Lodge is the AA Rosette restaurant, The Coach House. We had an absolutely delicious meal there during our stay that really couldn’t be faulted.

RAVENSTONE LODGE, LAKE DISTRICT UK, BASSENTHWAITE ACCOMMODATION

Enjoying dinner at Ravenstone Lodge

The thing that truly made Ravenstone Lodge stand out wasn’t the stunning views or delicious food, though these were both fantastic – it was the friendly staff working there who really made it perfect. They were friendly, attentive, efficient and made it seem as though nothing was too much trouble from start to finish.

It’s little things like this that I always think make all the difference to a hotel experience and I would absolutely love to return to Ravenstone Lodge in the future. Maybe next summer when the weather is so glorious again!

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What you need to know

There are 18 en-suite rooms at Lake House in Waterhead Bay and some rooms are dog friendly for a small charge. There’s some great deals for booking direct via their website.

Ravenstone Lodge has just 9 rooms and all are individually designed and decorated. Check out both the hotel and the menus for the two restaurants here.

If you’re travelling with a furry four-legged friend you should check out this dog-friendly pub trail around Lake Windermere. Ideal if you’re after a quick refreshment and want to be able to take your dog with you too!

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Disclaimer: I was a guest of both Lake House and Ravenstone Lodge however, all opinions, bad jokes and pretty pictures are entirely my own.