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As the nights draw in, we feel a well-deserved, cosy winter visit to The Lake District, Cumbria is in order – and where better to stay than at one of The Inn Collection Group’s stunning venues?

Not only does each of their four Lake District Inns offer the perfect staycation location this winter thanks to their welcoming, laid-back atmosphere, cosy open fires and delicious food and drink, but as dogs are welcome too, four-legged members of the family are also very welcome – along with your muddy walking boots!

With great offers and a hassle-free cancellations policy, they offer a relaxing experience from the second you book, to the moment you sink into one of their comfy beds after a scrumptious hot meal.

With four inns to choose from in Ambleside, Coniston, Grasmere and Bassenthwaite, here’s some inspiration to help you find the perfect spot for your winter visit!

The Ambleside Inn

The Ambleside Inn

The Ambleside Inn offers guests the perfect blend of comfort, cosiness and convenience while immersed in a down-to-earth yet special atmosphere; A base from which you can explore, then eat heartily, drink merrily and sleep soundly upon your return.

With an open, roaring fire and quiet tables, there’s space for your muddy boots and the dog as you enjoy a well-deserved pint.

Ambleside is described by many as a walkers’ paradise, so why not take a hike up the nearby Loughrigg Fell or Wansfell? Or for something more challenging, try the Fairfield Horseshoe route; a 10 mile circular walk across several high fells, offering spectacular views.

Rydal Mount & Gardens

Back down to earth, why not pay a visit to Rydal Mount and Gardens? Best known as William Wordsworth's home for nearly 40 years, this is the house that inspired tweaks and revisions to his world-famous poem, 'Daffodils'.

Self-drive power boats and rowing boats are available to hire from Ambleside’s Waterhead Pier, or if you’d rather not be in charge of the steering, take a Windermere Lake Cruises boat and soak up the magnificent scenery as you sail on England’s longest lake. Over to the peaceful western shore of the lake, visitors can enjoy a stroll around the scenic grounds at the Victorian neo-gothic Wray Castle, managed by The National Trust, as well as picking up a bite to eat in the Kitchen Court Café.

Wray Castle

Be sure to explore Ambleside itself – thanks to The Ambleside Inn’s convenient town centre location, you’re never far away from shops and indoor places to visit.

Hungry? No matter what time of day it is, The Ambleside Inn serves-up delicious homemade pub food all day, every day, as well as boasting a wide range of drinks. The Inn offers quality bed and breakfast accommodation in 30 newly refurbished bedrooms, with superior rooms boasting stunning views across the fells. As well as Cumbrian breakfasts, hearty lunches, evening meals and small plates and snacks are also available – many of which proudly showcase local produce.

Food at The Ambleside Inn

The Ambleside Inn has been part of the town’s history in various guises for more than 300 years. A perfect place to relax and recharge ready for another day of explorations, the Inn was refurbished in 2019, and the team can’t wait to welcome you – and your boots, soon.

The Coniston Inn
The Coniston Inn

Nestled snugly to the South West of Ambleside, Coniston and its namesake lake, Coniston Water, is perhaps most famous for the record-breaking exploits of Donald Campbell, Coniston Water was the scene of the daredevil’s untimely death while trying to break his own water speed record in his world famous, iconic ‘Bluebird’ craft.

Coniston Water

Campbell’s legacy – along with the complete and fascinating history of Coniston, is chronicled at the brilliant Ruskin Museum, which also delves deeply into the work and life of influential writer John Ruskin: One of the most influential figures of the Victorian age, who lived at nearby Brantwood for the final 28 years of his life.

Coniston is also home to the area’s world-famous copper mining history, with the Coppermines Valley located just above Coniston dotted with the remains of the mines and quarries that used to be the focus of the village’s workforce.

Upon arrival, you cannot help but spot the famous fell, The Old Man of Coniston, looming above the village like a watchful guardian. At 803 metres tall, it is the highest of the Coniston fells and makes for a popular walk with great views of Coniston Water.

Another way to explore Coniston Water is on the Coniston Launch or the National Trust-operated Steam Yacht Gondola, and no trip here would be complete without some exploration of what many consider to be among the Lake District’s most beautiful and secluded smaller bodies of water, Tarn Hows; A firm favourite for those who enjoy short walks or just a good old picnic on a blanket.

Tarn Hows

Further adventure comes in the form of Cathedral Cavern, accessible via a series of tunnels – one of which is 100 metres long and requires both a torch and some nerve!

On the eastern side of Coniston Water is Grizedale Forest, where there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer. There are walking and cycling trails through the forest, sculptures and wildlife to admire, and Go Ape have a tree top adventure course or Segways to explore the woodland on two wheels.

After all this adventure, you are sure to be ready for some good food and drink and comfortable bed for the evening. Well, from rooms offering spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains, fells and lake, to full Cumbrian breakfasts, hearty lunches, evening meals and small plates and snacks in between which proudly showcase local produce, The Coniston Inn is the perfect place to relax and recharge ready for another day of explorations. 

The Coniston Inn

Located on the shores of Coniston Water, this classic Lakeland slate building has undergone an exciting refurbishment in 2020. So, if you’re looking for a place to escape the crowds, then The Coniston Inn is the perfect base from which to explore the magnificent landscape and wealth of nearby visitor attractions set within the Lake District National Park World Heritage Site.

The Swan at Grasmere

The Swan at Grasmere

The Swan at Grasmere offers visitors a perfect, central Lake District location from which to explore the entire National Park.

Perhaps most famous for its William Wordsworth connections, here, the 250th anniversary of the renowned poet’s birth continues to be celebrated in 2021, after many commemorations were postponed in 2020. Pay a visit to Wordsworth Grasmere and be transported back in time as you discover Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home and where he produced most of his best-loved poems.

Grasmere Gingerbread

Of course, Grasmere is the home of the world famous Grasmere Gingerbread, still baked in the same cottage where the recipe was perfected by Sarah Nelson back in 1854.

Grasmere and the nearby village of Rydal are both situated by small lakes of the same names, both of which are on the wild swimming permitted list. A peaceful swim is assured, as powered craft are not permitted on Grasmere. Just remember that as tempting as it may be to swim onto the lake’s small islands, they are off-limits.

Rydal Water

Rydal Water goes hand-in-hand with Grasmere, with this small lake sharing a cosy, rural location with its slightly larger cousin. Separated by less than one mile, if you take a swim in one, you may as well experience them both.

Rydal is suitable for individual recreational swimming only, and like Grasmere, powered craft are not permitted to sail on Rydal, so a peaceful dip is guaranteed.

A short trip further north will bring you to Thirlmere, a pretty, clear lake with a wooded shoreline and is best enjoyed from the west shore which winds its way through the trees and serves as a water supply for Manchester.

The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite

The Pheasant

For a peaceful, easy feeling while surrounded by the Lake District at its most secluded, The Pheasant is a perfect choice. Sitting close to the shore of Bassenthwaite, this four-mile-long lake is the most northerly of Cumbria’s major lakes, and a visit here should be placed firmly near the top of every visitor’s Lake District “to-do” list.

Bathing in the shadow of the mighty and imposing fell of Skiddaw, Bassenthwaite is flanked by the A66 which runs along its western shore, making it easily accessible by car or public transport, with plenty of lay-bys to pull over and soak up the views as well as taking a dip.

Over on the eastern side, why not take the A591 and follow a public footpath to the shore for an even more tranquil moment?

Whinlatter Forest

From water to woodland, no trip to this part of the Lake District, Cumbria, is complete without a visit to Whinlatter - England's only true mountain forest. Managed by Forestry England, this vast woodland rises 1,000ft above sea level, and the forest and visitor centre provides a whole range of outdoor activities for everyone. 

Start at the visitor centre, where the staff will give information and help plan your morning. Enjoy some retail therapy in the forest shop or sample morning coffee and cake at Siskins café, eating out on the balcony whilst overlooking the woods, red squirrels and woodland birds.

If you’re bringing children on your winter visit, the Whinlatter WildPlay trail is a fantastic 600m long trail with 9 different play zones. Despite the forest’s hilly nature, there are suitable walks for people of all abilities, which take in spectacular views across the fells and forests.

The Bassenthwaite Ospreys can be seen live from their nest on a giant screen in the exhibition or in their natural environment from the Dodd Wood open air viewpoint between April and August.

Nearby, the Lingholm Estate’s Kitchen & Walled Garden was once the base of a certain Beatrix Potter, who stayed there while working on several of her legendary stories. In fact, visitors can actually explore part of the grounds that inspired the tales of Squirrel Nutkin, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and her most famous character, Peter Rabbit. Here, you can also walk with Alpacas at Alpacaly Ever After.

Alpacaly Ever After

The Lake District Wildlife Park is also nearby, along with the town of Cockermouth for some more retail therapy.

A short journey south of Bassenthwaite is the capital of the Northern Lakes, the town of Keswick. Tucked between Skiddaw and Derwentwater, this walker’s paradise offers a wide range of activities and attractions.

Enjoy a lake cruise on the Keswick Launch and experience the beauty of Derwentwater, with breathtaking views of the surrounding fells. Enjoy special views of Skiddaw, Catbells, and the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’.

And just like The Pheasant itself, Keswick is a place where every man, woman and dog is made to feel extra welcome! Considered to be Cumbria’s most dog-friendly town, the vast majority of shops, attractions and accommodation providers are all very happy to welcome travellers of both the two-legged and four-legged variety!

So, with your appetite firmly whetted, book yourself a cosy winter getaway with The Inn Collection Group. Make the most of their toastie new winter breaks offer, with two-course dinner, bed and breakfast stays starting from just £105 per night (based on two people sharing) along with a flexible cancellation policy with nothing to pay until you arrive. Offer runs from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021.




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