If you fancy pushing the boat out on your next Lake District holiday there are lots of ways you can add a little bit of luxury to your getaway. You can stay in a stunning five-star holiday cottage, dine out in style at a Michelin-star restaurant, charter a luxury boat for a private journey across Lake Windermere or visit a stately home to enjoy some of the grandeur of days gone by.
At Lakeland Cottage Company, we like to celebrate the finer things in life so have compiled some of our favourite five-star activities into a luxury guide to the Lake District. Here are some of the ways to live the high life on your next UK getaway.
🌟 Food and drink
🌟 Lake District spas
🌟 Grand historic houses
🌟 Luxury Lake District travel
🌟 Luxury Lake District cottages
Food and drink
The rich, natural produce of the Lake District has resulted in a collection of really good restaurants popping up that use fresh local ingredients in their carefully crafted seasonal dishes. There are no less than seven Lake District restaurants that hold coveted Michelin stars and lots of excellent dining pubs and fine-dining bistros where you can enjoy everything from a lazy lunch with friends or a romantic dinner for two.
Simon Rogan’s iconic Cartmel restaurant has two Michelin stars and is a must-visit if you’re a serious foodie. L’Enclume is located in a characterful former smithy building by the River Eea and many of the seasonal ingredients are sourced from the restaurant’s own 12-acre farm. Sit down to their signature tasting menu or take a seat at the chef’s table and get a sneak peek behind the scenes as part of their Aulis experience.
This intimate Michelin-starred Ambleside restaurant is housed in the former office of William Wordsworth and uses classic Cumbrian ingredients such as Herdwick hogget and Morecambe Bay turbot in dishes that celebrate the landscape of the Lakes.
The 17th-century Cottage in the Wood building is surrounded by the dramatic mountains and fell of Whinlatter Forest and the fine-dining restaurant serves wonderful Michelin-starred food that is worthy of its stunning setting. Enjoy the woodland view as you tuck into a selection of exquisite seasonal dishes.
One of the Lake District’s best-loved gastropubs, the Drunken Duck Inn is nestled amongst peaceful countryside near Skelwith Bridge on the eastern side of Lake Windermere. The cosy interiors are warmed by a wood burner and the locally sourced food can be washed down with Lake District beer from their on-site brewery.
Relax at the spa
Enjoying some pampering spa treatments can be the ultimate little luxury, whether you are looking to treat yourself or spend some quality time relaxing with a loved one or group of friends. It’s up to you whether you head out to a Lake District spa or arrange for the spa to come to you with a massage or facial treatment in the comfort of your private holiday cottage.
This luxury spa looks out over tranquil Derwentwater so it’s the perfect spot to recharge your batteries. The outdoor hydro zone includes an infinity hot tub, a 16-metre hydrotherapy pool and bubble loungers. Head inside and you’ll find a detoxifying mud rasul room plus a thermal spa suite that features a laconium and glass-fronted Finnish sauna.
This Grasmere spa is located close to Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and the twilight spa experience is the perfect end to a day exploring this pretty Lake District village. Spend a couple of hours unwinding in the thermal pool, sauna, steam room or relax in the tepidarium after a therapeutic treatment.
Treat yourself to a spa day at Holbeck Ghyll and you can enjoy afternoon tea and a glass of Champagne to make it even more special. The spa is located on the north eastern shores of Lake Windermere and treatments range from hot stone massages to classic facials.
Arrange for a Glo Pamper mobile therapist to bring the spa to your luxury Lake District holiday cottage. The therapist will provide everything you need for an indulgent pampering session and you can choose from a range of treatment packages. It’s an ideal option for special occasions or a sophisticated girls' weekend.
A little bit of retail therapy can do wonders to lift the spirits and you’ll find lots of lovely shops in the Lake District where you can discover handcrafted gifts and top-quality local items.
You’ll find lots of Lake District goodies in this wonderful Bowness shop including gin liqueurs from the Lakes Distillery and beautiful bath and body products from Pure Lakes. You can also pick up lambswool throws and vintage-style Lake District prints.
This iconic Lake District brand features a cute and quirky sheep on their range of quality products. You can buy everything from Herdy aprons and travel flasks to adorable baby clothes and British-made artisan scarves at their shops in Keswick, Grasmere, Windermere and Kendal.
An independent ladies boutique, Alexandra’s of Keswick specialises in ethically sourced, high-quality clothing and accessories. Brands available to buy at the shop include Robell, Lily and Me, and Mistral Clothing.
You’ll find this great shop in Windermere Quays on the edge of the lake and it’s full of stylish furniture pieces, colourful wall art and must-have home accessories. You can pick out the furniture you like then get it delivered for when you return for your short break or holiday.
Grand historic houses
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of times gone by and enjoy the sumptuous surroundings of some rather fine castles and mansion houses before taking a turn around their gorgeous gardens. Here are some of our favourite grand historic houses to visit in the Lake District:
The impressive Holker Hall is a family-owned stately home that’s been passed down through the generations of three different families. Rooms that you can look at include an elegant drawing room, a suitably grand main hall and a bedroom that Queen Mary once stayed in during her 1937 visit. The 23 acres of grounds and gardens are a riot of colour in the spring and summer months and there are a selection of pretty walking routes to try.
Levens Hall and Garden is part of a 9,500-acre estate with an Elizabethan mansion house at its centre that’s built around an original 13th-century Pele Tower. The magnificent rooms at Levens Hall include oak panelling, ornate plasterwork and original paintings. The grand gardens are home to the world’s oldest topiary and there are also wildflower meadows and rose gardens to explore. The Levens Kitchen uses fresh produce from the estate and attending one of their regular supper clubs is an indulgent way to end your visit.
This privately owned castle looks out over the River Esk near Ravenglass and after taking a tour of the carefully preserved interiors you can explore the large grounds which include a long Georgian Terrace and Himalayan gardens full of rhododendrons and camellias set against a beautiful backdrop of the Lakeland Fells.
Home to the Haskell-McCosh family, Dalemain Mansion and Historic Gardens is a grand country estate which features Georgian architecture, exquisite hand-painted wallpaper from the 18th century and collections of fine furniture and family portraits. A 16th-century loft barn now houses The Fell Pony Museum and the grounds are a haven for birdlife with gardens that include rose walks, herbaceous borders, historic terraces and the Elizabethan Knot Garden.
Luxury Lake District travel
From private boat trips to a five-star steam train experience, here are some of the best ways to take a luxurious journey through the Lake District.
Luxury boat trips
There are a wide range of boat trips available that travel around the glistening waters of the Lake District’s lakes. You can catch the National Trust’s Victorian Steam Yacht Gondola for a jaunt across Coniston Water or relax and enjoy a traditional steamer journey around Ullswater.
For the ultimate in luxury though, why not push the boat out and hire a private skippered yacht to journey around Lake Windermere?
- Lakeland Adventures can take up to eight passengers in their luxury yachts and provide two crew members who can either show you the ropes or take charge of the sailing while you sit back and enjoy the view.
- VIP Lake Tours offer a range of skippered excursions for up to six passengers with drinks and nibbles provided as you travel across Windermere on your private boat.
- Sail ‘n’ Dine will serve you a three-course meal with wine as you take a private sunset cruise around the lake. It’s the ultimate romantic treat for a special celebration.
If you prefer to enjoy the view while staying on dry land, you can travel by luxury vehicle on a private tour of the glorious fells and valleys of the Lake District National Park.
- Uncover hidden spots and breathtaking views with Lake District Tours - your driver will be an expert guide who will share their invaluable knowledge as you travel around the countryside.
- Mountain Goat specialises in small scale tours that will take you off the beaten track and you can either choose to travel with others or privately in a six-seater Mercedes Viano. Standard itineraries include the Ten Lake Spectacular but the private tour can be tailored to you.
Steam train experiences
Sit back and relax as you take a trip back in time on a vintage heritage steam train. There are a couple of stretches of restored tracks that wind their way through the Lake District countryside with lots to see along the way.
- The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway starts at the bottom edge of Lake Windermere and travels through the Leven Valley to the village of Haverthwaite. You can take a gentle trip in a traditional train carriage before tucking into a three-tier afternoon tea at the Haverthwaite Station tea room.
- The Ravenglass and Eskdale Steam Railway is set at the foot of the Scafell range. It’s the highest mountain range in England so there is spectacular scenery to enjoy all along the 7-mile track. For a luxury experience we recommend travelling on the beautiful Eskdale Belle, a first-class carriage with wood-panelling and additional space. Book the Eskdale Belle experience and you’ll get a private coach with a bottle of prosecco to enjoy during your journey.
Luxury Lake District cottages
Stay somewhere extra special on your next Lake District getaway with this collection of luxury Lake District holiday homes that range from cosy romantic retreats to spacious houses where you can gather with family and friends.
This beautiful cottage for two combines sleek modern interiors with a cosy wood burner and an elegant king-sized bedroom. It’s nestled near the northern tip of Coniston Water with wonderful views of the Swirl Howe peak from a private hot tub in the garden.
This fabulous two-bedroom apartment is part of a Regency-style villa and there are lots of architectural details and quality furniture pieces to give it a real feeling of grandeur. It’s set in an elevated spot above Grange over Sands with views out to the Morecambe Bay estuary.
Located close to Pooley Bridge and Watermillock on the shores of Ullswater, Bank Barn - Wreay is a luxurious country retreat that can sleep up to eight people. With winding staircases, pitched ceilings and wonderful views of the lovely local landscape, this is one of the finest holiday homes around and just right for celebrating a special occasion.
These are just some of the Visit England Gold and 5-star cottages available from Lakeland Cottage Company. Browse our full collection of luxury Lake District Cottages and start planning your next getaway.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.