From country house hotels to restored Art Deco gems, the North West of England is home to a wealth of beautiful experiences and destinations. Guests delight in walks through the countryside, strolls by the lakes or exploring the shops and restaurants in the region’s historic cities.
From stays in castles to remote Scandi-style gems, here the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top luxury hotels in the North West.
Augill Castle, Kirkby Stephen
With its towers and battlements, Augill Castle is a Victorian-folly castle in 20 acres of grounds. Grand and impressive, it’s also warm and welcoming, making it a firm favourite amongst families who are enchanted by its fairy-tale style. Interiors honour the history of the building with bold heritage colours, and ornate wallpapers and fabrics, but just the right amount of modern hospitality as well.
The property is part of a small working estate complete with grazing cattle, sheep and pigs, that add to the charming views. This is a place that’s all about the atmosphere – warm welcomes, feeling right at home and a ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude.
Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, Aughton
A Jacobean manor house turned luxury restaurant-with-rooms offering Michelin-starred food, Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms is a treasure. Outside, guests look onto a moat-turned-lake, walled kitchen garden and rustic barn across five acres of Lancashire countryside, all carefully tended and influencing what’s served in the restaurant.
Luxuriously large bedrooms fuse designer furniture with historic architectural details, while marbled bathrooms and freestanding baths add to the sense of relaxation. Food is the centrepiece of the experience, with chef and co-owner Mark Birchall creating dishes inspired by the landscape, such as chrysanthemum and sea buckthorn, raw mackerel with redcurrant, and garden fruit with birch sap and woodruff.
Farlam Hall, Brampton
This enchanting country house hotel sits in the peaceful village of Brampton and is surrounded by a walled garden. A member of the Relais and Châteaux collection, the creeper-covered Victorian house successfully fuses traditional style with contemporary hospitality, instantly making you feel cared for and at home.
Inside, guests find elegant interiors and heritage style. In addition to the rooms in the main house, there are four cottages available to stay in, within the six acre grounds. Dinner offers a delicious sense of formality, starting with canapés and followed by dishes such as crab with spring pea custard or roe deer with black pudding.
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Windermere
With a reputation for being one of the Lake District’s most romantic hotels, Gilpin Hotel and Lake House offers luxury, wellbeing and Michelin-starred dining. Surrounded by 100 acres of private grounds, there are actually two hotels on the site and a variety of rooms to choose from. The Gilpin Hotel itself has 28 bedrooms and two restaurants (the Michelin starred HRiSHi and the casual pan Asian Gilpin Spice), as well as a Champagne bar.
Guests can stay in the smart country house rooms in the main Edwardian building, in Spa Lodges overlooking a pond or Scandi-style Garden Suites with a hot tub and sauna. Alternatively, there’s the Lake House close by, where you will find six Lake House rooms in a lodge offering exclusive access to an indoor pool and woodland spa, along with impressive views of the lake. Everything at this hotel has been designed with indulgence in mind, whilst also being superbly restful and restorative.
The Cottage in the Wood, Braithwaite
In a blissful woodland setting, The Cottage in the Wood is a restaurant-with-rooms with Michelin-starred dining. The 17th-century cottage in Whinlatter Forest has impressive views to Skiddaw and is surrounded by wildlife, which really adds to the magical atmosphere. Rooms are modern in style, but it is the food that really sets this place apart. Head chef Ben Wilkinson’s cooking has been described as ‘faultless’, featuring dishes such as hogget with lentils, spiced carrot and roast sweetbread, and cured trout with oyster cream, dill and cucumber.
The Yan at Broadrayne, Ambleside
In a remote location on a Cumbrian hillside, The Yan at Broadrayne is a surprising find. Surrounded by grazing Herdwick sheep, the 17th-century barn and cluster of old out buildings have been reinvented in contemporary style to become a chic hotel and bistro. Exceptionally peaceful, there’s no shortage of modern conveniences, and visitors delight in the adventurous, seasonal menus, and the opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside and the total sense of escapism.
Hipping Hall, Kirkby Lonsdale
Located between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, Hipping Hall in Lancashire is an award-winning foodie favourite destination. The property has 350 years of history and is surrounded by high fells, rivers and streams, woods and meadows, all of which are honoured in the hotel’s interiors. Details are carefully considered, from the hand-crafted paint pigments used on the walls to the locally crafted ceramics used in the restaurant.
Rooms are spread across three buildings, each with their own style – stay in the elegant main house, cosy rooms in the cottages or the recently completed Stable rooms. The restaurant is a real treat, reflecting head chef Peter Howarth’s personality and food ethos. Menus are seasonal and use local ingredients, always aiming for a simplicity that lets the flavours shine.
Forest Side, Grasmere
This magical hotel is a gothic mansion surrounded by Lake District landscapes. It’s little wonder that Grasmere was so beloved by Wordsworth, it’s really something to behold. Forest Side is a truly special experience and has been charming guests for more than a century. Today it has an award-winning restaurant, elegantly designed rooms and suites that bring modern luxury seamlessly to the historic building, and exceptional grounds to wander in.
Looking out across rugged fells and woodland, the hotel welcomes dogs and is a treasure trove of things to discover. Take the gardens, for example, where you will find unusual lilies dusted with purple and an impressive array of Rhododendrons.
The Chester Grosvenor, Chester
In the heart of historic Chester, The Chester Grosvenor is a five-star hotel for sumptuous experiences. Beyond the iconic Tudor-style exterior, the Grade II listed hotel offers luxury at every turn. There’s a spa offering Elemis treatments, a hotel chauffeur to call upon, indulgent afternoon teas and decadently decorated rooms and suites. Dining at The Chester Grosvenor is an occasion to dress for, especially within the glitzy surrounds of the Arkle, which is known for its eight course tasting menu.
The Midland, Morecambe
This magnificent Art Deco building overlooking the sand flats of Morecambe is an impressive sight to behold. A four-star hotel in pristine white and with curved walls that so defined the era, it’s been restored for 21st century hospitality and is now a modern day masterpiece. Honouring its heritage, there is a distinct glamour to The Midland thanks to sparkling chandeliers and opulent furnishings from its 44 bedrooms to its classy Ravilious Rotunda Bar. Lunch on the sun terrace is a favourite activity as is afternoon tea before dressing for dinner.
All imagery supplied by the Good Hotel Guide