Hotel Review: Linthwaite House, Windermere in the Lake District
As a mother to a young son I often find myself walking down memory lane. Last week we were given a box set of the enchanting Beatrix Potter stories. I recalled how my father used to read these very same tales to me and marvelled how the magic in the pages has not been lost over the years.
Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, the Lake District in North West England is celebrated for its lakes, forests and mountains, and was home to the revered author. Potter obtained inspiration for all her characters in this most dramatic setting – including Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddleduck and of course, Peter Rabbit.
The scenery of this national park – shimmering stillness of lakes against mountainous backdrops, is both picturesque and awe-inspiring in its natural grandeur and scale.
And naturally, the draw of Potter’s innocent tales does also bring coachloads of foreign tourists to the lakes. But not all tourists have the inside knowledge of a magical place to stay. This is where a bit of homework comes in.
Five minutes’ drive – or a 30-minute walk – from Windermere Lake and the town of Bowness, yet away from the touristy hustle bustle, set on a hillside stands the grand Linthwaite House. A contemporary country house hotel, Linthwaite is set in 14 acres of established gardens and well-maintained private woodland grounds.
Linthwaite is a sprawling Edwardian house of whitewashed render and black-and-white timbered gables. As you walk inside, an air of calm descends – serene staff glide through the rooms, themselves a pleasing palate of pale greys, milky-whites, tans and bottle-greens, jazzed up with splashes of leopard print or tribal pattern.
The interior design, by Beverley Boswell reminds us of a well-curated gallery. Equally distracting are the modern artworks – some of the owner’s private collection (the hotel is part of the South-African-based Leeu Collection) – displayed with professional precision.
On arrival, after a five-hour drive from down South, we gratefully supped aperitifs in Linthwaite’s cocktail lounge. A study in relaxed, modern elegance, the room overlooks the lake and fells.
Rooms are huge and ours had two large windows overlooking the gardens, a sumptuous super king bed, lounge area to relax in with sofa and a luxurious bathroom suite, complete with the fluffiest towels and robes.
Our late Sunday breakfast was an upscale affair. A healthy buffet of the finest fruits, smoothies and granolas, was followed by a perfectly cooked full English. Before our drive back home, we meandered through the hotel’s scenic grounds and stumbled on a hidden boating lake – very Toad of Toad Hall.
Address: Crook Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3JA
Phone: 015394 88600