Review: Whitbarrow Luxury Lodges in the Lake District
In 2017 Cumbria and the Lake District received over 47 million visitors and, out of these, 6.6 million people stayed overnight. With a footfall this high, it’s no surprise the area is brimming with hotels, B&B’s and caravan parks – but, when you’re getting away for a weekend of lengthy hikes, there’s nothing like coming back to your own home. Now I know most of us aren’t fortunate enough to live in the lakes, but, thanks to Whitbarrow, for one weekend or longer, you can pretend.
The Whitbarrow complex almost makes up a small village; the idyllic resort of luxury apartments, lodges and cottages is located halfway between Penrith and Keswick leaving you in a prime location to explore the Lakes. It’s part of the Luxury Lodges group – which has properties in Cornwall too. Accompanied by six friends, I ventured up to one of their Lake District lodges back in February and it’s safe to say we left longing to return.
From the moment we entered and saw a bottle of Tattinger chilling on the table, we knew we were in capable hands. A further stroll throughout the Farmhouse apartment only confirmed this feeling – the interior was homely but stylish, there was total attention to detail and, throughout the weekend, there wasn’t a single occasion we were in need of something which hadn’t been provided.
Our lodge had three bedrooms spanning across one floor – which sounds a little cramped but, thanks to the bright, airy and large dining/living room, there was plenty of space. And if constant socialising isn’t your thing, no need to fret, every bedroom is kitted out with an en-suite, large TV and an outrageously comfy bed too (complete with fancy headboard). The furnishings were so striking, with every room themed in a different vibrant colour, that, at times, I felt like I was living in a high-end catalogue. At other times, I could have been on the set of a music video, courtesy of the incredible hot tub.
As tempting as it would have been to stay in and enjoy the amenities, the surrounding areas are well worth exploring. The gorgeous Ullswater is less than ten minutes by car and the stunning Aira Force (a waterfall – not a US army base) is not much further. There’s also a great array of homely pubs and cafés nearby – we loved the Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld (order a bottle of Frogs Return Cotes de Gascogne!)
Despite having a communal pool, bar area and mini golf course, the resort doesn’t feel remotely tacky nor is it overrun by families/noisy youngsters, but then again we were there out of season – which, from our experience, is something I’d advise. Having said that, if you do have children, I can’t think of a better resort to stay and it seems the industry agrees as the site has been given the ‘Made for Mums’ bronze award for family-friendly holidays.
All in all we had a joyous stay. My only complaint is that our weekend wasn’t long enough. I wish we could have stayed a few days longer and, in the future, I intend to do just that!
Address: Penrith CA11 0XB
Phone: 01994 438 650