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Annabelle Thorpe
The Times travel writer Annabelle Thorpe.

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The Lake District

Annabelle's verdict:

Walking is bound to be the prime focus for anyone wanting to enjoy the Lake District, the region that put the great in England's Great Outdoors. But guests at Gilpin Hotel & Lake House can also indulge in other activities including fishing with a ghillie or golfing with a pro at Windermere Golf Club. Back at base, a spa and superb three AA Rosettes food await.

Recommended hotel: Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

Gilpin Hotel & Lake House says

A friendly, unpretentious, luxury hotel set in the beautiful Lake District National Park, Gilpin Hotel & Lake House has been family owned and run since 1987. Members of Relais & Chateaux, the Cunliffe family were the proud winners of the AA ‘England Hotel of the Year 2011-2012’, English Tourist Board Awards for Excellence ‘Small Hotel of the Year 2011-2012’, the Catey ‘Independent Hotel of the Year 2012-2013’, and Condé Nast Johansens ‘Most Excellent Country House Hotel of the Year 2013’.

Relaxed and unhurried, there are no weddings, conferences or children under seven to disturb the peace at Gilpin, just warm smiles, fresh flowers, and friendly, unpretentious service.

The hotel interiors are stylish, warm and comfortable with a touch of home – the sumptuous bedrooms, individually designed and furnished, have crisp white linen, luxurious bathrooms, gorgeous fabrics, wonderful upholstery and delicious art, and each of the Garden Suites has its own garden complete with cedarwood hot tub. Year-round, relax by your fire, listen to music, stroll out into your garden and sink into your hot tub.

Along a quiet country lane nearby, enter through electric gates to discover a Lake District sanctuary – with just six suites, the Lake House is set on a stunningly beautiful four-acre private lake with boat-house, sauna, indoor swimming pool, and outdoor cedarwood hot tub. The Lake House is also available for exclusive use.

Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the hotel’s stylish bar and wine cellars before dining in one of four intimate dining rooms (complimentary chauffeur provided for Lake House guests). Head Chef Dan Grigg ensures exquisite cuisine in the 3 AA rosette restaurant – the five-course menu has plenty of choice and is a celebration of some of the finest Lake District produce and West Coast seafood.

Click here for a virtual tour of Gilpin Hotel & Lake House and prices.

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