You know when you’ve arrived at the Lakes – the streets of its little towns teem with happy hiking types, all sporting sensible daypacks, hardy footwear and cagoules.

I can’t say I blame them – universally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful parts of the country, the Lake District offers 16 picturesque bodies of water to walk around.

I’m checking into a hotel not far from the biggest one, Windermere, in Bowness-on-Windermere, a small town that sports a profusion of little cafés, cute boutiques and shops selling outdoor brands.

The Ro is set back from the centre, halfway up a rather steep hill, but it’s definitely worth puffing up it, because it offers serene views across to the water.



The elegant white building dates back to 1881, when it used to be a spa hotel called The Hydro, and it has recently had a multi-million-pound redesign.

Interiors are contemporary, rooms are decked out in soothing shades of grey with mustard furniture, while the bar is lined with teal velvet stools and hung with deep orange blown-glass lights.

A handful of suites have lake views, with balconies perfect for sipping a reviving cup of tea or a sundowner.

At dinner in the Lacu restaurant (the word is old English for ‘lake’) I scoff bao buns with sticky duck (£7.50) and roasted cod with sea vegetable risotto and tarragon sauce (£22).

USP: The location. It’s away from the busy main thoroughfare but still within easy reach of the high street and is also just a short walk from the lake.

Who goes there? Multi-gen families who want to explore and loved-up couples on a romantic mini break.

Venture Out: Enjoy being on the water? Take your pick from hiring a rowing boat or a motor-operated one and you can get up close and personal with the many swans and geese that hang around waiting to be fed bits of bread – don’t, though, it’s bad for them!

If you fancy letting someone else do the driving, hop on board one of the old-fashioned steamers, which also stop at the town of Ambleside (from £10, visit Windermere Lake Cruises for information).

Author and illustrator Beatrix Potter lived around here and for a hit of nostalgia, I visit The World Of Beatrix Potter (£8.20), where characters from Peter Rabbit to Mrs Tiggy-Winkle are brought adorably to life.

Everyone’s favourite poet from school, William Wordsworth, also grew up in the area. His old home, Dove Cottage, now the Wordsworth Museum, is a short drive away in Grasmere (£12).

Rooms from £157pn, therohotel.com

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