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Best hotels in the Lake District 2022: Where to stay in this stunning national park

Booking a well-deserved getaway to the lakes? These are our favourite hotels in the Lake District

Famed for its stunning lakes, fells and hiking trails, the Lake District is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations for lovers of the outdoors. With all that exploration on the cards, it’s really important to get a good night’s kip in one of the best hotels in the Lake District.

Whether you’re travelling for a spa retreat, a romantic getaway or a family holiday, the Lake District has a whole range of hotels to suit your needs. Some come with fully equipped spas, others have lake access and rentable boats. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more lively in the evenings, there are some idyllic towns you can stay in that are only a short walk away from the lakes.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to stay across all four of the main towns in the Lake District: KeswickAmblesideWindermere and Bowness-on-Windermere, alongside some alternative options if you’re wanting something a little more remote. Not sure where to stay? Take a look at our guide below to see what each town has to offer.

Where to stay in the Lake District


A vibrant town located a 15-minute walk from Derwentwater, Keswick has plenty to offer tourists looking for a fun-filled holiday. You can hike up the nearby Skiddaw mountain or Catbells Peak, or go to see the 30-metre-high Lodore Falls and the 5,000-year-old Castlerigg Stone Circle. Alternatively, you could embark on a classic boat tour and do watersports at the Marina, making Keswick a great place to stay if you want to pack in loads of sightseeing while being immersed in the great outdoors.

It’s not short on culture, either: the Keswick Museum and Art Gallery’s collection dates back to the 19th century, and the nearby Whinlatter forest park is the only real mountain forest in England (which means its trees grow past an altitude of 500 metres). Alternatively, take a trip down to Hope Park for a picnic or a round of crazy golf, or visit the bustling Keswick market on a Saturday. Other popular attractions include taking a tour of the Lakes Distillery, England’s largest whisky distillery, and visiting the Wordsworth house and garden. Sound like it’s for you? Here’s our pick of the best hotels in Keswick.


Set back a mile from the head of Lake Windermere to the north of Rothay Valley, Ambleside is a popular town with walkers and climbers. You can get unforgettable panoramic views hiking up the 335-metre-high Loughrigg Fell, or take a walk to Stock Ghyll Force, which is a 20-metre-high waterfall that’s just a 30-minute round trip on foot from Ambleside. Those with an interest in history can visit the Armitt Museum, which has a unique collection of manuscripts, books, archaeological remains and more, or the Beatrix Potter gallery located a short five-mile journey away.

However, the main benefit of staying in Ambleside is its proximity to the stunning Lake Windermere. If you’re not wanting to hop on a paddle board, the more relaxed among us can take a steamer trip from the pier at Ambleside Waterhead, or grab a drink at one of the cafes on the waterfront. There’s also a great selection of independent shops at Waterhead to keep shopaholics busy. This lakeside area also has many woodland trails for you to explore, all of which are maintained by the National Trust. You can find our pick of the best hotels in Ambleside here.

READ NEXT: Best hotels in London with a view

Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere

Located just one mile or a six-minute bus ride away from one another, Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere are a stone’s throw away from each other. Just to be confusing, they both decided to adopt the name of their closest lake, too.

That means the things you can do in each place are pretty much the same. The main difference between the two is size, with Bowness being the older, larger, more popular tourist destination, and Windermere being a smaller, more remote-feeling village. Nonetheless, it’s still a popular tourist hub, owing to its proximity to the lake and its train station that has links to Manchester Airport.

As with every Lake District town, these two offer river tours and are great for watersports as they have great access to Lake Windermere. On Windermere specifically, sailing is a hugely popular activity, with plenty of vendors to choose from whichever activity you want to try out. Alternatively, you can visit Holehird Gardens, Glebe Park and Grizedale Forest for some natural sightseeing. Or why not take the 3.5-mile hike up Brant Fell to get stunning views across the lake? Other popular walks include going to Fell Foot Park and Orrest Head, which is a 20-minute walk away.

In terms of museums and attractions, Windermere is home to the famous World of Beatrix Potter, who wrote popular children’s books such as Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck. You can also visit the Lakes Aquarium or the Lakeland Motor Museum, which is home to 30,000 car-related paraphernalia and traces the history of road transport in the 20th century. Follow these links to find our favourite hotels in Windermere and Bowness on Windermere.

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How to get to the Lake District

By car

The best way to access the Lake District by car from the south is to drive on the M6 until you reach junction 36 for Ambleside and Windermere, or junction 40 for Keswick. Those travelling to the Lake District from the North East will need to take the A65, A66 or A69, then follow the signs on the M6 to get to your chosen town or village. If you’re travelling south from sunny Scotland, you’ll need to follow either the A74(M), A7 or A75. If you’re trekking up from anywhere further south, leave the M1 at junction 19 or join the M6 at the western end of the A14 Catthorpe Interchange.

By train

If you’re travelling to the Lake District by train, the best stations to stop at are Oxenholme, Windermere, Penrith, Carlisle or Barrow, depending on where you’re going to be staying. Those travelling from elsewhere in the UK will be able to get connections from all major cities, including Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, London, Leeds and York. Train tickets can be quite expensive, so it’s best to book them well in advance to get a good deal.

Buy train tickets to the Lake District

From abroad

The closest international airport to the Lake District is Manchester Airport (MAN). Located 87 miles from the Lakes, the train journey from the airport takes around 80 minutes and tickets cost from £6.50 one way. From the airport train station, you can get the train to Oxenholme and connect to one of the following stations: Keswick, Kendal, Penrith and Windermere. You may also choose to hire a car from the airport to give you total freedom when travelling around the Lake District.

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The best hotels in the Lake District 2022

Best hotels in Keswick

1. Lyzzick Hall Hotel: Best hotel for spectacular mountain views

Price: From £180/night for two | Book now at

One of the most iconic things about the Lake District is its mountain views, and Lyzzick Hall Hotel is positioned right on the slopes of Skiddaw, putting guests in prime viewing position. Located a 10-minute drive from Keswick, the hotel’s extensive gardens are perfect for people wanting a bit of peace and quiet while still having access to the town. Tourist hotspots such as the Castlerigg Stone Circle are also close by.

Set in a renovated farmhouse, the hotel rooms are kitted out with modern furnishings and comfortable beds to crash in after a long day of exploration. The hotel bar is cosy and comfortable, with outside seating available, while the restaurant serves exclusively locally sourced freshly prepared food. And if your kids are tagging along, the hotel has outdoor play equipment for them to enjoy while you relax.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: No; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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2. Skiddaw Hotel: Best hotel for food lovers

Price: From £130/night for two | Book now at

This hotel is located in the centre of Keswick and is a food lover’s dream. There are two restaurants to choose from serving locally sourced food, including a relaxed conservatory and bar area that serves tapas, Sunday roasts and bar meals.

The main restaurant, Brasserie 31, was awarded an AA rosette for culinary excellence in 2022, with the reviewer praising its imaginative and well-executed dishes, alongside the stylish, comfortable interior.

While the food is award-winning and you can’t beat its central location, the hotel rooms are also spacious, spotless and suitable for every kind of holidaymaker. The whole hotel is stylishly decorated with pops of colour and eye-catching light fittings. Better still, you can bring your pets along, although you might want to save the tasty hotel food for yourself.

Key details – Free parking: Discounted off-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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3. Royal Oak at Keswick: The cosiest town centre hotel

Price: from £105/night for two | Book now at

Considering its central location, this hotel is great value and has great vibes. Not only does it have a traditional pub on site serving home-cooked seasonal food and a selection of cask ales from the Thwaites Brewery, but its big breakfasts will keep you fuelled up for a day of exploring.

The hotel itself has a homey traditional feel, as it’s located in a former coaching inn. The old-timey feel of the building is reflected in the cosy furniture, fireplaces and sofas in the lounge area, but don’t worry, all the bathrooms have been refurbished in a modern style. In the evening, you can snuggle up and enjoy the board games and puzzles the hotel has to offer or enjoy a whiskey by the fire. Or, because the hotel is in the town centre, visitors are free to visit the whole gamut of pubs and restaurants Keswick has to offer.

Key details – Free parking: No; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: No; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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Best hotels in Ambleside

4. Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa: Best spa facilities in Ambleside

Price: From $144/night for two | Book now at

Some people travel to the Lakes for an action-packed adventure-filled pedal-to-the-metal paced holiday. Others prefer to visit the lakes to bask in the beauty of the scenery and chill out at the spa. If you fall into the latter category, you’ll like the Ambleside Salutation Hotel. The spa has a pool, plush lounge chairs, sauna, spa bath, steam room and a gym, all of which are free to use if you’re a guest in the hotel. If you’re feeling super decadent, you can also splash out on a massage or a hotel room with its very own private hot tub. Once you’ve spent the day unwinding at the spa, the hotel is in a prime location for an evening out in Ambleside town centre, or you can book to eat at the hotel restaurant.

Each room has its own unique charm with comfortable beds, great views and a spacious floor plan. Also, the hotel has aircon, which is a rare find in the Lake District and a godsend in the hot summer months. The hotel is also within walking distance of many beautiful parks, such as Rothay Park and Borrans Park, and is just two miles from Lake Windermere.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: No; Spa facilities: Gym, steam room, sauna, hot tub, pool; Restaurant on site: Yes

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5. The Regent Hotel: Best lakeside hotel in Ambleside

Price: From £139/night for two | Book now at

This dog-friendly hotel in Ambleside is located right by the waterfront, an area that has plenty of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Oh, and let’s not forget the glorious views of Lake Windermere. It’s got free on-site parking, and an outside dining area that overlooks the lake and serves up a great full English breakfast; you do have to book for every meal, though.

Each hotel room includes a modern refurbished bathroom, aircon and clean, comfortable beds. If you’re down to spend a bit more, you can also get a room with a private terrace to enjoy a coffee with a view in the morning.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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6. The Ambleside Inn: Best hotel in Ambleside town

Price: From £109/night for two | Book now at

For those of us who want to be right in the thick of all the action (or as much action as there is in the Lake District), the Ambleside Inn has an unbeatable central location. It’s set in an 18th-century building and has spacious rooms decorated in a cosy traditional English style. However, as it’s so central it can get quite loud in the evenings so this might be a hotel to avoid if you’re a light sleeper.

There’s no shortage of activities to do in the local area, as Lake Windermere is only 15 minutes away on foot. If you’d rather stay in, the on-site bar serves a selection of locally brewed real ales, and fresh food is served throughout the day with a daily selection of specials.

Key details – Free parking: No; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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Best hotels in Windermere

7. Kotel Windermere: Best Aparthotel

Price: From £110/night for two | Book now at

Traditional hotels with restaurants are great, but if you’ve got dietary requirements, fussy children or want to save a bit of cash on eating out, nothing beats an aparthotel. The self-contained apartments in Kotel Windermere come with a fully decked-out kitchen with all the cleaning products you could need, a microwave, toaster, kettle and kitchenware included. Windermere town centre is only 0.2 miles away, so getting groceries is a breeze. There’s also free parking, 24-hour security and pet-friendly rooms available.

Aside from the main bonus of being able to cater for yourself, each private apartment has a desk in the living area, modern furnishings and a sleek design. They also come with fresh linen and towels. For sunnier days, there’s an outside terrace, a well-kept garden, and the building is only a short walk away from the Millennium Gardens and Queen’s Park.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: No

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8. Hill of Oaks: Best cottages and villas

Price: From £126/night for two | Book now at

If apartments aren’t your thing but you’d still like to cater for yourself and have a bit more privacy, then the cottages and villas available at Hill of Oaks might tickle your fancy. Located right on Lake Windermere, there’s a wide variety of accommodation available for every size group, from cosy wooden cabins to beautiful boathouses. Each self-contained villa comes equipped with kitchenettes, CCTV outside for security, and access to the on-site minimarket for convenient shopping.

The site itself is scenic and quiet, filled with outdoor picnic areas, docks, trees and wildflowers. It’s a great place to bring along a four-legged companion as there are loads of walking routes nearby. The site is right by some popular attractions too, including the Lakes Aquarium and the Rossland Mosses Nature reserve.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: No; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: No

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9. Hillthwaite House: Best all-rounder

Price: From £139/night for two | Book now at

Can’t decide where you want to stay? Hillthwaite House is a great all-rounder: it’s got absolutely everything you could want in a hotel at a very reasonable price. On-site parking, a cooked breakfast, spa access and Wi-Fi are all free for every guest, and this pet-friendly hotel is a short walk from Windermere train station. Its on-site restaurant offers British cuisine and the bar has a great selection of beverages you can enjoy in the cosy fireside guest lounge. What more could you ask for?

Great views, of course! As a result of its elevated position on a hill, the hotel has some of the best views of Lake Windermere and its surrounding mountains, all of which can be seen from either the bedrooms, the restaurant or the glorious outdoor picnic area and sun terrace. You’ll also be really close to tourist attractions such as The World of Beatrix Potter, while being away from the hustle and bustle of the town.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: Yes; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: Pool, sauna; Restaurant on site: Yes

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Best hotels in Bowness-on-Windermere

10. Lakes Hotel & Spa: Best spa hotel in Bowness

Price: From £156/night for two | Book now at

If you’re hoping to escape to the Lakes for a relaxing getaway or to celebrate a special occasion, then there’s no better thing to do than to check into a spa hotel. The Lakes Hotel on the outskirts of Bowness-on-Windermere provides every guest with full access to its spa facilities, and for an extra special treat, guests can book one of the many rooms that have a private hot tub and balcony.

The hotel also has two bars – one in the spa offering poolside tipples, while the other is a cocktail bar in the main hotel area. The restaurant is sleek and classy, filled with ambient mood lighting and a varied menu. During the day you can relax on the garden terrace or book yourself into one of the spa and wellness packages. For more adventurous guests, the hotel also offers planned walks, bike hire, wakeboarding and paddleboarding.

Key details – Free parking: No; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: No; Spa facilities: Jacuzzis, pool, sauna, steam room, gym; Restaurant on site: Yes

Book now at

11. Craig Manor Hotel: Best-value manor hotel

Price: From £97/night for two | Book now at

Located a short five-minute walk from Bowness, Craig Manor Hotel is an idyllic manor house that’s been recently refurbished. Each spacious room has a comfortable bed with stylish Scandinavian-style furniture and eye-catching pops of colour.

The views aren’t bad, either: the large windows give you panoramic views of Lake Windermere and the mountains from the dining room. It also has really well-maintained gardens with picnic tables and an idyllic grassy slope to relax on. After a long day exploring the Lakes, you can visit the cosy bar area that’s filled with classic leather sofas, board games and puzzles for the family, as well as a fireplace.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: No

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12. The Belsfield Hotel: Best for lakeside views

Price: From £159/night for two | Book now at

When it comes to providing views of Lake Windermere, the Belsfield Hotel isn’t messing around. As well as having six acres of beautiful private gardens for guests to enjoy, the hotel has an unobstructed view of the lake and direct waterfront access.

Inside and outside, this hotel can’t be faulted for its looks and while there are many nearby restaurants along the waterfront, it’s not likely that you’ll want to stray from the hotel’s own restaurant, as it has two AA rosettes. Critics praise the hotel for its idyllic setting, tasteful furnishings and elegant British-fusion menu. After a long day, guests may also choose to relax in the hotel’s warmly lit ambient lounge bar, which has a stylish and vintage feel about it.

Key details – Free parking: No; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: Gym; Restaurant on site: Yes

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Best hotels elsewhere in the Lake District

13. Haweswater Hotel: Best hotel for escaping the crowds

Price: From £109/night for two | Book now at

The Haweswater Hotel has a lovely rustic feel about it; with stunning views over the lake and art-deco-style decorations, it’s an ideal hotel for escaping the busy tourist towns. Located just over a mile away from Haweswater Nature Reserve, right on the lake, the hotel also boasts gorgeous gardens with sun loungers available to relax on. The hotel also provides a full English breakfast free of charge to hotel guests.

However, you should be warned; although the Wi-Fi is free of charge, the connection isn’t the best, so it’s not somewhere you’d want to be working remotely from. It’s perfect if you’re hoping to disconnect and unwind while on your holiday, though.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: Yes; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: Yes; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes.

Book now at

14. Strands Hotel/Screes Inn & Micro brewery: Best for beer lovers

Price: From £107/night for two | Book now at

If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the towns in the Lakes and you’re a fan of a good beer, this hotel in the quiet village of Nether Wasdale might be for you. The hotel sits smack bang in the middle of the Wasdale Valley, surrounded by stunning mountains, making for a super picturesque setting near the District’s deepest lake, Wastwater.

The hotel has a cosy vibe, with traditional log fires and original wooden beams. Even better, the restaurant serves up a great range of home-cooked food, and perhaps best of all, you can try the home-brewed beer from the on-site microbrewery.

Key details – Free parking: Off-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: No; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

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15. Rusland Pool hotel: Best budget hotel in the Lake District

Price: From £60/night for two | Book now at

For those travelling to the Lakes on a budget, it can be difficult to find good hotels that are affordable and still within the bounds of the National Park. However, the Rusland Pool hotel is a great option, providing comfortable beds, clean and spacious rooms, and a great setting near the River Leven for an affordable price.

While the hotel isn’t on the doorstep of any main tourist towns, parking is free and there’s an electric charging point, and you’re never a long drive from anywhere. It’s also a great option for families, with family rooms available, a children’s play area, a table tennis table and water sports facilities on site. The homely restaurant has a log burner and an outdoor picnic area, and the breakfast is one of the best you can get.

Key details – Free parking: On-site; Free Wi-Fi: Yes; Breakfast included: No; Family rooms available: Yes; Pet-friendly: No; Spa facilities: None; Restaurant on site: Yes

Book now at

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