The phrase “location, location, location” must have been coined with the Inn on the Lake in mind because you couldn’t ask for a better positioned hotel.
Situated in the village of Glenridding, at the southern end of Ullswater, the hotel sits within 15 acres of lawns stretching down to the shores of the lake. For anyone not familiar with the setting, Ullswater is the second largest lake in the region and many people’s favourite; it’s a gracious beauty flanked by high-rising mountains: its eastern shore overlooked by Place Fell with the mighty Helvellyn range to the west.
The hotel has an interesting history. Dating back to the 1830s, it was built some two decades before the first steamer set sail on the lake. During the Second World War the Ullswater Hotel, as it was then known, was commandeered by the Army and became a training establishment with soldiers taught how to cope with gas.
Today, the Inn on the Lake boasts 47 ensuite bedrooms spread over three floors (lifts available); pick a room with a fell view and you look out towards the village and the mountains beyond. If possible, choose a room overlooking the lake; it’s a sumptuous view and one you could sit and admire all day long.
All rooms are equipped to a high standard and many have recently been refurbished. Comfy Sealy beds, Gilchrist and Soames toiletries, hairdryer, flatscreen TVs and other facilities are standard here.
Owned by Lake District Hotels, a family-run business with a range of properties in the area, the Inn on the Lake was crowned “Large Hotel of the Year” and earned an “Outstanding Customer Service” award at the 2013 Cumbria Tourism Awards ceremony. If that wasn’t enough, the establishment has also been awarded four AA stars – all fully deserved, in my opinion.
There are many positives about this lakeside hotel, including ample parking, free wi-fi (it’s surprising how many respectable hotels still don’t offer it), beautifully manicured lawns and seasonal croquet and pitch-and-putt golf course; even a helipad can be organised by prior arrangement!
Throughout the hotel, staff are very attentive, efficient and nothing seems too much trouble. Sometimes, you can tell that employees are smiling or being helpful because it’s on their job description or it’s been drummed in to them via various hospitality training courses. That’s not the case here, you sense that it’s a genuine desire to help everyone enjoy their stay to the full.
The hotel is tastefully decorated and from the reception you can stroll through to the Lounge Bar with its large bay windows affording a fine view of the gardens and Ullswater; the Lakeside Terrace, meanwhile, is a must in clement weather. Alternatively, check out the beautifully-built Orangery. The proactive hotel management often arrange special events: on a Sunday in July, for example, full afternoon tea was followed by a cruise on one of the lake steamers, costing £21.95 per person.
The Inn on the Lake has an excellent reputation when it comes to food, thanks largely to the splendid setting and the hotel’s award-winning chef and his team. Fresh, local produce is used where possible and the menu at the Lake View Restaurant offers plenty of choice. For something less formal, pop across to The Ramblers Bar (formerly the village fire station) situated within the grounds. Here, you’ll find an extensive menu. If you opt for a dessert, try the gooseberry and apple tart with homemade custard – delicious!
This is an exquisite hotel which scores top marks in every category; I’d highly recommend a visit. Go on, treat yourself!
Inn on the Lake
Hotel Reception: 017684 82444
Reservations: 0800 840 1245