Roaring log fires, cosy rooms, and dramatic views across Lake Windermere and the Western Fells beyond, welcome to your new favourite lakeland autumnal retreat.
Perched atop a hill on the Eastern banks of Lake Windermere lies the warmest of welcomes. A luxurious yet homely hotel, Beech Hill boasts 55 bedrooms, with many featuring private balconies and terraces on which to drink in the breathtaking views of the lake. Whilst the Lake District is considered a summer destination by many, the masses are missing out on the ever changing beauty of this very special part of the world during the latter part of the year.
Upon entering the hotel you are greeted by a warm and cosy lounge with sprawling, panoramic views over Windermere. The hotel’s elevated location means every window enjoys a picture perfect vista of the fells, forest, and water, the perfect place to relax, recharge, and feel fully cosseted during your stay. Furnishings are comfortable and cosy, focusing on quality, warmth and a feeling of well being. With an extensive list of Covid-safe precautions, you can enjoy the hotel without worry, the only items on your agenda being woodland and lakeside walks, fine food and drink, a warming trip to the spa, and snuggling down in your pillow soft bed at the end of the day.
Warm rooms with dreamy views
Furnished to a high standard, the rooms at Beech Hill are incredibly spacious for a Lake District hotel. With walk in showers and some featuring spa baths, the bathrooms are equally generous, the perfect place to wind down after a golden autumn hike or crisp winter walk. Several ground floor rooms have direct access to the gardens and lake below, wonderful if, like me, you want to get straight back to the warmth of your room or suite after an afternoon of exploring. Our room featured a small table and chairs both indoors and on the patio, meaning we could enjoy room service with a view and a half.
Food, glorious food
Headed up by chef Lukasz Zebryk, the award winning Burlington’s Restaurant is a destination in it’s own right. Serving up a fusion of English and French cuisine using locally sourced produce, guests and non-residents alike can enjoy a hearty breakfast, delicious lunch, delightful afternoon tea, or indulgent evening meal with a view. With a wide selection of wines and highly knowledgeable staff, drinks pairings are no issue here, just kick back, enjoy your meal at a leisurely pace, and let the attentive wait staff keep you well fed and watered.
The perfect place to unwind
The luxurious hotel spa is the icing on the cake: boasting three spa treatment rooms, a Himalayan Sauna with salt wall, an aromatic Steam Room, two outside Vitality Spa Pools and a 40ft indoor pool, you’ll be floating back to your room after an hour. The changing seasons and colder weather need not keep you indoors, as the spa views take on an almost Nordic feel whilst retaining traditional lakeland charm. Moody vistas and falling leaves make for a very special spa experience as you sup champagne in the Vitality Spa Pool overlooking snow-capped hills in the latter part of the year. Covid restrictions mean attendee numbers are limited for the time being, so I strongly recommend booking a slot at the spa upon checking in, this is a magical experience that really should not be missed.
Stroll on down to the lake
Now for the feature that clinched it for me: take a stroll down to the bottom of the garden where you will come across the a small, yet very special, entrance to Lake Windermere. Completely private, peaceful and still, we took our mugs of tea down here at 6 am to watch the sun rise and listen to the resident robin sing his little heart out. There wasn’t a soul in sight, not a boat on the water, just complete stillness, peace, and calm, the air fresh and buoyant with the scents of autumn. Get up early and you may notice the odd person doing the same thing, get up earlier and you will feel like the only person in the world. Not may hotels in the area can offer this level of privacy and serenity away from the tourist attractions and crowds, and this was the crowning moment in what had already been a very special trip. Set your alarms early, grab a blanket and a brew and slip out of your room as the first beams peek over the fells for the perfect ending to the perfect autumnal break.
- If you’re an outdoorsy type or want to slip out early for a peaceful picnic on the lake, ask for a ground floor room with patio access to the garden. Whilst the upper floors have incredible views, these rooms offer the convenience of direct access to the dock below.
- Book a slot at the spa upon booking. The staff are incredible, the pools serene, the experience feeling incredibly bespoke and private whilst numbers are limited.
- If you’re a keen walker, book a room with a spa bath. Warming up in the oversized tub was a wonderful way to refresh after exploring the area.
- Order the coffee creme brulee for dessert. Don’t question this, just do it.
- Rent a boat from Windermere Boat Hire, located less than 6 minutes drive from the hotel. Costing £35 for an hour, this was money well spent and allowed us to see the lake from a different perspective. If you’ve left your captain’s hat at home, they also provide group boat tours from £12 per person.