The best Lake District spa hotels to check into

While most Lake District hotels can offer valley views or well-trodden paths snaking through the fells, Another Place’s plum position, right on Ullswater, is particularly special. The activities on offer are in the vein of Swallows and Amazons, with a Mediterranean twist. Guests can skip along the hotel’s private jetty for morning watersports (come drizzle or shine), dip into Ullswater for an invigorating wild swimming session, or paddleboard along its glassy surface.  

As sister hotel to Cornwall’s Watergate Bay, which is known for its spa, Another Place has a small but mighty offering in this regard. ‘The Swim Club’ has a superb hot tub and a glass-encased infinity pool that creates an illusion of outdoor swimming (a boon for those unaccustomed to Cumbria’s capricious weather). Treatments range from hot rocks detox massages to bespoke 60-minute sessions, with a refreshingly long list of pregnancy options. Retreating to boudoir-style rooms mixing old fashioned decadence with a spruce modernism is just the ticket after a long pummel, though the shepherd’s huts’ copper baths and star gazing roofs are an equally seductive notion. 

Doubles at Another Place start from £210

Gilpin Hotel and Lake House 

This Lake District stalwart has cleverly shifted gears for 2023, without losing any of its family-owned charm. The original Edwardian main house has expanded to Scandinavian-style lodges and garden suites, with the Lake House (fashioned from an old fishing lodge), now the real head turner. Lodges and garden suites revolve around an elemental, Scandi theme of wood, glass and fire, with their own hot tubs or saunas to relax in in privacy. The spa itself is a haven of dark wood, where textured treatment rooms, natural stone steam and shower room walls and moody lighting honour the woodland setting. Those making the most of Gilpin’s position on the edge of the National Park, with various walking routes around Windermere, are well catered to with the Pure Lakes Walker’s Ritual massage’s tea tree, basil and rosemary scrub, while the ESPA Indian Head massage is a stellar catalyst for an afternoon snooze. The food here is top-drawer: a bold interplay of Indian and Asian flavours and the Lake District’s fabled local produce – the sort worth leaving the spa for.

Doubles at Gilpin House Hotel start from £295

Armathwaite Hall Hotel & Spa 

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