I have had a number of lovely holidays with Daish’s but they have all been at the seaside. I was delighted to read that they have bought an old hotel in Kendal on the edge of the Lake District. This is the first of a number of town and country hotels they hope to open.
The County Hotel is situated opposite Kendal railway station and to be honest the approach to it was a little off putting! We passed a number of empty shops and no attractive old buildings at all! However the hotel itself has been completely refurbished and we were in fact the very first guests.
Inside the hotel was attractive although still smelling of paint! Apparently the reception had only been completed thirty minutes before the coach arrived. I really liked the decor in the bar and the dining room and there is a theme of stags and squirrels on the bedroom wallpaper and pictures in reception. As I was travelling alone I had a single room which extremely comfortable although there were too many cushions for my liking!
The dining room was tastefully decorated and the food was good with four choices for dinner and the usual extensive breakfast menu. In true “Four in a bed” style I tested both poached and scrambled eggs and fully approved!
I was able to find a much more attractive route to the town and walked alongside the River Kent and then back through the town, Kendal is a lovely town with a mixture of small independent shops and the usual chain stores. However I didn’t spend much time in Kendal itself as there was so much to see in the Lake District. We had a coach trip to Bowness on Windemere on our first full day and took a boat trip to Ambleside with time for a short walk up the hillside to see the lambs frolicking. The coach then took us to Hawkeshead where we visited the Beatrix Potter Gallery which is housed in a seventeenth century stone-built house. It was fascinating to see her original art work.
On our second day we had an extra coach trip (one is included in the cost) to Keswick so we enjoyed a walk beside Derwent Water, We returned via some very narrow lanes and it was quite scary when we met another coach coming the opposite way.
Our third day was spent riding on a number of buses and I loved the open top bus which gave a commentary as we were driven along. We were delighted to be able to use our bus passes but a day pass is only £8.50 so excellent value as you can hop on and hop off as you choose, We went back to Bowness and caught a ferry across Windemere to catch the wonderfully named Mountain Goat bus to Hilltop House where Beatrix Potter lived. This was another free ride as Stagecoach run the service. Both of the Beatrix Potter houses are owned by the National Trust so membership is useful.
Every evening after dinner we met in the bar/ lounge and were entertained by a pianist ( a different one each night). I know I was glad that there was no bingo or loud entertainment!
My only complaint has to be that it costs 40 pence to spend a penny in a public toilet in the Lake District!
I thoroughly enjoyed this short holiday, I made two new friends and will definitely revisit, maybe in the autumn. I recommend it to anyone travelling on their own, especially as the hotel only has 40 rooms so the number of guests are low.