The Lodore Falls Hotel at Derwentwater is probably my most visited anywhere, I’ve been twice a year for a quarter of a century. It’s under two hours drive from where I live, the setting is fantastic and the service has never faltered in all that time, This time though they had to go above and beyond the call of duty thanks to Storm Desmond. The beautiful gardens of the hotel had been decimated, access roads had been blocked and it was feared there could be a lengthy loss of power.
Water gushed down the fells, rivers and streams burst their banks and the lake itself was at a near record high. Branches and other debris littered the roads and car parks and the staff feared for the very integrity of the building itself. It’s a fine old building though, built to withstand more than even an Atlantic storm can throw at it. Parts of it date back to 1795 and the Prince of Wales visited as far back as 1857, it was never going to give up without a fight.
The location is one of the finest in the Lakes District. No other hotel that I’m aware of has such a powerful waterfall within its own grounds (100 feet tall no less), which themselves extend to 40 acres in very close proximity of Derwentwater. Borrowdale is a truly picturesque corner,the fells are towering, the lake serene and the surrounding area a nature lovers paradise.
The hotel boasts one other feature you will struggle to find in even the most impressive Lakeland hotels, both indoor and outdoor pools as well as a hot tub and sauna. The outdoor pool is heated and is exceptionally popular with guests. Needless to say the setting is top notch. There’s a tennis court, free cycle hire and quite near by you can hire kayaks and canoes if getting out on the water is more your thing. Oh, and there’s a well equipped gym, definitely a hotel that caters for the more energetic guests.
When you’ve availed yourself of all that exercise and erased any possibility of a guilty conscience, the award winning restaurant is oh so inviting. It’s cosy, takes full advantage of the magnificent views and the food is out of this world. The hotel has been voted top large establishment and the head chef is part of the reason. The food, like venison, is sourced locally to ensure its quality and freshness and £35 a person for a very imaginitive set menu is within what you’d expect to pay in a 4* hotel. There were options of Pork, Chicken, Salmon and Steak when we stayed and we enjoyed all of them over our four nights. Starters include such things as Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella and the smoked local venison I’ve previously mentioned. Definitely food only the most demanding would fail to enjoy.
Lunch was £19 for three courses, £16 for two and Sunday roasts, afternoon teas and cocktails etc were also available but we couldn’t possibly squeeze anything else down.
The 69 en-suite rooms are a mix of lake view, fell view and standard. I always feel, within reason, that it’s pointless going to the Lake District and then skimping on cost and depriving yourself of the wonderful scenery. So expect to pay about £200 per night for a couple which if you manage to grab a deal will include that excellent late meal. The rooms are dog friendly, you can take up to two pets. I know some none canine owners can be deterred, complaining that they do not want to occupy a room that a few hours previously had dogs scampering about in it. Please be reassured, the housekeeping department know exactly what they’re doing in this department. The rooms are immaculate and any (unlikely) grievance would be dealt with swiftly. I’m not a pet owner and I’ve never found this aspect to be an issue.
I don’t need to wax lyrical about what else is on offer nearby, we are talking about one of Britain’s finest jewels. Couple this lovely hotel and its mission to please with the natural beauty and tranquility of the Lakes and you have a truly magical break in prospect. I certainly never tire of it. Enjoy.