Autumn is one of my favourite times to visit the Lake District. Leaves are turning a golden colour, the early morning mist arises over the lakes, whilst the temperature is ideal for walking the hills and fells.
Merewood Country House Hotel
When we first started going to the Lake District many years ago, the accommodation was mostly in youth hostels. Things have changed a lot since then with an array of cosy inns, boutique and country hotels on offer for travellers and walkers alike.
Merewood Country House Hotel sits proudly overlooking Lake Windermere, England’s longest and some say, most beautiful lake. The warm, cosy and welcoming hotel is approached by a short drive leading off the main Windermere to Ambleside road.
The stylish rooms are all named after writers such as Keats, Byron, Tennyson and naturally Wordsworth. Our room had a framed Love and Friendship poem in the room by Emily Brontë.
We ate in the Aboreal restaurant and tried the taster menu which included homemade country loaf, Ham Bon Bon, Chicken and a sumptuous rhubarb and custard cheesecake. If you think you deserve a treat you would not be disappointed here. A seven-course delight will leave you full to the brim, unlike some other taster menus that I have sampled.
Breakfast was served to order and made a change from the normal buffet style breakfasts. If you are used to staying in new hotels, you might find some of the decor slightly dated though I would call it furnished in a traditional style.
Staff were all well trained, polite, unobtrusive and customer focussed. An enjoyable stay at this charming hotel with clean comfy rooms and lakeside views that are incomparable.
Wainwright’s introduction to the Lake District began with a walk to the stunning views over a lake Windermere at Orrest Head.
On a clear day, the ratio of views to effort put in cannot be beaten. The walk starts on the A591. By the bus station in Windermere, take a short walk to the east and you will see the large ‘Orrest Head’ sign which follows a lane most of the way on its 20-minute journey to the summit which is an easy climb.
There are a couple of seats at the summit which are ideal for a picnic. You can sit and take in the breathtaking views over Lake Windermere.
The World of Beatrix Potter
Situated in a disused old boat store at Bowness-on-Windermere, The World of Beatrix Potter is a delight for fans young and old as the visitor can explore the 23 magical stories which are brought to life in three dimensions. It felt like we were walking through the pages of the books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher.
The visitor also learns about the life of Beatrix Potter who besides being an author, illustrator and farmer was also a passionate conservationist.
As well as the new Laundry Cafe there is a gift shop and a small garden – see if you can spot Mr McGregor!