Travel review: Pottering in the Lake District

The view from the Angel Inn in Bowness on Windermere.
The view from the Angel Inn in Bowness on Windermere.
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Lindeth Howe is a great luxury base from which you can explore the Lake District, writes Lee Sobot.

LEGENDARY children’s author Beatrix Potter’s most famous tale concerns a mischievous rabbit almost paying the price for venturing somewhere where he shouldn’t.

Disobedient Peter Rabbit would not heed his mother’s advice of staying well clear of farmer Mr McGregor’s garden and the mischievous furry mammal nearly got his comeuppance as a result.

Should have heeded wise instruction is the morale of the story.

Yet 75 years after her passing, the opposite advice applies to Peter Rabbit’s creator’s former home with a stay at the luxury Lindeth Howe highly recommended and promising memories to savour quite the opposite to those experienced by Peter Rabbit.

Potter is known to have written some of her famous children’s stories in the early 1900s whilst staying at Lindeth Howe which was built as a summer holiday home for a wealthy mill owner in 1879, situated in a 28-acre estate commanding fine views over Lake Windermere.

The property was then bought by Bruce Canon Vernon Wentworth of Wentworth Castle, near Barnsley – a retired Captain in Her Majesty’s Grenadier Guards –and the Potter family were amongst his guests.

After falling in love with the property, Potter bought Lindeth Howe for her mother in 1915 before inheriting the property after her mother’s passing 18 years later.

One century later, Lindeth Howe is today the world’s only hotel ever owned by Beatrix Potter whose legacy lives on from the beautiful carpets featured in Lindeth Howe’s bar rooms to the stunning views that Potter used to witness herself.

As part of the current owners’ 20th anniversary in 2018, Lindeth Howe unveiled a striking new look for the hotel aimed at broadening its appeal to visitors.

The £1m-plus investment included bold new décor, a unique new ‘tea room’ for conferences and weddings, and total refurbishment of its downstairs lounges and bar area.

One of those rooms is now named The Potter Room – rumoured to be the bedroom that Potter slept in.

As you would expect, the hotel’s suite’s feature beautiful interior design with highest quality furnishings and spectacular views over the gardens towards Lake Windermere and the fells beyond.

During the day or evening, the immaculate gardens are a joy to sit back and unwind in, perhaps after dinner at the hotel’s 2AA rosette restaurant, offering seasonal specials made from locally sourced ingredients.

Here, locally renowned head chef Chris Davies works his magic and the quality of food and cooking on offer at Lindeth Howe is abundantly evident once sitting down for breakfast which is charged at £15 per person for non-residents but frankly is probably worth the money.

Thankfully, the extremely comfortable, relaxing and welcoming Lindeth Howe then provides the perfect place to unwind after you’ve been watered and fed, yet the hotel is far from being in the middle of nowhere or in the sticks.

Sat in the tranquil The Potter Room, it seems unimaginable to think that the bustling tourist town of Bowness-in-Windermere is only a 20-minute walk away boasting as many attractions as you can fit into a day.

The town itself only has a population of around 4,000 but tourists not surprisingly flock to the pretty lakeside destination which is blessed with an abundance of cafes, shops and bars.

A visit to the Vinegar Jones fish and chip shop is a must if the queue is not too daunting while there can be few better views in the Lake District then the superb vantage point from the top of the Angel public house.

Attractions and activities are also aplenty with the Windermere Lake boat cruises the most popular attraction in Cumbria whilst there is always the opportunity to hire a bike and cycle the lake’s tranquil western shore.

An array of historic houses, scenic viewpoints and outdoor challenges are all within easy reach.

You can head slightly further afield to explore Coniston, Grizedale Forest, Hawkshead and Grasmere.

Or let the locally organised Mountain Goat Tours do it for you – tours by bus of the stunning local area – with ‘Beatrix Potter’s favourite countryside’ among the most popular tours the firm has to offer.

The area and Lindeth Howe in particular was evidently a favourite of the author and, albeit now in a very different era, it’s easy to see why.

FAME AND ACCLAIMED

The 34-bedroom Lindeth Howe hotel was shortlisted for the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 in the Small Hotel of the Year category.

Beatrix Potter wrote some of her famous children’s stories at Lindeth Howe in the 1900s. Potter than bought Lindeth Howe for her mother in 1915 before inheriting the property after her mother’s passing.

For more information on both Christmas and New Year breaks at Lindeth Howe visit https://www.lindeth-howe.co.uk/’