William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ is synonymous with Ullswater, but perhaps less known is that the Romantic writer also helped to popularise Windermere through his poem “There was a boy”. And anyone looking to experience the beauty of England‘s longest lake for themselves nowadays might like to add the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa to their wishlist. Perched on the shores of Windermere since the early 1900s, the hotel now hosts a total of 55 bedrooms.
On arrival, we were fortunate enough to park immediately outside the hotel entrance, close to some dedicated EV charging points, but there is ample parking around the corner if you are not quite so lucky. Check-in was swift and we were directed towards our room down a series of staircases, past the hotel’s newly-refurbished spa and to the other side of the building that looks out over Windermere. With the clocks having only recently moved forward, we still had enough time to squeeze in a spa treatment before watching the sun set just before dinner.
We stayed in the Windermere Suite – Beech Hill Hotel’s finest suite, with a large double bed that looks directly out towards the lake, two indoor loungers that look out to the same view, and a table that can be used as a desk or dressing table.
A large picture of a jetty on the wall is in fact a cleverly-disguised Samsung flatscreen TV, whilst a small table in the corner of the room is home to a kettle and a caddy containing tea, coffee and hot chocolate.
But what really makes the suite special is that both the indoor and outdoor space is utilised to great effect with large bifold doors extending out towards a decked area with sun loungers and a hot tub that’s big enough for five, let alone two, again with the same magnificent views across Windermere, against the backdrop of the Western Fells.
Beyond the decked area of the suite, the grounds of Beech Hill descend sharply to the lake shore, adorned with golden daffodils that – in the words of Wordsworth – flutter and dance in the breeze.
The bathroom is equipped with a stand-alone bath and supply of bath salts, a separate rainfall shower, a basin as wide as the bath’s length and a WC. Tall, stylish electric radiators double up as towel rails and ensure that the bathroom is cosy and inviting.
Bamboo and jasmine cleansing shampoo and nourishing conditioner, and other vegan-friendly toiletries from the Sedbergh-based Bath House are provided, whilst gowns and a hairdyrer could be found in a cupboard in the suite.
The hotel’s restaurant, Burlington’s, derives its name from the local slate quarried in the fells around the Lake District, and sets the tone for the local emphasis in the menu. Head Chef Lukasz Zebryk constantly strives to source and serve the very best locally-farmed, caught and grown produce, using Cumbrian and Lancastrian products where possible.
Enjoy a burst of flavours with the ham hock and pheasant terrine, a harmonious blend of succulent meats, enhanced by a savory black garlic ketchup and served with a hard boiled quails egg and almond crumb.
For a vegetarian option, indulge in the earthy richness of the chestnut mushroom and truffle oil risotto which is beautifully balanced by tangy pickled walnuts and a creamy crème fraiche.
Savour the tenderness of the poach-roasted local chicken supreme, accompanied by honey-roasted parsnips, velvety cauliflower cream and broccoli florets.
If you prefer seafood, the cod loin is a delectable choice and is served with a luscious bed of creamed leeks, saffron-infused potatoes, and a crispy pancetta topping.
For the pick of the mains, though, I recommend the Scottish salmon with a vibrant pea velouté, pan-fried baby potatoes, and a dollop of sour cream.
The Beech Hill sticky toffee pudding, with banana and butterscotch sauce, sounded too sickly for me, so I instead opted for the Tobago dark chocolate mousse with coconut meringue, spicy pickled pineapple and micro coriander.
The pistachio crème brûlée with hazelnut shortcake is also a winner.
The other highlight to the Beech Hill’s facilities is of course the Lakeview Spa where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in pure relaxation. Indulge in luxurious CAUDALIE Spa treatments, designed to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul, or relax at the pool, steam room, Jacuzzi and terrace, whilst taking in breathtaking vistas of Windermere.
Although it might feel as though you are in the middle of nowhere, the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa is surprisingly easy to access, midway along the lake road between Newby Bridge and Bowness-on-Windermere, which is less than 25 minutes’ drive from Junction 36 of the M6 motorway. Bowness and the village of Windermere are both within a 10 minute drive, and Ambleside within 20 minutes.
Any first time visitor to the area will love a trip out with Windermere Lake Cruises and, for those seeking flexibility, the Freedom of the Lake ticket is a great option that can be used over a 48-hour period. Hop on and off the cruises at various piers, allowing you to explore different towns, attractions, and walks along the lake’s shore. Alternatively, you can hire a self-drive motorboat to be at the helm of your own adventure.
In addition to having the entire Lake District as your playground, nearby attractions also include the National Trust’s Fell Foot site at the southern tip of the lake, as well as the Lakeland Motor Museum, Lakes Aquarium, Stott Park Bobbin Mill and Blackwell, to name just some within a very short drive of the hotel.
Lake View rooms start from £141 per night, including continental breakfast.
The Windermere Suite starts from £394 per night, including continental breakfast.
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The best bit
The big draw to the Lake District is of course the scenery, and the Beech Hill’s position on the eastern bank of Windermere doesn’t disappoint in this regard, with the most enviable and dramatic views across the lake to the Western Fells which constantly change and evolve with the prevailing weather conditions. Being able to enjoy all of this from the Windermere Suite was an added bonus.
The final verdict
Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or simply a moment of tranquility amidst beautiful scenery, the Beech Hill Hotel can deliver it all. With its charming ambiance, delightful cuisine, and intimate spa, here you will discover a haven that will stay with you long after you bid farewell.
Disclosure: Our stay was sponsored by Beech Hill Hotel and Spa.