Review: A tranquil slice of rustic paradise in Lake District
and live on Freeview channel 276
The awe-inspiring body of water stretches more than 10 miles long, a mile wide and 220 ft deep, making it the country’s biggest natural lake.
And this tranquil slice of rustic paradise in Cumbria is home to a host of serene and picturesque towns and villages that span along its banks.
To the north eastern corner of the mighty lake, nestled just a five-minute drive from the quaint town of Ambleside, is Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa.
Styling itself as “the first resort on Windermere's shoreline”, the eye-catching hotel complex overlooks the magnificent lake in a way that few hotel resorts in the Lake District can match.
It boasts two restaurants and bar areas with panoramic windows offering stunning views, as well as a host of contemporary rooms, a health club, watersports centre and a full, on-site spa.
Norman's bar near the resort’s entrance acts as a “social hub” with stylish seating and a feature fire, and has one of the best, sweeping views of the lake via window seats looking out onto Windermere’s shores.
Its Blue Smoke on the Bay restaurant offers a “wood-fired dining experience” with an upmarket menu of food cooked on the wood-fired grill beside the lake. While it may be pricey, it is competitive in the area and the views make up for it. The resort’s other restaurant - the Windermere Restaurant (or W) - has a very contemporary, modern feel and is where buffet breakfast is also served in the mornings.
Low Wood Bay also has a separate, special complex called The Winander Club, which features upgraded room features, personalised service, a rooftop terrace and special perks, exclusively reserved for its guests.
But the jewel in the crown at this resort has to be the spa.
With treatment rooms, a beautifully-lit indoor pool and refreshing dedicated sauna and steam rooms, there’s something for everyone inside.
And once the doors leading to its facilities outside open - revealing the wonders of Windermere, the lakeside air and backdrop of rustic landscape views - it’s hard not to be blown away.
Even in the winter months, temperatures hovering around 5C are hard to notice when taking in the surroundings.
It’s equipped with two large hot tubs, a fire pit and its ‘Fellside Infinity Pool’, which steals the show. The infinity pool is heated to the perfect temperature and, with the fells in the background behind, and the pool’s front edge overlooking the dazzling waters of Lake Windermere, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more relaxing space in nature.
The resort’s outdoor sauna is more than worthy of mention, too, with its rustic vibe and full-length glass windows revealing equally eye-catching views while you sweat off the stress.
And all of this is, of course, within range of an outdoor bar, where you can order a tipple of your choice ranging from Espresso Martinis to a refreshing pint of lager or even a coffee to crank up the relaxation levels further still.
The hotel offers a ‘Thermal Journey’ package, with timed access to these indoor and outdoor facilities which is well worth its value.
Several of the Wainwrights’ walking routes are nearby and the town of Ambleside, which has many independent shops, restaurants and attractions, is just a mile away, making this a go-to destination for those who want to explore and relax.