So I wanted to write a post on our recent trip this weekend to Windermere in the Lake District. As discussed in my Christmas gift post, our family kindly chipped in to allow us to have a little weekend trip away together. We ended up choosing Cragwood Country House Hotel on Groupon, which included a 2-night stay in a stunning country house with breakfast included, and a cream tea for a very reasonable price. Usually, we opt for a lodge with a hot tub for our weekend trips, but this offer was such a steal and the photos looked gorgeous so we thought why not.
We started our trip by stopping off at Darlington, and took a walk around and grabbed some tapas for lunch at The Old Yard Tapas Bar, which was a mixture of both Spanish and Greek tapas - the first I've ever seen! With full bellies and a Costa hot chocolate to go - we were back on the road to reach our destination of Windermere.
Upon arrival at Cragwood Country House Hotel, we were a little underwhelmed as the car park and entrance was at the side of the house, and was unrecognisable from the fantastic photos online. HOWEVER, this hotel did not disappoint. After checking in and being taken around a thorough tour of the hotel, we were left to free roam and explore the fantastic grounds. The hotel was situated right on the lake, with fantastic views and freshly mowed lawns - I felt like we were staying at Downton Abbey!
[caption id="attachment_2173" align="alignnone" width="3505"] Cragwood Country House Hotel[/caption]
The decor on the inside of the hotel was admittedly a little old-fashioned, and could've done with updating - but I feel like this is always the case with old grand houses. Our bedroom was very spacious, with a huuuuuge double bed, standard TV, and complimentary water and sweets. I'm not sure if this applied with all rooms, but facing out onto the grounds was a large bay window and window seat which was the perfect addition to the room and a great spot to enjoy your morning cuppa!
After a bit of exploring, we got a quick change and headed out for something to eat in Bowness-Upon-Windermere. We had searched on Trip Adviser for 'Oldie Worldie pubs' and were drawn into a little pub called Hole in T' Wall - and oh was it oldie worldie. From the second you stepped foot, the pub was dimly lit with candles and fires everywhere, stuffed animals hanging from the walls (creeped me out a bit, not gunna lie) and loads of knick knacks. Unfortunately, we weren't too swayed by the menu nor the food arriving to the table next to us, but we enjoyed a quick drink before heading over to The Flying Pig.
[caption id="attachment_2196" align="alignnone" width="3024"] Hole In T' Wall[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_2180" align="alignnone" width="3024"] The Flying Pig[/caption]
With full bellies, we headed back to the hotel to have a drink and relax. Cragwood showcased several dining rooms with an impressive breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, a bar and a handful of large lounge areas with big open fires. This hotel was the perfect place to wind down, and we ended both of our evenings here sipping gin in big leather armchairs and a roaring fire. The staff couldn't help you enough, and were always on hand to make sure you had a drink, the fires were kept alight, and to assist with anything else possible. We didn't actually have any lunch or dinner here as there was an abundance of restaurants nearby to sample, but the breakfast was absolutely outstanding! The first morning I ordered eggs Florentine and asked for bacon as an extra, they happily changed the menu to how you wanted with no fuss, and it was cooked to perfection.
[caption id="attachment_2192" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Eggs Florentine at Cragwood[/caption]
After our breakfast, we headed out to Keswick which was about a 45 minute drive down the road to meet my brother and sister in law for a quick coffee before setting off on our 10 mile walk around Derwent River. The different routes are all available here, and are a great bit of exercise for all fitness levels - it's definitely worth it for the view! (I've attached photo's at the end of this post so you can see for yourself!)
After completed our 10 mile walk (in approximately 3 hrs 20 mins), we headed into Keswick town centre and decided to grab a quick snack and have a nosy in the shops. However, tiredness soon hit and it was time to head back to the hotel for a nice hot bath and put our feet up. Once again we had a quick search on Trip Advisor, and settled on a little Italian restaurant called Dodd's in Ambleside, a town approximately 10 minute drive away. We soon replaced the burnt calories from the walk with pizza, pasta and cocktails - before heading back to the hotel for another chill by the fire.
On our final morning, our check out wasn't until 11pm, so we headed down for our final breakfast about half 9 and enjoyed a long and relaxed morning. We both opted for the full english breakfast this time which was fantastic, unfortunately - I got carried away stuffing my face that I didn't get a photo of this, but you'll just have to trust me on this one.
As the weather was very wet and grey on our final morning, we decided to take a slow leisurely drive back home to Hull, after a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and fantastic stay at Cragwood Country House Hotel. I would definitely recommend this hotel, and will most likely be returning!