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The Lake District is the best known part of the county of Cumbria. But there is more to Cumbria than the Lake District.
The Hotel Guru's selection of the best places to stay in Cumbria features hotels across the board from luxurious hideaways in the Lakes like Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, an immaculate country house hotel to The Sun Inn in Kirkby Lonsdale a characterful town pub in a charming market town.
Cumbria is a land of beauty and variety, from its busy cities and historic market towns to its stone and slate villages, each possessing their own character.
Cumbria's landscape is diverse. Wild fells and high passes with endless views stir the imagination. Quiet pastoral countryside and valleys enchant. Rivers twist and tumble.
Glacial lakes reflect cloud-topped mountains. Man-made drystone walls march across the dales. Woodlands and coastal scenery add to the mix.
The best places to stay in Cumbria to explore this rich landscape include Sharrow Bay a luxury retreat with top notch cuisine and walking straight from the door.
For something a little less extravagant check out the Howtown Hotel near Penrith. It's very old fashioned, down-to-earth and is hugely popular with walkers.
Another great place to stay is the Wasdale Head Inn, famous with the climbing fraternity and spectacularly situated below Scafell Pike.
The legacy of the past is here in prehistoric and Roman remains. Stone circles and burial cairns dot the land. Old Roman roads and forts still command attention.
Historic places of worship and ruined castles speak of Norman times. Country houses and gardens delight the visitor.
For those with a penchant for literary history The Tower Bank Arms is next door to Beatrix Potter's house or if Norman history is your thing then a stay at the Tufton Arms should suit - Appleby castle is on your doorstep.
Walkers call this county 'paradise'. Everywhere the grandeur of the scenery speaks to the glory of Cumbria.
Its best places to stay reflect its atmosphere and rugged surroundings. A warm welcome, good food and a comfortable bed are at their heart.
For great food in a remote location try the Cottage in the Wood overlooking the Skiddaw Range; New House Farm is similarly off the beaten track, but boasts fabulous views plus a 17 acre garden with hot tub.
The Pheasant Inn is situated near Lake Bassenthwaite in the less touristy Northern Lakes and is staunchly traditional but in a good way - roaring log fires and oak panelled bar.
For those who simply want to visit Cumbria to lap up the beauty of the Lakes, then book a room at Linthwaite House Hotel. It's an Edwardian pile with glorious views over Windermere and a great restaurant.
The Swan Hotel and Spa overlooks the river Leven on the southern shore of Lake Windermere. As well as luxury accommodation it offers top notch spa, plus swimming pool and gym - so plenty to do if the weather's not playing ball.
Last but not least in our summary of the best places to stay in Cumbria is Augill Castle a family friendly treat for everyone.
It's a quirky property with great atmosphere and more importantly all sorts of thing for the kids to get up to - including their very own children's cookery school.
For our full selection of the best places to stay in Cumbria, browse the list below. If there's nothing of interest here, try our picks in nearby Lancashire.
Immaculate, spoiling Relais & Chateaux country house hotel, with luxurious bedrooms, private suites in the grounds, top notch service and well reviewed dining. Separate Lake House with suites, pool and spa.
Charming hotel located in the hills surrounding Lake Windemere. Beautiful views, Michelin chefs, separate cottage.
Stately hotel on shores of Lake Ullswater. Forests, hillsides, views. Luxury bedrooms, classical decor - the original Lakeland country house hotel
Intimate 'drinks before dinner' atmosphere in this charming Regency house hotel in a peaceful valley near Keswick. Excellent walking on its doorstep and a stroll from Derwentwater.
Contemporary B&B in the heart of the Lake District. Romantic interiors. Monochrome rooms, breakfast included.
Stay at this old coaching inn, with fine dining and a bistro, to avoid the crowds. Close to Lake Bassenthwaite, in the less touristy north, it's cosy, with access to local spa and pool.
Slick, stylish yet relaxed Edwardian hotel, with gorgeous hilltop views over Lake Windemere and the fells. Good walking from the door, excellent restaurant. Ask for larger rooms with views.
nr Penrith, Cumbria
Wonderful old-fashioned, down-to-earth hotel, popular with walkers. No frills like TVs or phones, good value with great views and hearty meals. Tranquil lakeside setting. Closed in winter.
Comfortable, luxurious country house style in this classic former hunting lodge, with Michelin starred food. Fabulous views over Lake Windemere from restaurant and many rooms. Small spa, extensive grounds.
nr Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria
Eccentric, fabulous family castle hotel stuffed with antiques and four posters in pretty rural setting midway between the Lake District and the Dales. Good base for expeditions if you have a car. Excellent for children and families.
400 year old farmhouse in remote part of Lake District. Spectacular Lakeland views, 17 acre gardens. Traditional interiors, oak beams, open fire places. Restaurant/dining room, tea room.
Secluded country house in 18 acres of gardens and woodland. French windows, ballustraded terraces, views. Spacious comfortable rooms, award winning restaurant.
Quintessential English manor house in the heart of Cumbria. Country retreat, gardens. Elegant lounges, individually styled rooms, restaurant.
Victorian house set in 5 acres of gardens overlooking Lake Windermere. Panoramic lake views. Spacious airy rooms, gardens, restaurant.
near Gosforth, Cumbria
Famous climbing inn at the head of Wasdale, spectacularly sited below Scafell Pike with magnificent views. Hearty food and simple but comfortable rooms. Self catering available.
nr Keswick, Cumbria
Great food and remote location in a converted 17th century coaching inn in a mountain forest, with magnificent views. Cottagey feel, popular with walkers, good value.
One of a kind and full of character: old fashioned, genteel Victorian hotel in a Lake District seaside resort. Ornate rooms, fine dining, pool and spa. Weddings galore.
Hotel overlooking the River Leven on the South shore of Lake Windemere. Views, walks, airy interiors. Indoor pool and spa, brasserie and bar.
Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria
Characterful and ancient town pub with rooms in charming market town near the Lake District and the Dales. Popular with locals for its award winning menu. A great base for serious walking, but need a car.
Classic and atmospheric Lakeland village inn, next to Beatrix Potter's former home. Good local food and ales, just four rooms, fine walks from the door. A mile from Lake Windemere.