Cumbria

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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 Overview

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 get very busy especially during the summer months. So our advice is to plan ahead: either book well in advance or else come during the quieter months, when you can really appreciate this stunning county without the crowds.

Best places to stay in Cumbria

For exploring the great outdoors

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.

For culture

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.

If Norman history is your thing then a stay at the Tufton Arms should suit - Appleby castle is on your doorstep.

For walkers

Walkers call this county 'paradise'. Everywhere the grandeur of the scenery speaks to the glory of Cumbria.

The best places to stay in Cumbria for walkers reflect its atmosphere and rugged surroundings. A warm welcome, good food and a comfortable bed are at their heart.

  • New House Farm is 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 enjoying the lakes

  • 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.

For families

  • 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.

 
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The best hotels in Cumbria

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  • Wasdale Head Inn

    near Gosforth, Cumbria

    Famous climbing inn at the head of Wasdale, spectacularly sited below Scafell Pike with magnificent views. Satisfy your stomach with hearty pub food or enjoy the finer things in the wood-panelled Dining Room. Rooms are simple but extremely comfortable and all boast breathtaking views.

    12 rooms from $78
    Great walks  -  Miles from anywhere, this Inn has some of the most unspoilt walking in England.
    Views  -  All bedrooms have stunning views of Wasdale
    Climbing  -  At the foot of England's highest mountain
    Sights nearby  -  The Smallest Church in England, St Olaf's at Wasdale Head.
  • Black Swan

    Cumbria

    Experience English village life in this traditional country inn. Rooms are decorated in a 'country' style with soft palettes and furnishings. Explore the leafy grounds or enjoy some gastro pub grub and a pint of local ale at the popular restaurant. Pack the car and the kids and the dog!

    14 rooms from $106
    Traditional
    Great walks  -  Plenty of long walks in the Lake District, England's largest National Park
    Fishing  -  Wild trout fising with John Pape Angling
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Rampsbeck

    Penrith, Cumbria

    A fine country house overlooking the shores of Ullswater and the Cumbrian fells beyond. The rooms are comfortable, light, airy and some boast fabulous views. Produce is locally sourced and the menus are created to appeal to your appetite. Activites abound to leave you feeling relaxed and content.

    19 rooms from $113
    Great walks  -  On the fells of Helvelynn, fabulous views.
    Restrictions on children  -  All children allowed at hotel. Over 10s only in Restaurant.
    Sights nearby  -  Patterdale, Watermillock and Howtown.
    Birdwatching  -  Lakeland Bird Of Prey Centre
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Sun Inn

    Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

    Traditional town pub with comfortable rooms in a 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. Dog friendly with lots of outdoor activities on offer in the surrounding area.

    11 rooms from $131
    Local exploring  -  Great base for exploring both the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
    Great walks  -  Ingleton Waterfalls Trail.
    Inn  -  Authentic market town pub
    Sights nearby  -  Devil’s Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Punch Bowl Inn

    Lyth Valley, Cumbria

    Quaint 18th Century Inn, ideally situated in a Lake District village with sweeping valley views. Plush boutique styling throughout, rooms exude comfort and indulge in modern bathrooms. Popular lunch food for locals and great dinner menu. Good base for local exploring but a car is needed.

    9 rooms from $139
    Romantic Break  -  Ideal for a romantic weekend away, with his and hers tubs, candlelite dinners and sweeping views of the countryside.
    Active Holiday  -  Some of the best walking in the British Isles is right on your doorstep, be sure to bring your hiking boots!
    Foodies  -  Chef Scott Fairweather never fails to impress, with local ingrediants and inventive combinations.
    Great walks  -  With something for every level of comitment, from full day hikes to an afternoon stroll.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Drunken Duck Inn

    Cumbria

    In the little village of Ambleside, nestled amongst the Southern Lowland Fells lies this 18th century inn. Arguably the Lake's most famous gastro pub it is also a pretty superb hotel. Rooms and gardens look like a 'Country Living' spread. What's more? Guests have access to nearby Langdale Club.

    17 rooms from $139
    Spa  -  Langdale Spa and Country Club which is situated in Elterwater which is a 15 minutes drive
    Sights nearby  -  Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, former homes of poet William Wordsworth
    Great walks  -  Traverse the Southern Lowland Fells
    Full of character
    Recommended by  -  CN Traveller
  • Number 43

    Cumbria

    Award winning B&B with breathtaking views over the Kent Estuary. Bedrooms are light and airy and decorated in fresh coastal tones, furnished with Lloyd Loom bespoke furniture and Herdwick pure wool carpets. Modern showers & underfloor heating add to the luxury. A luxury base for exploring the area.

    6 rooms from $146
    Views  -  Stunning views across the Kent Estuary.
    Great walks  -  Arnside offers good walking for a wide range of abilities. Take an invigorating stretch up to Arnside Knott.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Levens Hall and Holker Hall.
    Fishing  -  Visit Wych Elm Fly Fishery
  • Willowbeck Lodge

    Carlisle, Cumbria

    A family affair exceeding expectations. Owners create gourmet dishes, whilst son runs a successful on site coffee shop. Double storey, windows look out onto acres of garden and woodland beyond. Fresh, country style rooms with large four piece bathrooms make the most of views with private balconies.

    4 rooms from $146
    Back to Nature  -  Located in acres of beautiful gardens, complete with woodland, stream, lake and within easy reach of The Lake District.
    Great walks  -  The Lake District, England's largest National Park, provides some of the most beautiful and best walking routes.
    Sights nearby  -  Carlisle Castle is within easy reach and well worth a visit.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children above the age of 12 are permitted.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • Moss Grove Organic Hotel

    Cumbria, The Lake District

    Moss Grove Organic, ideally situated in the heart of the Lake District aims to be as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. Each of the 11 rooms share a relaxed and totally natural style. Their mediterranean style buffet uses locally sourced organic produce. A private hideaway.

    11 rooms from $151
    Sights nearby  -  Lake District Tour from Windermere
    Local markets  -  Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread Shop
    Cycling  -  The Cyclist's Coast to Coast
    Great walks  -  Coast to Coast Guided Walk
  • Fayrer Garden House Hotel

    Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria

    Victorian house set in 5 acres of gardens overlooking Lake Windermere. Panoramic lake views. Spacious airy rooms, gardens, restaurant.

    28 rooms from $159
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Fishing  -  Excellent fishing nearby.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Johansens
  • L’Enclume

    Cumbria, The Lake District

    Michelin-starred, restaurant-with-rooms with a low-key, relaxed style in a pretty village setting. Creative, locally sourced food and simple but smart rooms that together add up to a wonderfully refreshing and easy-going atmosphere. Cosy suites are the perfect retreat after a slap up meal.

    16 rooms from $171
    Foodies  -  Fans of haute cuisine will rave about the Michelan starred restaurant
    Great walks  -  Across the village to Cartmel's medieval priory
    Sights nearby  -  Have a flutter at nearby Cartmel racecourse
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
  • Nanny Brow

    Cumbria

    Nanny Brow is a luxury B and B which manages to blend traditional features with contemporary comforts perfectly. The airy bedrooms are light and elegant and work in harmony with antique furnishings. Clean, bright bathrooms with double-ended baths. The views across Brathay Valley are breathtaking.

    11 rooms from $172
    Great walks  -  Fantastic for walkers - Miles of great walks over Loughrigg Fell
    Views  -  Beautiful views stretching for five miles of the Brathay Valley
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
    Back to Nature
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
  • Cedar Manor

    Windermere, The Lake District

    This former vicar's house is a heavenly stay very close to Lake Windermere with impressive views. A hearty menu of gourmet meals is served. Comfortable rooms, some modern some ecclesiastical in theme are decorated with Zoffany fabrics and Lloyd Loom wicker. The coach-house bathroom is palatial.

    8 rooms from $179
    Fishing  -  From brown trout to salmon there is a huge variety to be caught in Cumbria's lakes and rivers for the DIY fish supper.
    Sights nearby  -  The Beatrix Potter House and Museum is a charming afternoon out.
    Restrictions on children  -  Children are not permitted at this hotel.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Tufton Arms Hotel

    Appleby in Westmorland, Cumbria

    Old coaching inn in the centre of picturesque Appleby. Elegant rooms, antiques, rich fabrics. Conservatory restaurant, wine shop, bar.

    22 rooms from $179
    Fishing  -  In the River Eden nearby
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
  • Applegarth Villa

    Windermere, The Lake District

    Adults-only, boutique bolthole with high-quality, designer bedrooms, including sumptuous suites with private hot-tubs. Family-run with a relaxed atmosphere and bistro-style restaurant and bar with an expansive collection of whiskeys. A real, spoiling treat in a great location.

    22 rooms from $186
    Romantic Break  -  Adults only hotel with a cocktail bar, huge rooms and private hot tubs
    Sights nearby  -  Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth's houses are a short drive away
    Private Hot Tub  -  All the seven suites have their own private outdoor hot tub.
    Sailing  -  A sailing trip along the iconic Lake Windemere
  • Eltermere Inn

    Cumbria

    Everything you would want from a Georgian property. Traditional decor, high ceilings and roll top baths; this is sophisticated country living. The restaurant offers a hearty, locally sourced menu & a well picked wine list. Guests enjoy complimentary entry to Langdale Spa as well as many activities.

    12 rooms from $186
    Great walks  -  The Langdales are great for walkers - book a day with Mike Wood, the hotel's recommended guide
    Sights nearby  -  The Wordsworth Museum, Beatrix Potter's house, Ruskin's house are all close by
    Hideaway  -  Get away from it all in this beautiful Lakelands inn
    Spa  -  Guests have complimentary access to Langdale Spa
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays, Good Hotel Guide
  • The Pheasant Inn

    Cockermouth, Cumbria

    An old, remote coaching inn, with fine dining and bistro. Friendly and welcoming with well kept gardens and a cosy lounge with fireplace. Enjoy country walks and fishing in the nearby Lake Bassenthwaite. A country retreat with access to local spa and pool.

    15 rooms from $186
    Foodies  -  Enjoy locally sourced produce at this acclaimed casual Bistro- think wholesome food, fine wines and craft ales.
    Country Escape  -  Make the most of your surroundings at this charming coaching inn just meters from the Bassenthwaite Lake.
    Sights nearby  -  Head to Dalemain House and Gardens and explore the historic house and it's beautiful gardens.
    Great walks  -  Sale Fell is on your doorstep, and for the more adventurous Skiddaw range 10 mins away.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Overwater Hall

    Ireby, Cumbria

    Secluded country house in 18 acres of gardens and woodland. French windows, ballustraded terraces, views. Spacious comfortable rooms, award winning restaurant.

    11 rooms from $199
    Restrictions on children  -  No children under 5 allowed in the restaurant
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Askham Hall Hotel

    Penrith, Cumbria

    Country house hotel with a thoroughly modern twist. Large comfortable rooms with up to date bathrooms, enviable views, enticing food and homely feel. Great for stop over or a cosy weekend.

    12 rooms from $199
    Garden  -  Attractive outside space.
    Spa
    Full of character
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
  • Farlam Hall

    Brampton, Cumbria

    Quintessential English manor house in the heart of Cumbria. Country retreat, gardens. Elegant lounges, individually styled rooms, restaurant.

    12 rooms from $199
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Secluded setting  -  For escaping.
    Four poster beds  -  For romantics.
  • Grange Hotel

    Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria

    One of a kind and full of character: old fashioned, genteel Victorian hotel. Ornate rooms with heavily draped beds and antique style furniture. Beautifully manicured gardens. Blissful indoor pool, jacuzzi and extensive spa. Fabulous restaurant. Wonderfully romantic.

    50 rooms from $212
    Local exploring  -  Set on four acres of landscaped parklands boardering the Lake District, yet within the town and convenient for exploring.
    Great walks  -  Endless walks in the fells, tarns and lakes of the National Park, plus the hotel will pack you a lunch.
    Sights nearby  -  Entertain children at the Beatrix Potter Experience, a wonderful family outing.
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Spa Swimming Pool
  • New House Farm

    Cockermouth, Cumbria

    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.

    5 rooms from $212
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • The Waterhead Hotel

    Coniston, Cumbria

    A stylish bolthole amongst the rugged scenery of the Lake District, with views of Windermere lake. With sleek and airy rooms, a lively bistro-style restaurant and free access to a nearby leisure centre, it’s a place to relax and recharge. There is a jazzy bistro restaurant and good wine selection.

    41 rooms from $219
    Country Escape  -  Lakeside property with ringside view of Windemere and the beauty of Cumbria
    Sights nearby  -  Both Wordsworth's and Beatrix Potter's former houses are under 10kms
    Sailing  -  Take a boat out on the famous Lake Windemere
    Great walks  -  Up 'The Old Man of Coniston'
  • Howtown Hotel

    nr Penrith, Cumbria

    Wonderful old-fashioned, down-to-earth hotel in the Lake District. Popular with walkers and those seeking the peace and quiet provided by absense of TVs, wifi and phones. Good value with great views and hearty meals. Tranquil lakeside setting.

    13 rooms from $220
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the historic Dalemain House, with tudor and medieval rooms, behind a Georgian façade.
    Great walks  -  Fabulous base for walks around the Lake District.
    Views  -  Beautiful views over Ullswater
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide
  • The Swan Hotel & Spa

    Cumbria

    Overlooking the River Leven on the South shore of Lake Windemere. Traditional, whitewashed Lakeland coaching inn with smart and colourful, contemporary interiors and a great, family-friendly ethos. Boasting views, walks and airy interiors plus indoor pool and spa, brasserie and bar. A great stay.

    58 rooms from $235
    Country Escape  -  Surrounded by Cumbria's rolling hills with all the trimmings of a proper country stay
    Great walks  -  Several easy walks from the hotel, or nearby Gummer’s How is an easy climb with fantastic views
    Sights nearby  -  Holker Hall and Levens Hall both boast beautiful gardens
    Sailing  -  Sailing on Lake Windermere
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays
  • Augill Castle

    Nr Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria

    Standing between the Lake District and the Dales rests this eccentric castle welcoming all the family into the countryside and the Eden Valley. Four poster beds and antique furnishings make up the comfortable rooms. Restaurant is open on weekends. Great hideaway and local exploring to be done.

    14 rooms from $239
    Families  -  With fantasatic facilities for kids, from cooking classes, to playgrounds, dressing up boxes and plenty of toys.
    Country Escape  -  Spectacular walking, wonderful views and whiskey in the drawing room old school weekend in the country vibes.
    Great walks  -  With national parks all around, this is the perfect spot to get on your walking boots.
    Cooking classes  -  The hotel has a wonderful cookery school for children.
    Recommended by  -  I Escape, Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • The Windermere Suites

    Windermere, Cumbria

    Designer B&B with eight lavish and sexy monochrome suites including sultry accents and highlights of silver and uber-modern lights. Bathrooms have TVs and mood lighting - plus it’s always breakfast. Located in the heart of the Lake District it is a chic little retreat amidst traditional surrounds.

    16 rooms from $239
    Romantic Break  -  Large suites with private hot tubs are made for romance
    Sights nearby  -  William Wordsworth’s homes at Dove Cottage and Beatrix Potter's House are close by
    Sailing  -  Lake cruises on Windermere
    Swimming Pool  -  Indoor Pool
    Recommended by  -  Johansens
  • Linthwaite House Hotel

    Windermere, Cumbria

    Slick, stylish designs meet an intimate Edwardian country house offering all round comfort. Award winning dishes and fine wines at the restaurant. From its hilltop location over Lake Windermere and the Fells - explore The Lake District on foot, bike or horseback. Serenity at its finest!

    30 rooms from $260
    Exclusive offer  -  Lazy Days and Sundays
    Total relaxation  -  Pamper yourself with in-room beauty treatments and massages, refreshing walks and spoiling four course meals.
    Romantic Break  -  Take the stunning views, plush suites, two man tubs and candlelit dinners and you are guaranteed romance.
    Fishing  -  Try your hand at Fly fishing on the hotel's lake, a wonderfully peacefull way to spend an afternoon.
    Great walks  -  The hotel provides route-finding sheets of all the spectcular local walks, plus a guide if needed.
  • Swinside Lodge Hotel

    Keswick, Cumbria

    Intimate, charming Regency House rests in a peaceful valley. Comfortable rooms make a great place to rest ones head after a day of countryside rambling. Indulge all your senses at the award winning restaurant, matched with a fine wine list. Fantastic hideaway spot for all the family and loved ones.

    7 rooms from $260
    Country Escape  -  Enjoy the peaceful serenity of The Lake District, plus a whole host of outdoor activites.
    Great walks  -  At the foot of Cat Bells, with the Allerdale Ramble a short walk away.
    Full of character
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Recommended by  -  Good Hotel Guide, Sawdays
  • Sharrow Bay

    Penrith, Cumbria

    Stately hotel on shores of Lake Ullswater. Forests, hillsides, views. Luxury bedrooms, classical decor - the original Lakeland country house hotel

    24 rooms from $265
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
  • Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

    Windermere, Cumbria

    Immaculate, Relais & Chateaux country house hotel, with luxurious bedrooms and private suites. A separate Lake House with suites, pool, spa and rooms with private Hot Tubs. Set in 40 acres of stunning surroundings with a picturesque lake and lots of activities to offer nearby.

    31 rooms from $285
    Foodies  -  Chef Hrishikesh Desai knocks it out of the park everytime, he crafts exciting menus using locally sourced wonderful ingrediants.
    Romantic Break  -  Six of the incredible suites come with their own private gardens and cedarwood hot tubs, ideal for a romantic getaway!
    Country Escape  -  20-acre gardens filled with magnolia, cherry blossoms and copper beech, not to mention the stunnig private lake.
    Fishing  -  Fishing can be organised on site, either on the private lake or a day trip to somewhere nearby.
  • The Samling Hotel

    Windermere, Cumbria

    Charming hotel located in the hills surrounding Lake Windemere. Beautiful views, Michelin chefs, separate cottage.

    11 rooms from $292
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Remote  -  Off the beaten track.
    Romantic  -  Good for couples.
    Great walks  -  Good for walkers.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Holbeck Ghyll Hotel

    Windermere, Cumbria

    Luxurious former Hunting Lodge overlooking Lake Windermere makes for an intimate hideaway. Classically styled rooms offer comfort and views. Michelin starred food and an extensive wine list welcome you at the dining room. Whether enjoying the spa or exploring the grounds - relaxing is on the cards!

    23 rooms from $345
    Total relaxation  -  Unwind in Victorian English style with pampering suites overlooking Lake Windermere, spa services and impeccable service.
    Active Holiday  -  Walkers and ramblers bring your wellies and explore this stunning part of the country.
    Great walks  -  Ask at the front desk for an outline of the wonderful walks around the lake and beyond.
    Private Hot Tub  -  Miss Potter Suite and Ghyll Side cottage both feature a private hot tub.
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