Georgian grandeur gets a contemporary remake at Another Place – a handsome home turned family-friendly hotel in the Lake District national park. Fell-flecked scenery unfurls from every window, sloping down to a private lake shore and Ullswater's sail-graced surface. Indeed, everything at Another Place flows back to the source, from the lake views you'll spy from almost all 40 rooms to the Swim Club spa with its water-facing pool. On the lake-step, you'll find running trails, horse-riding, cycling and kayaking – even wild swimming for the brave. But no pep talks needed for a trip to the Rampsbeck restaurant, which revels in regional produce, with local Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay shrimp. It's Another Place, entirely...
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A bottle from the essential-oil-packed Land&water bath and body range; Goldsmiths receive two bottles
Double rooms from £165.33, including tax at 5 per cent.
All rates include a buffet breakfast. Each morning, the restaurant turns into an open pantry, with guests helping themselves to hot and cold dishes, including fresh waffles. Chefs are on hand to whip up made-to-order items like omelettes or porridge.
Your stay might include a room move, but if that's the case, both rooms will be equally lovely.
At the hotel
Acres of grounds (18 in total) including a vegetable garden; a fire-warmed library stocked with board games; a gym with Matrix cross-trainer, rowing machine, treadmill, fitness bike, weights and yoga mats. In rooms: TV; free WiFi; fridge stocked with fresh milk and Tunnocks teacakes; kettle; coffee and tea-making kit; Ruark Bluetooth sound system; Land&Water bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If you’re bringing the whole clan to this very family friendly hotel, opt for the Best Family Suite, which sleeps two adults and four children, with bunk beds for kids. Still not enough space? The Best Family Cottage has an open-plan living area, kitchen and wood-burning stove. Couples will love the Better rooms, which have a partial lake view. Some are in the Georgian House and have antique furniture, the rest are in the contemporary wing and have Juliette balconies or access to the garden.
There’s an impressive 20m infinity pool, with incredible views of Ullswater and the fells beyond. Winter guests, don’t worry: it’s indoors and heated, encased within sculptural, glass-lined walls. There’s even a hot tub outside for romantic star-gazing (once the resident little Smiths have scampered off to bed): it's particularly arresting in a national park with two Dark Sky Discovery areas. Wild swimming awaits for those who want to embrace the outdoors further.
After long lakeside walks, the spa is a sanctuary, with two treatment rooms and a treatment snug, where you can spruce up with manicures and pedicures. Massages, body scrubs, wraps and facials are available – even a Full Works option for head-to-toe pampering.
Grab your Fjällräven eco-shell jacket, Aigle wellies and backpack by Topo Designs.
All ground-floor common areas can be accessed by wheelchair and there are two accessible guest rooms. There's also a hoist in the pool and a disabled parking space near the door (which has a ramp). Beyond the hotel grounds, the terrain gets trickier.
All ages are very welcome. Under-threes stay for free; children aged three to seven are charged at 25 per cent of the double-room rate.
Another Place is suitable for children of all ages.
The Best Family Suite, which has a master bedroom with a seating area and a separate bunk room. All family rooms have placid lake views, too.
There’s an Ofsted-registered creche on site (the Kid’s Zone), that takes babies as young as six months – it’s free and open daily, but booking in advance is recommended (you’ll need to stay onsite, too).
The hotel can provide games to maintain happiness for hours on end, in the rooms, as well as outside. Speaking of outside, you’ve got 18 acres of gardens and national parkland to explore… For older children, the hotel can organise family kayaking and paddle-boarding lessons – they’ll even saddle you up ponies for a spot of trekking. During school holidays, extra adventures are arranged, such as archery, raft building and night walks. Got a budding biker on your hands? Take a ride around the Dales and Lakes loop or hit the family friendly trails at Lowther Castle. In wet weather, make the most of the two indoor play areas: the Cabin for little Smiths aged three to seven and the Safari Tent for over sevens. Play areas are free to use all day, with supervision at certain hours. Little ones won’t want to go home.
Children are welcome in the swimming pool during family hours (9am–6pm).
Children are welcome in both restaurants. There’s a kids' menu in the Living Space and high chairs at both restaurants.
Book in advance for babysitting; it’s £12 an hour, for a minimum of three hours.
No need to pack
Travel cots; cot linens; highchairs; books; puzzles; crayons and paints; age-appropriate DVDs and indoor/outdoor toys. The hotel can provide a tablet so you can keep an eye on your children.
There are also games consoles; arts and craft materials; a pool table; table tennis; table football; an outdoor climbing frame; camp-fire cooking; bush craft, orienteering and more.
To soak up the lake-front views, grab a table in the corner of Living Space. Or, if you’d like to watch the chef at work, choose one of the kitchen-facing round tables. In Rampsbeck, the views of the open kitchen are towards the back of the restaurant.
No jacket required at these relaxed restaurants: you can even pop down for lunch in Living Space in your bathrobe, if dressing seems too taxing. You’ll want to dust off the outdoors before dinner in Rampsbeck, but a tie would be overdoing it.
There are two top-notch dining dens: the Living Space and Rampsbeck. Both are led by head chef Ashley Bennet and have a decidedly relaxed and unstuffy feel. The Living Space focuses on family-style eating with great sharing plates, salads and sandwiches (the fish and chips are fantastic). In summer, you can dine outside on the open-air terrace. The menu at ever-so-slightly more formal Rampsbeck revolves around fresh, regional produce. Star dishes include the Cumbrian lamb rump with
seasonal vegetables (sourced from local farms or the hotel's vegetable garden) and Morecombe Bay potted shrimp. Leave room for dessert: the chef’s sweet treats include a delectable pistachio cake with thyme-poached peaches. The sleek, contemporary decor throughout wouldn't be out of place in a city-centre members' club, with Scandi chairs, bare-wood tables and earthy, organic paints.
The informal hotel bar is at the back of Living Space, with an extensive gin menu, if you love a strong G&T. Seasonal cocktails, featuring herbs and flowers from the hotel's garden, are spirit raising.
In Rampsbeck, breakfast is 7.30am to 10.30am; dinner 5.30pm to 8.30pm. Food’s available in the Living Space from noon to 4pm and 5pm to 8.30pm. The bar pours tipples from 10am to 9.30pm (last orders for bar snacks is 9.30pm).
Anything from the Living Space menu can be delivered to your room during restaurant hours and a little beyond, till 9.30pm.
Another Place is at the edge of Ullswater, surrounded by 18 acres of gardens and extensive national parkland in the north of the Lake District. It can be found just off the A592 after exiting the M6.
Manchester and Newcastle airports are equidistant: both about an hour’s drive away.
Penrith train station is six miles from the hotel, with regular trains from London Euston, Manchester and Glasgow.
There’s a free car park next door. You'll need a car in this rural area: great for accessing walking routes and restaurants.
Worth getting out of bed for
Never been Nordic walking? Now's your chance. The hotel can arrange a guided trial of this all-body workout, as well as mountain-fitness training, pony trekking and swim clinics: two-day sessions with Salim Ahmed from Swim Lab, which school you on perfecting your front crawl, open-water technique and more are held once a month. Indeed, with its prime waterfront location by the second-largest lake in the district, Another Place practically begs you to take the plunge. Ullswater Steamersare a great way to explore: a fleet of heritage 19th-century boats that cruise the crystalline waters and connect you with popular walking routes (non-hikers can sip wine on the deck and take in the views). There are plenty of trails to hike, but make sure you set your sights on Aira Force waterfallat least once – it's even more impressive when it rains, as you’ll witness the falls in full force. An alternative blustery-day activity, particularly for little Smiths, is the Rheged Centre– 10 minutes’ drive away and home to a children’s theatre, art gallery and soft-play centre.
For a real gastronomic treat, get yourself to Forest Side for a Michelin-worthy meal from chef Kevin Tickle, former forager atL’Enclume (also worth a visit). At Forest Side, inspiration comes from the surrounding hills, with a menu that showcases some of Cumbria’s finest produce. Another culinary hot spot is Lake Road Kitchen, a 40-minute drive into the heart of the Lake District. Wordsworth’s old neck of the woods, Grasmere, is also nearby, where you’ll find a vibrant and varied menu at the Jumble Room. If too much wandering lonely as a cloud has worked up an appetite, try the Persian lamb rump or Malaysian seafood curry. If you’re longing for a proper pub and have a four-legged friend, the Bistro at the historic Pheasant Inn across from Bassenthwaite Lake is the place for venison burgers and refreshing pints.
If you’re looking for a relaxing minibreak in the UK, I cannot think of a better location than the Lake District. I had heard stories about the allure of its peaceful green stretches and glassine waters, and that of Ullswater-set boutique hotel Another Place, but it’s only when you catch the fast train from Euston and arrive in charming Cumbrian town Penrith (a three-hour journey) that I start to see what all the fuss is about. The hotel is a quick 15-minute taxi ride from the station and on arrival you are instantly transported to, well, another place, indeed. At the time of my visit I was looking for some calm and this stay, which prides itself on creating a tranquil environment, proved to be ideal. There are 40 rooms at various prices, many overlooking Ullswater Lake, which is nine miles long and the star of a dramatic view alongside hills and forest in the background. In an instant, you are at one with nature.
The residence itself has a wonderful laidback feel, with contemporary interiors that enhance the building’s original Georgian design. The staff are incredibly friendly and quick to update you on the day’s activities. We stayed in a Family Room overlooking the lake which had its own balcony – perfect for an afternoon tea. The room decor was simple, with dark-wood furnishings and a four-poster bed. I wasn’t keen on the striking modern artwork exhibited on the walls, but it felt cosy. The bathroom had a freestanding bath tub – always a treat to dive into – but my favourite feature was probably the view. Or the little fridge stuffed with chocolate marshmallows.
For meals, there are two good options; the Living Space and the Rampsbeck. We ate both dinners in the Living Space as it had a relaxed ambiance and simple gastropub fare. Expect dishes such as battered cod with chips and tartar sauce and homemade fish pie. They also offer an excellent wine list and the staff are knowledgeable about food pairings. The Rampsbeck hosts breakfast every morning and they pull out all the stops. Breakfast is the way to my heart and they completely nail it here, with waffles, Bircher muesli and a decent full English. The chef works hard to source from local producers and the kitchen is at an advantage with ample farms to choose from. The Rampsbeck is also open for dinner with a smarter menu, but I preferred a more laidback feel. There’s a small bar in the Living Space, too, and I recommend ordering one of their signature spritzes with fresh rosemary. We were lucky to have incredible weather on our visit, so a walk around the garden with a sundowner was essential.
This brings me back to the hotel’s best feature; the garden. The grounds are vast and you can find somewhere to plonk down and get lost in a good book without anyone disturbing you. Staff will lend you a blanket and if you need reading material the beautiful mirrored library has ample choice. One of the reasons the setting feels so peaceful is because guests are spread out over the property. You can spend hours without seeing anyone despite it being fully booked. This is definitely the advantage of being so far away from London – spending time in this setting does wonders for the soul. Ullswater lake is surrounded by 18 acres of gardens and extensive national parkland, so grab a map from reception and hit the trails. I highly recommend walking to a local pub for lunch or an adventure hike through numerous sheep-grazed fields. It is a joy to explore this unspoilt countryside and you don’t have to jump on a plane to appreciate it.
The pièce de résistence has to be the lake itself, which offers kayaking, wild swimming and paddle-boarding. I only found time for a spot of wild swimming, hitting the freezing cold waters before breakfast both mornings. I can’t explain how liberating it was to go for a dip in these breathtaking surroundings and while it’s a shock to the system, your whole body buzzes from the experience. Another Place also has a sleek indoor pool and spoiling spa for some rejuvenating downtime, but it’s range of outdoor activities are what makes it so special. Many hotels may offer a pool and spa but few will have such a beautiful lake and immeasurable feel of peaceful tranquility. I stayed in June but I would go back anytime of the year, even if just to drink hot chocolate by the fire and gaze out over the water. I don’t think that there is ‘another place’ quite like it, and in this stressful busy world we need many more properties like it.