Lake District, United Kingdom

Forest Side

Rates from (inc tax)$192.39

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (21GBP), via, using today’s exchange rate.


High design heritage


Green-veiled Grasmere

Famous resident William Wordsworth's 1820 guide first enticed visitors to explore Cumbria’s Lake District, and the alluring Forest Side hotel rekindles the trend today. How so? It began with a thoughtful renovation of a gorgeous Gothic mansion, during which original Victorian fireplaces were saved and once robust gardens were restored. Add to that fluffy Herdwick sheep grazing on the grounds, a former l'Enclume chef in the kitchen, and country-chic interiors without a spot of chintz.


Smith Extra

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A gift set from Bath House of Sedbergh


Photos Forest Side – Lake District – United Kingdom

Need to know




11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.


Double rooms from $192.39 (£158), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP189.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

A full-English breakfast is included in the room rate.


In a nod to the estate’s past, the wooden dining-room floorboards were recycled as dining-room tables, Victorian fireplaces were salvaged, and many of the original garden details were uncovered and resurrected.

At the hotel

Forty-three acres of grounds and gardens, and free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, work desk, kettle and teas, coffee-making service, custom-crafted beds and Bramley bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Designer James Mackie perfected the contemporary country look throughout, but for a room with a postcard-perfect view, the Superb is, well, just that. Coveting the cushy Wools of Cumbria carpet as you pad around the room? Admire the source as you gaze out at the Herdwick sheep roaming in the meadow.

Packing tips

Bring a composition notebook for writing verse as the Lake poets did.


A room designed for guests with mobility issues and their assistance dogs is available on request. Also, the restaurant, bar and guest lounge are all wheelchair accessible.


Well-behaved pups are are welcome in six designated rooms in the north wing for £20. The dog-loving staff will greet Fido with a bed, food and water bowls, treats and a personalised letter (for literate labs, of course). See more pet-friendly hotels in Lake District.


Welcome, but not overly catered to. It’s best suited for nature-loving over-12s keen on outdoor exploration. However, highchairs, rollaway beds and cots, and WiFi baby-listening are available.

Food and Drink

Photos Forest Side – Lake District – United Kingdom

Top Table

Opt for a spot in front of the large bay windows for a front-row seat of the the forest bank, garden and surrounding hills.

Dress Code

Aim for a contemporary play on cashmere and tweed

Hotel restaurant

Acclaimed chef l'Enclume alumnus Kevin Tickle is behind the restaurant’s inventive fare. Famous for his foraging, Tickle sources as many ingredients from the Victorian walled garden or gathered from the surrounding countryside as possible. The result is a creative and uniquely Cumbrian menu. Loosen belts for one of the tasting menus offered at dinner—the three-course à la carte 'the Reet l'al Un', six-course 'the L'al Un' and ten-course 'the Grand Un'.


Hotel bar

Order a signature English martini – gin, chamomile-infused English vermouth and chartreuse – and allow yourself to be sucked into one of the deep velvet couches in front of the wood-burning stove. Afternoon tea with a selection of nibbles and almost-too-pretty-to-eat pastries is served 3pm–4:30 Wednesday to Sunday.


Last orders

Breakfast is available 7.30am–10.00 am daily; lunch 12 noon–2pm Wednesday to Sunday; and dinner is served 7pm–9pm nightly. The bar is open all day until 11:30pm.


Photos Forest Side – Lake District – United Kingdom
Forest Side
Keswick Road
LA22 9RN
United Kingdom


Manchester and Leeds Bradford Airports are both within two hours drive from the hotel.


The nearest train station is Oxenholme, approximately 45 minutes away.


If you’re planning to cruise around the surrounding countryside, a car is a must. The drive from London is roughly five hours via the M40 and M6, and onsite parking is free.

Worth getting out of bed for

One could happily fill the hours ambling the 43 acres of woodland surrounding the Forest Side. Putter around in the kitchen garden and just try to name all 25 of the herbs and 100 plus vegetables planted there. Or search the fellside and spot roe deer and red squirrels.

If venturing off the grounds, the village of Grasmere is just a 20-minute walk along the Old Coffin Trail. Pop by Dove Cottage he former home of poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy, for a guided tour and a peek into life at the turn of the 19th century. Afterwards, sample something sweet at Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere GingerbreadTaste for yourself if the spicy-sweet treat created in 1854 is truly the world’s best gingerbread. For a different view of Wordworth’s beloved countryside, set sail with Windmermere Lake Cruises. Lake Windermere a 15-minute drive south of the Forest Side.

Local restaurants

If you liked the ale on tap at the Forest Side, take a trip to the source: Hawkshead Brewery (+44 (0) 1539 825260) in the village of Staveley a 30-minute drive away. Stop in the beer hall for a small-batch IPA or malty red ale paired with a snack from the beer tapas menu, or go in for the table-tipping Brewer’s lunch or herb-crusted confit duck leg. You can also go behind the scenes on a 45-minute brewery tour offered four days a week.

On the other end of the dining spectrum is The Samling (+44 (0)1539 431922), a Michelin-starred restaurant just a 15‑minute drive south. Indulge in a knock-out tasting menu with an equally spectacular setting.

One hour away, check out the dining room at Hipping Hall one of the Forest Side founder Andrew Wildsmith’s three boutique hotels. Here you’ll feast on rustic classics with a modern twist from Lancashire-native chef Oli Martin.


Photos Forest Side – Lake District – United Kingdom

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this boutique hotel in Cumbria and unpacked their Hawkshead ale and Grasmere gingerbread, a full account of their countryside break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Forest Side Hotel in Grasmere...

When Cambridge-biochemist-turned-hotelier Andrew Wildsmith stumbled upon this neglected slate-clad Victorian manse erected in 1853, he worked with what he had. In the no-expenses-spared efforts to revamp what is now the Forest Side Hotel, Wildsmith discovered what he had was quite a lot. Clearing of the original red-brick walled garden revealed a hidden waterfall and ornamental limestone structures. Small servant’s quarters in the attic found new life as spacious rooms with straight-on views of the fells and the dark cellar was cleared to make space for a proper wine cellar to house hundreds of bottles of biodynamic wines.


The Guestbook

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