Well-lived country life courses through the hallways and across the lawns at Rothay Manor, where a fuss-free taste for the finer things make it a serious contender for larks around the Lakes. And while all the fun of Ambleside and Windermere are mere steps away, days might just as easily be spent curled up on your room’s window seat leafing through the book of the moment and taking in lungfuls of the Lakes’ famous breeze (and that stunning view). After a breakfast of eggs Florentine powered by locally produced artisan coffee, head out with dog in tow (they’re very welcome), safe in the knowledge that there’s a dedicated pooch washroom for your return.
Get this when you book through us:
A glass of English sparkling wine and box of chocolates
11am, but very flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm (also flexible).
Double rooms from £200.00, including tax at 12.5 per cent.
A leisurely breakfast is included and served in the dining room with any dietary needs catered for – whether that be a dairy-intolerance or an inherent desire for a full English with extra bacon.
Rothay Manor’s restaurant has been awarded three AA rosettes for culinary excellence, and a Michelin Plate. The adjacent Brathay Room is a dog-friendly dining area, where you can enjoy breakfast and dinner together.
Like many of us, Rothay Manor dedicates the first few weeks of January to resetting, but welcomes guests with open arms over the Christmas period, with special offers on breaks from 24 to 27 December.
The hotel closes for the first few weeks of January every year.
At the hotel
Free parking, board games, free WiFi. In rooms: Bramley bath products, bathrobes, desk, tea- and coffee-making kit, locally made coffee pods by Farrer’s, Sky TV, laundry service, fridge, safe, fresh milk.
Our favourite rooms
The peachy-pink Colwith room, adorned with a turquoise framed fireplace and walls wrapped in the whimsical Folk Tales wallpaper by Melissa White. Mornings, evenings, and anything in between could easily be whiled away on the garden-facing balcony, or in the roll-top bath tub.
A fuss-free attitude, weathered walking boots, and fully-working taste buds to give chef Dan’s creations the credit they deserve.
Rothay Manor has a ground-floor wheelchair-accessible classic room with a fully accessible bathroom. Dogs are welcomed and encouraged – the most recent renovation made sure of it – bringing with it a brand new dog washroom.
It’s possible that pups will be even happier than their owners in Rothay Manor’s grounds, with the hotel doing its utmost to pamper paws for an additional £20 (per dog, per stay), including a dedicated dog washroom, soap and towel; George Barclay dog bed; See more pet-friendly hotels in Lake District.
Extra beds can be set up in the majority of bedrooms for an additional £25 a night; there’s a children’s menu for dining and babysitting is available when booked well in advance.
Rothay Manor work with Green Small Business certifiers to ensure the hotel’s energy-saving efforts are up to scratch. Staff use LED light bulbs, careful cleaning products and work alongside local partners to have the kitchen food waste churned into all-important energy.
Table five affords bay-window garden views and hidden-alcove ambience; ideal for honeymooners, couples, or those who prefer privacy when eating their pudding.
Appetite-appeasing outfits that allow for all-in enjoyment of chef Dan’s tasting menus. Anything floral and flowing will work; you are in the Lakes, after all.
It’s fair to say that the beating heart of Rothay Manor is its main restaurant; a tranquil space that reflects the manor’s heritage through hardwood floors, wood panelling and grandiose floor-to-ceiling curtains. The menu is dedicated to locally sourced seasonal produce where possible – meat comes from Cumbria, fish from the north east coastline, scallops from Scotland. Dishes draw on Scandi and Japanese influences, so don’t be surprised to see miso, beetroot and coriander on the menu. And when the head chef – Dan McGeorge – brings such gravitas, having been named the Champion of Champions on the 2021 series of BBC Two’s Great British Menu, you can expect the very best of wining and dining, particularly if you opt for Dan’s unmissable tasting menu.
The Brathay Room is another in-house dining option, taking a more casual approach to good-food good-mood with simple but excellent seasonal dishes, and is dog-friendly too. Crucially though, you wouldn’t be in the British Isles if there wasn’t an afternoon tea offering – pre-book yours at Rothay Manor and indulge in an all-bells-all-whistles assortment that will make the hills and hiking well worth it.
The hotel’s brown leather bar lounge is lined with spirits and award-winning bottles; including delicate English sparkling wines from Sussex’s South Downs Wiston Estate winery.
A bountiful breakfast is served 8–10am, and dinner is from 6.30pm to 9pm in the main restaurant; finishing slightly earlier in the Brathay Room at 8.30pm.
Bistro-style dishes can be delivered to your bedroom during restaurant opening hours, should you be too fresh-air-and-fell-walked out to manage the stairs.
Rothay Manor’s two-acre plot, set among rolling pastures, is both an easy amble into Ambleside and just upstream of Lake Windermere.
The closest airports are Manchester and Liverpool; both around a two-hour drive from the hotel.
For a hassle-free arrival, jump aboard a train to Windermere followed by a 15-minute taxi journey to Rothay Manor. Our in-house travel team will be happy to help you with transfers.
Set off on a Great British road trip and navigate the Lakes’ sweeping roads yourself, making use of the free on-site parking at the hotel. One of the best ways to explore the area is by car, and a vehicle will give you extra freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time here.
Worth getting out of bed for
Getting up-and-at-’em is notably easier when you’re in the Lake District: whether your day is action-packed with hikes or bikes; water-based with wild swimming or sailing; or luxury-lounging with an Ambleside wander and afternoon tea. Having strong connections to local partners, Rothay Manor can arrange a day that’s exactly your cup of tea, with nearby activities including horse-riding, paddle boarding, sailing, off-road driving and cycling. Those with an appetite for adventure might choose to don their best boots and tackle the Fairfield horseshoe; others might don their turtleneck to tackle the hotel’s best Pinot Noir.
But don’t forget that the grounds of the manor make for an agreeably mellow minibreak in themselves. Outdoor seating nestled among the landscaped gardens; creamy coffee out on the terrace; a G&T on a balmy summer evening – make use of the hotel grounds that are as much part of your trip as the famed Lakes themselves.
While we would strongly suggest capitalising on the manor’s dining options, Ambleside’s food scene is also known to appease most appetites. Try kee mao seafood noodles or king prawn blankets at Thai restaurant Doi Intanon in a low-key setting; get to know your surroundings at Michelin-starred Old Stamp House with a menu inspired by the people and landscapes of Cumbria; or head to Lake Road Kitchenfor an intimate, innovative and indulgent evening with an eight- or twelve- course dinner.
Ambleside’s cafes are more about country character and laid-back charm than artisan latte-art. Homemade is the herald here; visitCopper Pot for generous breakfasts, brunches, cakes and locally roasted coffee, or Mr H’s which is something of an institution – a dog-friendly tearoom crammed with the classics – selling scones, lemon drizzle and rocky road.
The Golden Rulehas never bowed to pressures to change with the times; this traditional pub serves locally brewed ales to locals, and is tucked away from the more tourist-track taverns. The pub sticks to what it knows and only serves drinks – it doesn’t complicate matters with food – and with so many brilliant eateries nearby, there’s really no need.
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 regency-era manor in the Cumbrian countryside and unpacked their waterproofs and tail-wagging dogs, a full account of their luxury Lakes break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Rothay Manor in the Lake District…
Rather than resting on its laurels, Rothay Manor’s recent renovation has given a once rundown three-star hotel a feelgood facelift; emerging as a unique boutique stay between Lake Windermere’s gentle waters and Ambleside’s culinary excellence. The landscaped gardens of the two-acre woodland bring nature directly to your doorstep, across lawns dappled with the shade of mature oak and sycamore trees.
A striking first-floor balcony stretches across the manors’ facade, accessed by six of the hotel’s bedrooms; meanwhile shards of light enter every window through colonial-style shutters. Even the smallest rooms afford ample space, and their individual style – all 15 have different quirks – spin yarns of the hotel's heritage.