Lake District, United Kingdom

The Swan Hotel & Spa

Rates from (ex tax)$187.79

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 (GBP177.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Family watering hole

Setting

The great lakes

Set in a beautiful hamlet near Windermere The Swan Hotel & Spa is welcome sight after a day of hiking around the Lake District. With fires roaring, local ales pouring, good hearty food being served and comfy bedrooms, this friendly 17th-century inn takes good care of everyone who passes through its doors.

Smith Extra

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An Espa gift set

Facilities

Photos The Swan Hotel & Spa facilities

Need to know

Rooms

51, including seven suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible for £50. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $187.79 (£148), 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 (GBP177.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include full English breakfast.

At the hotel

Spa and nail bar, free WiFi throughout, DVD library, sheltered moorings and a gym. In rooms: flatscreen TV and Espa products.

Our favourite rooms

We’d go for one of the three cheerful Junior Suites on the corner (Ruskin, Coleridge or Lonsdale). Each is bright and airy, with its own floral-based colour scheme, and view of the river. Families can’t go wrong with the Potter Suite, which has an extra bedroom, a supply of toys and a PlayStation 2.

Poolside

The beamed pool room has a Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and colourful deck chairs dotted around the heated pool.

Spa

The Vu Spa has a selection of Espa treatments, starting at £30. There is also a Leighton Denny nail bar, using products by the fashion-set's favourite manicurist.

Packing tips

A compass, windbreaker and woolly hat, and some Romantic verse to recite on cloud-lonely wanderings.

Also

There are two ground-floor disabled-access bedrooms.

Children

Cots for babies cost £10; extra beds (for under-14s) are £30. The restaurant has a children’s menu.

Best for

Mini ramblers who love being outdoors.

Recommended rooms

All Junior Suites have sofa beds, but the Potter Suite has an extra bedroom, as well as toys in the room and its own PlayStation 2.

Activities

The grounds have an adventure playground and a nature trail.

Swimming pool

There’s an indoor pool that’s just over a metre deep. Arm-bands and inflatables are on offer.

Meals

The restaurant welcomes children at any time of the day to pick from a dedicated menu.

No need to pack

There’s a library room filled with toys and books, and colouring packs in the restaurant. A toy or magazine is given to kids on arrival.

Also

Milk and cookies can be brought up at bedtime free. Baby-monitoring is possible via the bedroom phones.

Food and Drink

Photos The Swan Hotel & Spa food and drink

Top Table

Fireplaces win hands down in both dining areas. Bag a booth in the River Room.

Dress Code

Weathered and waterproof for post-hike lunches in the Swan Inn; slightly more scrubbed-up in the River Room.

Hotel restaurant

There are two options: the River Room and the Swan Inn. The former is in the old coach house. It’s spacious, with contemporary country styling, flagstone flooring and exposed beams. Breakfast is served upstairs, in the bright red, high-ceilinged former stable. The menu is varied: you can order excellent pizzas, Fell-bred rack of lamb or butter-poached chicken. The young head chef is fresh from Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saison, and cooking for Jane Seymour before that. The inn is a more relaxed affair, playing host to pubby lunches and informal dining.

Hotel bar

The Swan Inn is just the kind of pub you'll be looking for after a day out on the Fells: rustic and cosy in equal measures, with a requisite roaring fire and a hearty, British menu. The bar has padded stools and leather armchairs. Other seating options include painted prayer seats at scrubbed wooden tables, or snug nooks and crannies lined with floral wallpaper. Settle in for a Cumbrian-bred burger and a pint of Dickie Doodle.

Last orders

Breakfast is 7am until 10am during the week, 8am until 11am at weekends. In the Swan Inn, food is served 12 noon to 9.30pm every day. Lunch is served on Sundays only in the River Room, from 12pm until 3pm. Dinner is 6pm–9pm.

Room service

Selected food and drinks can be ordered 24 hours a day.

Location

Photos The Swan Hotel & Spa location
Address
The Swan Hotel & Spa
Newby Bridge
LA12 8NB
Cumbria
United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is Manchester, an hour and a half away by car. Get here direct from other destinations in the UK and Europe, as well as longer-haul places such as Doha, Dubai, Chicago and Atlanta.

Trains

Oxenholme station is roughly 15 minutes from the hotel. From here, Virgin Trains (www.virgintrains.co.uk) will get you straight to London Euston in just under three hours.

Automobiles

The hotel is 20 minutes out of Kendal. From the M6, take Junction 36 and follow the A590 towards Barrow and Newby Bridge. Once you’ve entered Newby Bridge, continue across the roundabout and then take the first right over the eponymous crossing.

Worth getting out of bed for

Artistic types will enjoy a visit to Brantwood, John Ruskin’s former residence, Dove Cottage, William Wordsworth’s one-time pad, or Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s estate. The Lakes are also a place for the active: start with some cycling, walking and fishing, then take to water on the old steam boat regularly crossing Coniston (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/gondola).

Local restaurants

The Punch Bowl (+44 (0)1539 568237; www.punchbowlinns.co.uk) in Crosthwaite serves up great British grub from in and around Cumbria; try the pigeon and roast lakeland beef. L’Enclume (+44 (0)1539 536362; www.lenclume.co.uk) on Cavendish Street in Cartmel is one of the best restaurants around so book a table as soon as you can. The Michelin-starred Simon Rogan champions organic produce and high-quality local ingredients in his extensive tasting menus, such as Muncaster crab, wild sea-bass and suckling pig with wormwood.

Local cafés

In Ambleside, stock up on supplies at specialist grocers, deli and café, Lucy’s of Ambleside (+44 (0)1539 432288; www.lucysofambleside.co.uk).

Local bars

Hike up Gummer’s How, stopping on the way for views out across Windermere and a well-deserved pint at The Masons Arms (+44 (0)15395 568486; www.masonsarmsstrawberrybank.co.uk).

Reviews

Photos The Swan Hotel & Spa reviews

Anonymous review

The escape plan had been hatched. The wedding was approaching and London was becoming filled to the gills with eccentrics and Royalists. Shy of leaving the country altogether, a weekend north in the wide-open Lake District seemed the ideal rural getaway. As we descended on Newby Bridge, 17th-century Swan Inn certainly looked the part. A historical expanse gracefully overlooking the southern tip of Lake Windermere, a watery junction where ducks and swans were quietly going about their sunny business.

Fans of the Fells will be no stranger to the spectacular scenery in this corner of England, and the best of it is right on the Swan’s doorstep. The hotel has sat for four centuries years on the edge of the River Leven, which runs into England’s largest natural lake.

Warm welcomes are second nature in these parts, and if you don’t want to be far from a cosy fire or refreshing ale, this is a pole position. Skulls and Winchester rifles displayed around the front desk welcome us into a friendly hunting lodge-style lobby. In days gone by, this region’s thriving industries included the production of gunpowder – so rifles are de rigeur round here. (The other commercial success story was Backbarrow’s now-obsolete washing whitener ‘dolly blue’. So, weapons and washing enthusiasts, you know where to holiday.)

A perk of the reception area? Spotting a pool and sauna – not only a tease of the relaxation yet to come, but also useful to gauge if the pool is empty (bliss) or filled with excitable children armed with flotation devices (less soothing). Suitably impressed, we are checked in effortlessly by the cheery staff before being directed to our suite where we grab our swimwear and browse the menu of fancy Espa treatments.

Truth be told, the decor at the Swan errs on the chintzy side, but there are inspired modern touches in sturdy leather sofas, dark wooden floorboards and snakeskin-print wallpaper. Our room, the Ruskin Suite, has a huge, incredibly comfortable king-size bed, its own lounge with second TV (yup: two tellies!) and it overlooks the picture-postcard river scene. Our only gripe? The overload of pink – Pepto-Bismol tones enough to have those even with especially high oestrogen levels feeling a tad queasy. Mrs Smith is instantly assuaged by the classic-English Penhaligon bath products in the beautiful stealth-grey slate ensuite with a huge walk-in shower. And be assured, as we’d soon discover, this room is the purveyor of some seriously tranquil sleep. (So much so, this pair wakes up on the last morning feeling sad to leave such slumbering behind – fuchsia excess or otherwise.)

Dining at the Swan is a split-personalitied beast: there’s a family-orientated rustic pub and the River Room restaurant, with its loftier ambitions. The restaurant is in the old coach house, which has been passed through by many a travelling gentleman and his horse. (These days, it’s all about the families – although the gastropub prices are still pretty grown-up. Kids are welcomed with a toy or magazine, and can look forward to milk and cookies at bedtime.)

Seated in the Scullery, a little room off the main restaurant which Mrs Smith declares a windowless experiment in flock wallpaper. In spite of admiring the whimsical teapot lampshades, we’re redeployed to the main restaurant, and soon lavished here with the Swan’s signature service over our Mod Brit meets Med tucker. Some of the wines are even nationwide exclusives. 1976 Kesterner Paulinshofberg Beerenauslese, anyone? Local brews from Cumbria Legendary Ales such as Loweswater Gold and Dickie Doodle also fluttered their eyelashes at us. What ends up planting one of Cupid’s finest arrow aims in us is dessert. I could happily have made their honeycomb cheesecake my new Mrs Smith. Romancing a pud may sound unconventional, but you’d understand if you knew how delicious it was.

Thanks to glorious spring weather for our Cumbrian adventure, we spent most of our time ambling across rolling green, up bracken-wigged hills, down through oak-crowded woodlands, as far as our legs could carry us. We kept our eyes peeled for the land’s few red squirrels, and carnivorous plants – sundew and butterwort are two of the few animal-eating homegrown equivalents of Venus fly traps. When our footsteps became ponderous, we padded over to the steam-train stop, five minutes’ stroll away at Newby Bridge Station.

Novelty and nostalgia of the little train ride along Windermere to the boats and launches on the lake makes me regress to overexcited-child status. So much so I leave our bags – with all our valuables – on the train. It’s not back for an hour, so a swift call to the hotel has a porter dispatched quicker than you can say ‘all aboard’; soon enough, the day is saved.

We are ‘luckywiththeweather’, to wheel out that saying reliably prominent during any clement British celebrations. But had it rained, our affections for the Swan wouldn’t have been dampened, thanks to cosy corners and open log fires to curl up in front of. And despite my resistance of all things regal – what was initially a swerve from the madness of Will and Kate’s nuptials becomes the perfect setting in which to immerse ourselves in the patriotic mood. Cue Mrs Smith’s call to reception and a delayed check-out. Nope, never thought I’d say it, but yes, put your ear to our door, and you’d hear cooing over that dress from the comfort of very own sitting room. Well, at least from Mrs Smith – the colour scheme hasn’t totally addled this illustrator’s mind.

Meandering, as the Swan does, between tasteful and the twee, this boutique hotel is a sweet mixture of Cath Kidston cutesiness and macho cool, care of Chesterfields, taxidermy and shot guns. A high-end family-friendly establishment that has turned the volume up on its quintessential British charm, this is one hotel where guests are guaranteed to get a right royal cosseting.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Swan Hotel & Spa’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Comfort, pool, quiet, setting, log fires.

Don’t expect

Nightly entertainment, cheap food.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Nov 2016

We loved

The food at the restaurant, the ambience of the hotel, quality of decor and friendliness of staff.

Don’t expect

.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Oct 2016

We loved

Location, staff, decor. Lakeside railway and boat trips.

Don’t expect

Noise.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Sep 2016

We loved

Rooms were really nice, new and clean. The steam train is a little boys dream and the excursions with the boat from Lakeside are highly recommendable.

Don’t expect

Taxis or public transportation being easily available. Anything extra or out of the ordinary.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Sep 2016

We loved

The location, the decor, the excellent service and the relaxing atmosphere. Fabulous walk along Lake Windermere, with ferry across to Bowness and steamer back to Lakeside

Don’t expect

Bright lights

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2016

We loved

Decor. Atmosphere. Friendly relaxed staff not formal at all but totally professional.

Don’t expect

Formal experience.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2016

We loved

The location. We enjoyed a meal in the pub attached to the hotel opposite

Don’t expect

Cheap food

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jul 2016

We loved

The cleanliness of the rooms and hotel. Food brilliant, breakfast sets you up until evening meal! Good gastropubs in Hawkshead, 25 mins drive away

Don’t expect

Nothing to do in Newby Bridge. Only downside you have to travel for everything, even a good walk.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Jun 2016

We loved

The breakfast room and the pool area. Great staff.

Don’t expect

The weather to be good all the time!

Rating

Stayed on 29 Nov 2015

We loved

The restaurant and the spa

Don’t expect

lively entertainment

Rating

Stayed on 5 Nov 2015

We loved

Very efficient booking in. The whole process of booking with Mr and Mrs Smith was straightforward. The room was lovely and the food was good. The staff were helpful and eager to please. The entire Lake District is accessible as is the coast around Grange and above.

Don’t expect

A formal experience in the dining room. Very informal but the service was good and the food was good.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

The decor

Don’t expect

Michelin star cuisine

Rating

Stayed on 28 Oct 2015

We loved

Everything about this hotel. They were friendly and accommodating and the food, bedroom and facilities were excellent. The ferry from Lakeside (1 mile from the hotel) to Ambleside stopping at Bowness is well worth doing. We were travelling with our 10 week old baby.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Sep 2015

We loved

The lobby and river view from the room.

Don’t expect

The sun to shine all the time!

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2015

We loved

The setting by the river at the start of lake Windermere. The staff were very good and friendly.

Don’t expect

An extensive menu, although the food was generally very good.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Sep 2015

We loved

All in a lovely hotel. A good solid 4 star hotel.

Don’t expect

A stuffy environment. 

Rating

Stayed on 24 Aug 2015

We loved

The location.

Don’t expect

Dogs on the premises. When I pay boutique hotel prices, personally I do not expect to have to put up with dogs in the hotel. Had I known they were dog friendy I would not have booked to stay!

Rating

Stayed on 8 Aug 2015

We loved

the views of the river

Don’t expect

lively nights

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jul 2015

We loved

The location, the various comfy lounging areas, the pool etc and the food.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jul 2015

We loved

The location next the lakeside.

Don’t expect

Luxuries bedrooms.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jul 2015

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Swan Hotel & Spa’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Comfort, pool, quiet, setting, log fires.

Don’t expect

Nightly entertainment, cheap food.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Nov 2016

We loved

The food at the restaurant, the ambience of the hotel, quality of decor and friendliness of staff.

Don’t expect

.

Rating

Stayed on 4 Oct 2016

We loved

Location, staff, decor. Lakeside railway and boat trips.

Don’t expect

Noise.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Sep 2016

We loved

Rooms were really nice, new and clean. The steam train is a little boys dream and the excursions with the boat from Lakeside are highly recommendable.

Don’t expect

Taxis or public transportation being easily available. Anything extra or out of the ordinary.

Rating

Stayed on 23 Sep 2016

We loved

The location, the decor, the excellent service and the relaxing atmosphere. Fabulous walk along Lake Windermere, with ferry across to Bowness and steamer back to Lakeside

Don’t expect

Bright lights

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2016

We loved

Decor. Atmosphere. Friendly relaxed staff not formal at all but totally professional.

Don’t expect

Formal experience.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Sep 2016

We loved

The location. We enjoyed a meal in the pub attached to the hotel opposite

Don’t expect

Cheap food

Rating

Stayed on 19 Jul 2016

We loved

The cleanliness of the rooms and hotel. Food brilliant, breakfast sets you up until evening meal! Good gastropubs in Hawkshead, 25 mins drive away

Don’t expect

Nothing to do in Newby Bridge. Only downside you have to travel for everything, even a good walk.

Rating

Stayed on 27 Jun 2016

We loved

The breakfast room and the pool area. Great staff.

Don’t expect

The weather to be good all the time!

Rating

Stayed on 29 Nov 2015

We loved

The restaurant and the spa

Don’t expect

lively entertainment

Rating

Stayed on 5 Nov 2015

We loved

Very efficient booking in. The whole process of booking with Mr and Mrs Smith was straightforward. The room was lovely and the food was good. The staff were helpful and eager to please. The entire Lake District is accessible as is the coast around Grange and above.

Don’t expect

A formal experience in the dining room. Very informal but the service was good and the food was good.

Rating

Stayed on 30 Oct 2015

We loved

The decor

Don’t expect

Michelin star cuisine

Rating

Stayed on 28 Oct 2015

We loved

Everything about this hotel. They were friendly and accommodating and the food, bedroom and facilities were excellent. The ferry from Lakeside (1 mile from the hotel) to Ambleside stopping at Bowness is well worth doing. We were travelling with our 10 week old baby.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Sep 2015

We loved

The lobby and river view from the room.

Don’t expect

The sun to shine all the time!

Rating

Stayed on 11 Sep 2015

We loved

The setting by the river at the start of lake Windermere. The staff were very good and friendly.

Don’t expect

An extensive menu, although the food was generally very good.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Sep 2015

We loved

All in a lovely hotel. A good solid 4 star hotel.

Don’t expect

A stuffy environment. 

Rating

Stayed on 24 Aug 2015

We loved

The location.

Don’t expect

Dogs on the premises. When I pay boutique hotel prices, personally I do not expect to have to put up with dogs in the hotel. Had I known they were dog friendy I would not have booked to stay!

Rating

Stayed on 8 Aug 2015

We loved

the views of the river

Don’t expect

lively nights

Rating

Stayed on 17 Jul 2015

We loved

The location, the various comfy lounging areas, the pool etc and the food.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jul 2015

We loved

The location next the lakeside.

Don’t expect

Luxuries bedrooms.

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jul 2015

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