I knew there was a preponderance of water in the Lake District but
what I did not realise was that there were lakes in the middle of the
Ok, maybe not lakes but certainly ponds big enough to make driving
into the resort of Bowness on Windermere the sort of journey to be
undertaken in an amphibious vehicle rather than a Vauxhall Astra.
It was an unusually inclement time to visit – the North-West of
England had been lashed by gales and rain for two days. By the time my
partner, Sam, and I had emerged from the car with our luggage and walked
five metres into the lobby, we were drenched.
We dumped our bags and donned the finest gear the North Face had to
offer and, feeling a little like Scott and Oates, we walked the hundred
yards to the shore to see the unparalelled views of England's largest
lake and the surrounding hills. It was a very short outing. There was no
view, just a lot of rain. We resigned ourself to an afternoon inside.
Luckily, the Cranleigh was great for a wet afternoon. The staff were
welcoming and an open fire roared in the lounge. Our suite, The
Hideaway, was decorated luxuriously in contemporary boutique style and
featured two massive flatscreen TVs and ceiling speakers which allowed
you to play your iPod in any room.
And then there was the bathroom. Not only was there a massive spa
pool with underwater lighting in various colours but when I got tired of
the bubbles and the light show there was a built-in flatscreen TV. The
showers (there are two of them) also have a light display – changing
from blue to pink as they warm up.
I would have been content to spend a couple of days chilling in the
bathroom, but the next day, fortified by breakfast, we ventured out for a
two-hour walk which took us from the lakeside to a vantage point which
featured views stretching from Morecambe Bay in one direction to the
Pennines in the other. The pretty town of Bowness has plenty of cosy
pubs and restaurants within a couple of minutes' walk of the hotel and
on our return there was a huge library of DVDs to play on any one one of
the massive flat-screen TVs.
Rates: Doubles from £99, Tel: 015394 43293
Discover the Hideaway here.