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Thursday, May 26, 2022

The best UK staycation break you need to book now with free beers and luxury outdoor pool

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WITH a cocktail in hand, I lie back in the outdoor pool and watch a myriad of stars glow above the dark silhouette of the mountains.

It’s hard to believe that such astoundingly clear night skies sit within the heart of the Lake District — and my partner Gemma and I are getting to gaze up at them as we relax in luxury.

Grasmere in the Lake District provides a beautiful setting for a staycation

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Grasmere in the Lake District provides a beautiful setting for a staycationCredit: Getty
At the Brimstone Hotel, where everything blends naturally into the landscape

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At the Brimstone Hotel, where everything blends naturally into the landscapeCredit: BRIMSTONE/PR

The only light to obscure our view is at the end of the pool, where sparks are crackling in a fire pit.

From here, in the gorgeous Langdale valley, all the aches and strains of a busy day trekking the rolling countryside melt away.

We’re at the Brimstone Hotel, where everything blends naturally into the landscape, the low slate-clad buildings set among trees and grassy banks.

And our immaculate suite is no different from the hotel’s main buildings, with natural materials and earthy tones reflecting the gardens outside.

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Upon first opening the door, Gemma gasps: “Oh. My. God. This is the best room I’ve ever seen.”

I couldn’t argue with her there.

Split across two levels, the wood and stone room is vast and luxurious.

At the opposite end to the door there’s a cool balcony, framed by a set of French doors, while inside, comfy sofas are dotted around a roaring log fire.

Concealed by two sliding doors is an impressive roll-top bath — ideal for long soaks after days rambling the countryside.

It’s the bedroom that really takes the biscuit, though.

Set on a mezzanine level, overlooking the lounge, is a bed that’s so big, it could easily fit a whole family — and you’d still get a good night’s sleep.

Plus there are different light settings to match your mood, such as “sexy”, which creates a dim and seductive ambience, and “tinkle”, which turns on just the lights in the ensuite upstairs and toilets downstairs.

This opulence continues throughout the rest of the hotel, including in the Reading Room, a comfy spot with plush armchairs, where guests can settle down with a novel and complimentary beers, wine or soft drinks or tuck into free sandwiches, cakes and even a cheese board.

If you’re after a more substantial dinner, though, you won’t have to venture too far.

The Stove restaurant, opposite the hotel and next to an old waterwheel, serves an astonishingly good dry aged sirloin.

Sponge cakes

But real foodies will want to head to the Old Stamp House, in the centre of Ambleside.

The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2019 for its delicious and unique dishes, all of which are influenced by the Cumbrian landscape.

Or there’s the Copper Pot cafe, which has fantastic sharing boards of gooey baked camembert with caramelised onions and vegetarian platters of falafel, hummus and goat’s cheese.

When you’ve had your fill of quality grub, make the most of the scenery by plotting an adventure through the countryside.

The Lake District is home to some of the most famous walking routes in the country and we feel spoilt for choice, with both easy strolls and challenging treks at our fingertips.

Plodding through swathes of greenery, we make the hour-long journey from our hotel to the village of Grasmere, home of poet William Wordsworth, who lived in Dove Cottage.

The village is popular among tourists, partly because of the huge Grasmere Lake, where you can hire a boat for a few hours on the water, a great place for spotting birds.

Grasmere is also the ideal place for a mid-walk pitstop — yes, more food!

Head to Baldry’s, a traditional tea room, which has a vast selection of teas and delicious home-made sponge cakes.

After loading up on goodies, our stunning trek back to base is just strenuous enough to tire us out and make us feel we have earned a visit to the hotel’s sumptuous spa, with a fabulous range of salt, herbal, dry and steamy saunas.

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In the spa’s outdoor pool, we enjoy a final lap of luxury, under a ­shining night sky.

This place really is fit for the stars.

Enjoy the spa’s outdoor pool under a ­shining night sky

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Enjoy the spa’s outdoor pool under a ­shining night skyCredit: BRIMSTONE/PR
Grasmere was the home of poet William Wordsworth, who lived in Dove Cottage

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Grasmere was the home of poet William Wordsworth, who lived in Dove CottageCredit: Alamy
Pass by Dove Cottage if you take on one of the Lake District's famous walking routes

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Pass by Dove Cottage if you take on one of the Lake District’s famous walking routesCredit: Alamy

GO: LAKE DISTRICT

STAYING THERE: Rooms at the Brimstone Hotel cost from £331.50 per night including breakfast, free reading room treats and Brimstone Spa access.

See brimstonehotel.co.uk.





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