3 ISSUES FOR JUST £3 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Short Break - Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Keswick

PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 November 2013 | UPDATED: 18:59 23 March 2016

Armathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District

Armathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District

not Archant

It’s got a shiny new spa, brasserie and function rooms, but the real attraction of Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District goes back centuries

Armathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake DistrictArmathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District

Sitting in the cavernous lounge at Armathwaite Hall, gazing up at the hunting trophies high on the walls, I feel I am being reacquainted with old friends.

The moose, the snarling tiger, the water buffalo and sundry gazelles - reminders of an age when conservation meant conserving the head of whatever you shot and sticking it on the wall - were all there ten years ago when I visited here with my two sons, then aged 12 and nine.

Even at that tender age, they were struck by the history of Armathwaite Hall, the majesty of that big lounge with its long-dead animals, the expansive views across Bassenthwaite Lake, the opulence of the hall’s billiards room, its walls covered with Punch cartoons, and the grandness of the main dining room.

Armathwaite Hall still impresses in all those respects. There’s a busy programme of quad-biking, clay pigeon shooting and the like available. There is now a wonderful spa, an infinity edge pool with an outdoor hot tub looking out over the gardens. There are mountains to climb, lakes to circumnavigate, a vantage point, at nearby Dodd Wood, where at the right time of year you can see young osprey in their nest. But, in truth, nothing quite beats simply sitting in the airy lake view lounge and gazing out at nature’s majesty as the light changes with the scudding clouds.

Armathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake DistrictArmathwaite Hall at Bassenthwaite in the Lake District

Armathwaite Hall’s history goes back to the 16th century, though there is thought to have been a house here since the 11th century. For several generations, until 1850, it was the preserve of the Fletcher-Vane family - high sheriffs and lord lieutenants. But it was a local mine owner Thomas Hartley who bought the hall in 1880 and turned it into a country gentleman’s residence.

In 1930, the hall was auctioned off, narrowly escaping demolition, and became a hotel. It has been in the ownership of the Graves family since 1976.

With modern facilities grafted on to the historic hall, Armathwaite is now a popular wedding venue, a getaway for spa breaks, a place for foodie indulgence. On a Saturday night in autumn, we dined in the Lake View restaurant and found all the other tables taken. The £46.95 per head menu was an elegant affair: a starter of seared mackerel fillet with red pepper and anchovy compote for me, a goats’ cheese roulade with apple sorbet for my other half, then mains of flambé fillet of beef with a green peppercorn sauce, and flambé sea bass with parsley cream and baked rice, rounded off with blood orange tart and clotted cream for me, and blueberry trifle for my companion.

Then it was out to that lounge for coffee and chocs to gaze at the night sky over Bassenthwaite.

Armathwaite Hall Country House Hotel and Spa is at Bassenthwaite Lake, Keswick, Cumbria CA12 4RE, 017687 76551.

www.armathwaite-hall.com

 

0 comments

More from Out & About

Friday, September 21, 2018

The first ever National GetOutside Day takes place on Sunday 30 September with the aim of getting 1 million people active outdoors across the UK.

Read more

Meet some of the devilishly successful people who make this glorious Ribble Valley town tick.

Read more
Clitheroe
Friday, September 14, 2018

The site was designated Lancashire’s first ever ‘Local Nature Reserve’ in 1968 and is also designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Read more
Lytham
Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A striking sculpture attracts John Lenehan to this circular walk through some oustanding scenery.

Read more
Friday, September 7, 2018

This varied selection of walks are all within ten miles of the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Natural Beauty.

Read more
Arnside Silverdale
Monday, September 10, 2018

Making a television programme about the Lakes has re-affirmed Paul Rose’s deep affection for the area

Read more
Lake District
Friday, September 7, 2018

A succesful application could see the restoration of the Japanese Gardens and the creation of a water sports centre.

Read more

Is it a village? Is it a town? Who cares when the locals take such a pride in making this such a lovely place to visit

Read more
Thursday, August 30, 2018

A new survey method could unlock the secrets of the bog bush cricket in Lancashire following their discovery on Little Woolden Moss, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Ellie Sherlock joins the search.

Read more
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Heritage venues across the region – many of them not normally open to the public – will welcome visitors this month

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s officially England’s favourite flower and if you want to see some beautiful examples, follow Linda Viney to Mawdesley

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A circular walk which skirts the Lune estuary and takes in the Lancaster Canal and the railway line.

Read more

Behind the ancient sandstone facade of Browsholme Hall is a remarkable ethos of 21st century sustainability and care for the environment.

Read more
Bowland
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Keswick really is a gem of a town – just ask anyone from jeweller Brian Fulton to mountaineering legend Sir Chris Bonington

Read more
Keswick

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Property Search