<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Short Break - Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, Bowness-on-Windermere

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 August 2014 | UPDATED: 14:35 28 April 2016

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa  Pool

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Pool

not Archant

This hotel has modern facilities and a swish spa but it’s rooted in the early days of Lakeland tourism. Sue Riley reports

Vinand Restaurant Vinand Restaurant

Sometimes a single building can reveal the history of a place; in the case of the Macdonald Old England Hotel and Spa it’s a great example of how tourism has developed in Bowness-on-Windermere since the Victorian era.

Inside the Georgian residence there are lots of old photographs showing the imposing building standing proud beside the lake with few visitors or vehicles in sight. A couple of decades later the railway opened up the tourism trail, much to the dismay of residents including William Wordsworth. These days the hotel, in the heart of Bowness, is at the centre of the tourist industry which has grown up around it. A near neighbour is Windermere Lake Cruises which ferries more than a million visitors a year across the lake and is one of England’s top ten paid for visitor attractions.

The hotel retains its old-fashioned values though. There’s a concierge service for parking your car and the staff are incredibly friendly and genuine. From our classic double room, there was a glimpse of the lake but many of the suites have fabulous views. Head for the hotel lounge and restaurant and you won’t get a better view of Windermere; the restaurant has floor length windows overlooking the lake and it leads to a small garden where it’s pleasant to sit in the sun.

As the town grew so did the hotel and it now has 106 rooms. A major investment in 2007 saw the addition of a large luxury spa at the four-star hotel with a 20-metre pool, steam, sauna, ice and scented shower rooms. A case of history repeating itself as so many Victorian travellers originally visited the Lake District to sample the healthy air and lifestyle. This is a spa for the 21st Century though with its beautiful subdued décor and extensive range of treatments; my Elemis facial was one of the best I’ve had, partly down to the skill of beauty therapist Dawn.

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

The hotel’s restaurant is quite traditional. I had wild salmon which was one of the more expensive meals on the menu at £25 which followed a cold starter of corn-fed chicken pressing with parsnip remoulade and parsnip cream. My partner had seared wood pigeon with sweet shallot mousse and woodland gin-soaked puree followed by pork belly with apple, black pudding and potato priced at just under £20. Vegetables were an additional £4. The cheeseboard turned out to be the highlight. Each cheese - Rosary Ash, Tunworth, Colston Bassett Stilton and Oxford Isis – had a flavour pairing and the honeycomb was a particularly perfect contrast for the goats cheese. My only minor quibble was that there wasn’t a local cheese.

Breakfast the next morning was the usual fare of fruit, cereals, yogurts, porridge and Full English, all beautifully presented and cooked. One of my partner’s minor annoyances is piped music in restaurants but a quick mention to the charming waitress and it was switched off immediately, leaving us all to gaze on sunny Windermere in peace.

A classic double room on a bed and breakfast basis at the Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa starts at £169.

Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa, 23 Church Street, Bowness, LA23 3DF. Tel: 0844 879 9144.

www.macdonaldhotels.co.uk/our-hotels/macdonald-old-england-hotel-spa

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Lancashire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Lancashire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Lancashire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 17:09

There are many forces of nature to witness in the Lake District, we pick six of our favourite waterfalls.

Read more
Lake District

Rebekka O’Grady and photographer John Cocks meet some of the new independent businesses calling Southport home

Read more
Southport
Monday, February 12, 2018

How many of these local landmarks can you recognise?

Read more
Quiz Spring
Friday, February 9, 2018

Plans for around 600 new houses to be built in pretty Wyre village

Read more
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

John Lenehan toasts the re-opening of a Lancashire engineering landmark and notes an invention to revive any walker.

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Kirkby Lonsdale sits on the spot where Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland meet, making it a great base to explore the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. All these walks start of within a ten mile radius of Kirkby Lonsdale, making them a perfect day trip for anyone staying close to the historic market town.

Read more
Kirkby Lonsdale
Monday, February 5, 2018

From businesses selling banjoes to bridalwear from a former New York costume designer, Colne is a town for all seasons. Mairead Mahon reports.

Read more
Colne
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lake District walks dominate the top ten of Britain’s 100 list.

Read more
Lake District Lake District Walks
Friday, January 26, 2018

Barrow was built on hard graft but there’s plenty of beauty to be found as well, as Mike Glover reports

PHOTOGRAPHY BY SANDY KITCHING

Read more
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Despite its bad reputation, the cuckoo has been a great and clever survivor in the wild. However, numbers have dipped since the 1970s. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates this iconic spring bird.

Read more
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Many of us are frustrated by our inability to swim well. Sarah Hill did something about it and now helps others. She spoke to Roger Borrell.

Read more
Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Celebrate the historic waterways of Lancashire with one of these canalside walks that allow you to enjoy the countryside and witness echoes the the county’s industrial past.

Read more
Canals
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Their football clubs both wear navy blue and white strips, but how well can you identify landmarks in Bolton and Preston?

Read more
Preston Bolton Quiz
Friday, January 12, 2018

Spring is not too far off and that’s the time when the birds start getting noisier in our woodlands. The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright investigates a couple of the stars of the Dawn Chorus.

Read more
Spring
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search