Majestic mountains, glistening lakes, cascading waterfalls, and soft light over the fells, tarns and woods. Another Place, The Lake, is perfectly situated on the shores of Ullswater to enjoy this mesmerising setting and explore the wild.
There has been nothing stopping this new hotel collection since they launched Another Place, The Lake, six years ago. From BBC appearances to training celebrities to swim in the open water, and now the recent launch of Outside, a collection of rooms and spaces allowing guests to be even closer to nature, yet with all the luxuries and amenities of the hotel right there on their doorstep.
Situated in the spectacular natural landscape of the Lake District – the UK’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site – Another Place, The Lake is an impressive Georgian property with a stylish new contemporary wing, immaculately converted into a luxurious 40-bedroom hotel, including 10 family suites and 16 dog-friendly rooms. Open-plan interiors and connecting spaces have been cleverly designed with rustic materials and plenty of glass making the most of the tranquil views. Guests can relax in the library, unwind in the spa, and admire the surrounding scenery from the restaurants, terraces, balconies, garden hammocks and outdoor hot tub.
Set in 18 acres of national parkland with beautiful gardens, a Victorian glasshouse, and their own private jetty on the shore, there are plenty of activities for hotel guests from stand-up paddle boarding to kayaking and coasteering, writing workshops to yoga on the lawn, to feel inspired by lakeside living.
We stayed in the colourful Joules Suite, beautifully designed by Hannah Coates, art director at clothing brand Joules. The room was bright, fun and eye-catching with a playful design mixing modern with vintage.
This was the first hotel collaboration with a creative designer, giving Hannah the freedom to create a room with Joules own unique stamp, to include Joules furniture, homewares and bed linen.
A successful concept, the hotel has since worked alongside Matt Hulme of Dynargh Design, an award winning interior design practice, to encapsulate the Cumbrian landscape with a colour palette of tonal greens, burnt yellows and statement Designers Guild wallpaper (the Ullswater Suite, room 24).
For the ultimate luxury self-catering break there is the most beautiful new spacious two-bedroom suite, Willow Cottage, designed by Interior Design Masters winner Lynsey Ford – her prize commission for winning the popular BBC2 show. Ideal for four-legged guests, Willow Cottage is located next to the hotel offering the best of both worlds, your own private sitting room, reading nook and pantry combined with full access to the hotel.
Like the Joules Suite, the Ullswater Suite and Lynsey Ford’s Willow Cottage, the idea behind these partnerships is to create unique bedrooms within the hotel with their own strong identity – and it works well.
For those who prefer glamping, with the launch of Outside, there are now six brand-new shepherd huts, each with built-in stargazing roofs and wood fires, and a stunning two-bedroom treehouse in a secluded spot surrounded by trees with endless lake and mountain views, and an outdoor bath and log burner.
Another Place has much to be proud about – and perhaps the most exciting news of the moment, they will be launching their second hotel in the collection, Another Place, The Garden next year.
Sensitive preservation and renovation work is currently underway at country estate Amport House in Hampshire, built in 1857 for the Marquess of Winchester.
Location is fundamental to Another Place. The team behind the new collection also own Watergate Bay, situated on a two mile surfing beach on the North Cornwall coast. Working with the same designers behind Watergate, Household (who have designed for brands such as Harrods, Soho House and Christian Louboutin), inspiration from the views, colours, textures and materials that surround each hotel, be that by the coast, countryside or city, is brought into their innovative hotel-style, bringing the outside in and immersing guests in nature, landscape and the outdoors.
For Another Place, The Lake, this includes bespoke furniture sourced from local makers, swatches of field greens, slate greys and bracken reds and a 20 metre glass wall pool creating the feeling of swimming into the hills. There are some familiar design touches by Household running across the hotels too such as a striking zig-zag floor – a technique to match the feeling of familiarity with the intriguingly new. Next to the kitchen garden, which supplies the hotel chefs with their own home-grown produce, The Glasshouse is another recent addition, and the hotel’s newest restaurant, with tomato vines and fresh herbs being grown inside. Guests can enjoy breakfast, coffee, lunch, woodfired pizzas and feast nights here as a relaxed alternative to the hotel’s Rampsbeck Restaurant, which serves delicious meals from locally caught stone bass to salt aged duck breast.
There’s also The Living Space adjacent to the spa as another tasty option, perfect for alfresco lunches serving lamb tagine, meze plates, salads and sandwiches with a large outdoor terrace.
The lake itself is the jewel in the crown for guests looking for meaningful experiences as part of their stay, described to us by the hotel General Manager, David Vaughan, as ‘active relaxation’. The launch of the newly rebuilt Sheep Shed is a testimony to this, forming the hotel’s heartbeat to its lake activities. The lakeside cabin is perfectly equipped for warm year round changing, with hot showers, and has everything guests might need for getting out on the water, including wetsuits, paddleboards, kayaks, dryrobes and safety equipment.
Following a delicious meal at the Rampsbeck Restaurant on our first evening we headed across to the Sheep Shed for a stargazing night swim with open water swim specialist, Colin Hill. This was the perfect way to meet other friendly like-minded visitors.
We walked along the shoreline before bracing the water together in our wetsuits with our illuminated ‘tow-floats’ by our side.
To experience swimming in a lake can, in itself, be incredible, but the stargazing, and fullmoon swims, adds an extra-special dimension. The magical setting of Ullswater, for many the most beautiful lake in England, is just the most wonderful spot for this experience, and knowing that the hotel (and hot shower) is simply strides away makes the idea of cold-water immersions a little less daunting.
Following lots of floating and pointing up at the stars Colin confidently guided us to swim back towards the hotel’s own jetty, where we had left our dryrobes and would finish our swim. Colin is full of enthusiasm for cold water swimming and has quite an impressive backstory – as one of the UK’s most high profile cold water swimmers, he is a world endurance cold water champion who has been admitted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, and he was the first UK male Ice Mile swimmer to race one mile in under five degrees with no wetsuit. In just trunks, a swimming hat and goggles he completed the mile in 24 minutes and 22 seconds, one of the fastest ice swims on record.
As well as training athletes and celebs (including radio DJ Jo Wiley, BBC personality Richie Anderson and Radio 2’s Kate Bottley) in his specially designed ‘endless’ swimming pool (adjacent to the hotel), Colin also takes groups on swimming adventures to Kailpot to enjoy the secluded bay. A short boat-trip away in true Swallows and Amazons style we spent an afternoon with Colin, climbing rocks and crags and jumping into the lake.
For the more adventurous, Colin guides small groups to swim from one side of the lake to the other in a special one-mile ‘cross lake’ challenge. This is a journey Colin knows only too well as it is also his daily commute to work. His house is conveniently situated on the opposite shore of Ullswater to the hotel. Each swimmer who completes the challenge receives a Cross Ullswater Swim medal in celebration of their achievement.
THE LAKE, FELLS AND WATERFALLS
With so much majestic wonder surrounding the hotel, exploring the local area is the natural choice for guests. The Ullswater Way is a 20-mile walking route that goes around the entire lake.
Experienced walkers might enjoy the challenge of hiking this in a day, or a five minute drive (30 minute walk) from the hotel to Pooley Bridge you can sail on the Ullswater Steamer.
From Pooley Bridge at the north end of the lake, it is a seven-mile boat trip to Glenridding south of the lake, with options to stop at Howtown and Aira Force along the route.
At Pooley Bridge there are plenty of pubs, restaurants, cafés and gift shops.
If you fancy a cycle ride, then pop into Arragon’s Cycle Centre. One of their most popular attractions is the route to Lowther Castle. There’s a lovely network of cycle paths (mostly traffic free) to explore the Lowther Estates with links over Askham fell, and the new Ullswater Way Lowther Castle Loop trail.
After a leisurely session of make-your-own waffles at breakfast, we spent our first morning exploring National Trust’s Aira Force, a beautiful cascading 60m waterfall with new viewing platform, set amongst ancient woodland and landscaped glades, before taking the awe-inspiring four-mile round hike, 320m high, to reach Gowbarrow Fell. At the top the panoramic views of the valley take your breath away. I can only imagine how beautiful this spot would be from which to watch the sunrise.
The following day we sailed to Glenridding on the Ullswater Steamer to take on the Helvellyn Circular eight-mile loop trail. It was an incredible experience which took around 5 hours from start to finish. The final Swirral Edge stretch is steep, full of rocky outcrops and large boulders but once you reach the summit of Helvellyn, 950m high, you feel elated, and the views are incredible.
Glenridding is a beautiful village with quaint tea rooms, galleries and gift shops. If you are looking for a less strenuous walk then you might enjoy the eight-mile lakeland footpath to Howtown. The mostly flat trail passes the much-loved Artists’ Seat (celebrating JMW Turner, John Glover and Ann Macbeth), the Kathleen Raine Poetry Stones and Hallin Fell. You might encounter a RAF training flight here too. As we enjoyed our lunch two low-flying planes in close succession tore through the skies just in front of us – it was quite a sight and a thrilling surprise.
The next morning, a recovery swim in the hotel’s indoor swimming pool watching the sunrise over the fells, I felt more energised and refreshed than I could remember feeling in a very long time. If this is the class of holiday you can expect from Another Place hotels then I will be one of the first to be checking in at their Hampshire countryside counterpart in 2023. Watch this space!
Prices from £210 per night, another.place
Words | Jessica Way
Lead image: Another Place The Lake open water swimming. Image credit Colin Nicholls