Travel review: Home from home on the edge of the Lake District
Feb 5 2013 By Susan Lee
OUR out of season break had not started well. Forgotten medication, an emergency diversion to Penrith Hospital and a major delay in getting to our destination did not a holiday mood make for me, my husband and two kids.
Fortunately we had Lorraine and Martyn Russell as our hosts.
The mark of great hoteliers is how they deal with awkward guests like us who arrive late and stressed.
Their answer was with home made cake, hot tea and a warm welcome.
Within minutes of stepping through the door of Hawksdale Lodge we were made to feel at home in this gorgeous Victorian family house on the edge of the Lake District National Park.
The lodge itself offers bed and breakfast accommodation across three bedrooms, all individually decorated to make the most of the house’s original features.
We however were staying in the attached but private apartment which came with a roaring fire, squashy sofas and an excellent kitchen.
It’s a peaceful location yet only a few miles off the M6. The local village of Dalston isn’t too far away while the city of Carlisle is also within striking distance offering everything from a Norman castle to lively nightlife.
Day one and it was on with the walking boots.
First stop was the pretty market town of Keswick. We parked centrally, bought a map and set out for Derwent Water, one of the most beautiful of the lakes.
We were there in October when the fells were ablaze with autumn colour, the shades reflected in the still waters of the lake.
The kids will tolerate a good walk as long as there’s a good meal at the end of it so a pub lunch was in order on our return to the town. There are plenty of hostelries from which to choose – we settled on The George, the town’s oldest – and afterwards spent the afternoon wandering the shops.
The following day we struck out for Ullswater taking in the walk to Aira Force, a tumbling waterfall reached through ancient woodlands.
There is something magical about this place and we stood and watched the Force for ages, the white water cascading down over the rocks.
We had it in mind to take a cruise on an Ullswater steamer but with the light fading and our feet aching, settled for tea and scones in a café and a view of a glorious sunset.
Our last days saw us take the 40 minute drive to Birdoswold Roman Fort, part of the longest continuous stretch of Hadrian’s wall still standing.
It’s a fascinating place; tangible history set amid beautiful countryside while the visitor centre is worth a look too – interesting without being overwhelming.
We left the fantastic lakes and Hawksdale Lodge behind us relaxed and determined to return – this time however with the correct medication.
SUSAN stayed at Hawksdale Lodge Country House Bed and Breakfast and self catering apartment, Hawksdale, nr Dalston Cumbria, CA5 7BX Tel: 07810 641892. www. hawksdalelodge.co.uk.
The apartment can be booked for a minimum three nights (although shorter stays may be available). Prices from £315 for a low season short break to £750 for a week in high season. Prices for the B&B are from £95 for a double and breakfast.