Winter Wilderness

Winter may be a time for hibernation, but it’s also the perfect time of year for a cosy getaway. Our editor, Lynn Stewart enjoyed a magical winter break in the Lake District recently

When we’re looking to escape to an unspoiled wilderness, we often head north for the dramatic vastness of the Scottish Highlands. However I’m just as likely to venture south, especially in the harsh winter months, when Scotland becomes particularly challenging!

The Lake District makes for the ideal winter rural escape. Sculpted by glaciers in the Ice Age, it marries majestic mountains, glassy lakes and grand houses, gardens and parks. It’s a glorious spot in the summer, but we chose to visit in the winter instead, when roads are a little quieter and the landscapes are tantalisingly moody.

We headed straight for the Lyth Valley Country Inn; a charming, cosy bolthole offering three nights for the price of two this winter. How could we resist? The Lyth Valley is nestled between the limestone outcrops of Scout Scar and Whitbarrow Scar. This ninebedroom hotel and restaurant is charming yet stylish, intimate yet private, and perfect for a winter weekend break.

We stayed in the Robin Suite; a stunning and spacious room with a separate seating area; perfect for families or couples who like plenty of space to lounge. Spectacular views over the countryside and down the valley had us unwinding immediately, while little details like fl uff y bathrobes and Cowshed toiletries made us feel truly pampered.

Our suite was stylish and cosy, with gorgeous furniture and a king-size bed, while the en-suite was large and luxurious with a lovely standalone bath.

Dining at Lyth Valley is a point of pride and it’s easy to see why. The oak-panelled dining room has jaw-dropping valley views, and the menu is a celebration of local produce, with a cheeky twist. You mustn’t miss their chef’s signature, handraised Victorian-style pies or, when it’s in season, mouth-watering game straight from their own Winster Estate.

Breakfast is just as much of an ode to good food, great company and beautiful surroundings. Think the flakiest pastries served with artisan coffee and morning papers. Their own Winster Valley Brewery was made for tasty pints on cold winter nights, and we certainly enjoyed one (or two) after crisp afternoon walks... TC

Lyth Valley Country Inn, Lyth, Kendal, Cumbria LA8 8DB
T: 01539 568 295
Published: November 2017