Forest The hotel has long stood out as one of the most sought after places to stay in the Lake, even in a national park filled with award-winning hotels and some of the best restaurants the country has to offer. provide.

Food is served in a bright and airy restaurant that overlooks the wild land and distant golden hills, and there are plenty of cozy corners to relax with cocktails and Cluedo by the roaring fire. um.

From dog-friendly bedrooms suitable for the whole family to welcoming staff who will suggest local hikes and dry your walking boots afterwards, here’s it all you need to know.

Where is it?

Nestled on the hillside right in the heart of Wordsworth country, just off the road from Grasmere to Keswick – and just five minutes from poet’s dear Grasmere and its Michelin-starred pubs, restaurants and Gingerbread Shops stroll.

Ambleside, the town considered by many to be the center of the Lake, is only a 10-minute drive away.

Bluebells in the Lake District

/ PA wire


Steep forest. Traditional Lake District rock and original Victorian features. View of the sunrise over the mountains from the bed. Forest Side has quickly become one of the most stylish and desirable hotels in the Lake District and the reason is obvious from the moment you turn into the driveway and see the welcoming bright yellow windows. you through the trees.

The grand Victorian building dates back to 1853 and became a holiday destination almost a century ago in 1925, when the Association of Cooperative Holidays took over as owner and used it as a destination for vacationers. organized trips to the countryside for young working-class people. an escape from the growing process of industrialization.

The mansion and its grounds became a hotel in the late twentieth century, and in 2014 it became the Forest Side hotel that guests see today, with rooms returning to their original size and splendor. .

Forest side

Rooms are decorated with Zoffany fabrics, local Herdwick wool rugs and Farrow and Ball paint, and there’s a brightly-lit dining space downstairs with terrace views. Charming details include the local Kendal wood dining table and leaf plate.

On the side, expect cozy seating areas with Cole and Son wallpaper, plush Zoffany fabrics and traditional wood-burning fireplaces to sit next to with a pre-dinner cocktail.

Which room?

Each of the Forest Side’s 20 bedrooms is named after a plant that grows in the garden, and they’re surprisingly light and airy for an old gothic castle: think fiery Farrow and Ball paint Bright and elegant plant-filled windows look out onto the mountains that follow into bed – that’s lucky, because you won’t want to get out of bed. Harrison Spinks, a designer in Leeds, has made the beds exclusively for the Wildsmith Hotel and each has more than 10,000 springs.

Forest side

Rooms come in Cozy, Superb, and Master sizes, from large suites with mountain-view balconies to six dog-friendly rooms on the hotel’s north wing (all four-legged travelers get a package welcome has a personalized welcome letter, a dog bed, two dog bowls (water and food) and a selection of delicious treats to help them socialize).

The larger rooms have walk-in showers and separate tubs for soaking – that’s important after a long day in walking shoes. Others have a bath and shower combination, while the cozy rooms have a walk-in shower. Every Bramley bathroom product is available.

The hotel’s Stay & Dine package includes a 4-course Michelin-starred dinner, an overnight stay and a full Cumbrian breakfast the next morning for £349. Look out for the ‘cake of the day’ left over in your room every afternoon.

Forest side

Food and drink

Come to the place, stay to eat. Forest Side’s menu is a winning combination of Michelin-star quality and local deliciousness: 80% of the food here comes from the on-site garden, from the mint on your pink grapefruit in the morning. Go to G&Ts laced with leftover veggies for later (ask for Sugar Snap with Gin or Jerusalem Artichoke Vodka as a pre-dinner refreshment).

The highlight of any stay at the Forest Side is the four- or eight-course tasting menu, which draws an interested crowd at night and locals eager to sample the dishes of head chef Paul Leonard for only me.

Each dish uses seasonal ingredients and is artistically presented in a luxurious, natural way: standout dishes include beets cooked all day in their own juices with whipped cod roe. ; Tuna grilled in winter butter with wild garlic; Salt-roasted duck on top with lots of beads glazed in truffle juice.

Forest side

Wine pairing is essential – if you can keep it up – and it’s also a good idea to book in advance for a snack that kicks off a solo miniature dinner. Each piece of tartlet and melted cheese is perfectly formed, bursting with flavor and far beyond snacking. Even the butter is delicate, covered with herbs and laid out like a bouquet on the local rock.

Breakfast, like dinner, is so great you can paint it, with a fresh rainbow fruit salad, miniature homemade macaroons in butter, and nice thick slices of Cartmel Valley smoked salmon. presented elegantly on a plate.

Start with whiskey and honey porridge followed by a Full Cumbrian Breakfast with free Lakeland eggs if you have a fun day of hiking ahead. There’s Bucks Fizz and Delamotte Champagne on the menu if you’re celebrating or just having fun.

Forest side


You won’t get luxury underground spas or vast sports facilities, but you’ll get homely coziness, Michelin-starred food, and some of the best natural facilities in the country right away. in front of the house.

The seating areas are stocked with Cluedo, chess and backgammon for after-dinner games. There are beautiful gardens on site with miniature waterfalls if you fancy a quick pre-dinner stroll to relax after your car journey. The area the hotel is built on is home to a herd of giraffes, red squirrels, and native plants, including foxgloves, wood squirrels, and black squirrels.

When walking, there are pamphlets with short walking routes at the front desk at the front door, and the welcoming staff will bring your wet walking boots into the drying room when you return to base.

Forest side

Best for?

Gourmet with walking feet. Challenge yourself to climb the High Raise or Hevellyan and you’ll (almost) be able to demonstrate the eight-Michelin-starred tasting menu that evening. Almost.

How to get there

Catch a car from London and you’ll get there in just over five hours (on a clear day) and combine that with a stay at sister hotel Hipping Hall in the Yorkshire Dales if you fancy a night of parting with the journey – what The perfect way to explore two of the country’s wildest national parks in one weekend.

Forest side

It’s a 5.5-hour train ride from Euston to Windermere if you don’t have a car. It’s a 20 minute taxi ride at the other end.

When should I go?

Whenever you can get a reservation, it depends on your tolerance for snowy peaks and acumen for an adventure.

There’s a lot on your doorstep no matter what time of year, but spring and summer increase your chances of reaching the summit without frostbite.

Forest side

Make reservations for a paddleboarding session on the lake if the weather is warm and hiking is a must no matter what. You can get around nearby Easedale Tarn in three hours if you fancy some easy riverside views, while nearby High Raise Peak is a 5- to 6-hour hike that you can hike from guests Hotel if you want a challenge.

Award-winning guided tour operator Mountain goat has been taking tourists on adventures in the area for 50 years and is a great option if you don’t fancy snaking the mountains on your own.


Rooms from £448, Keswick Road, Grasmere, Ambleside LA22 9RN,


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