A stunning 16th century country house overlooking Brassenthwaite Lake and surrounded by all the amenities an outdoorsman could hope for has become an elegant luxury hotel, complete with a 16 metre infinity pool. Giles Kime paid a visit.

There can be few better places to finish a hard day’s conquering Grisdale Pike or Helvellyn than in the cosseting embrace of one of the Lake District’s grandest hotels.  With its roots in the 16th century, the Armathwaite Hall was extended in the late 18th century and again towards the end if the 19th, creating large, high ceilinged reception rooms that made it perfect for a new life as an elegant hotel.

Equidistant between Cockermouth and Keswick, it sits majestically overlooking Brassenthwaite Lake and is an easy drive from the M6 and offers easy access to the key area’s most notable walking destinations. As well as walking, the hotel is perfectly positioned for the energetic; less than a mile away is the Lake District Wildlife Park, offering everything from mandrills to meerkats.

Armathwaite Hall

The Lakes Distillery at Setmurthy offers an opportunity to understand the intricacies of gin, vodka and whisky production. Keswick offers all manner of waterborne adventures.

The menu of the stunning Lake View restaurant has a distinctly Cumbrian flavour with dishes such as Cartmel Quail, Herdwick Hogget and local cheeses offering an opportunity to refuel after a bracing day on the fells. At breakfast, guests are not only treated to a hearty fare; tables in the light-filled conservatory also offer majestic Lakeland scene that epitomise the attraction of this beautiful region.

Meanwhile, the courtyard bar and restaurant offers a more casual style of dining. With less than fifty rooms, Armathwaite has an intimate feel. Yet it is more than just a hotel; the Graves family that has owned this delicious slice of the lake district for over 40 years have succeeded in creating a seamless blend between Victorian splendour and a state of the art spa that is the perfect place to sooth aching limbs, either with a massage or in the magnificent hot tub that overlooks the breathtaking formal gardens.

Armathwaite Hall

In addition a 16 metre infinity pool (plus a hydrotherapy pool)  a full range of treatments make this a truly special option for those who enjoy their creature comforts. Beautiful rooms, some decorated in classic English house style and others with a more contemporary feel add another layer of creature comforts that make a stay at Armathwaite the perfect sybaritic base for a stay in the Lakes.

A double room at Armathwaite Hall, starts at £220 for more information, visit www.armathwaite-hall.com.