The Swan Hotel: a luxury Lake District bolthole with a brand new spa to boot

The Swan Hotel in Newby Bridge recently celebrated the opening of its new multi-million pound Holte Spa. Emily Anderson checks in and spaces out

The Swan, a white-washed 17th-century coaching inn, occupies an idyllic position along the River Leven, framed by the Lakeland Fells.  

The Holte Spa is a really special addition to this already charming hotel. The spa team have meticulously researched and selected three brands to partner with: GROUND Wellbeing (I found my inner zen with their Ground Restorative Ritual), sustainable skincare brand Comfort Zone and OTO (try the CBD-infused massage). 

Inside the purpose-built thermal suite there’s a steam room, experience showers and a sauna. Comfy lounge beds surround a naturally filtered pool. The windows face out onto the spa garden. Guests can expect to embark on tailored thermal journey, but desperate to avoid the ice cold bucket shower and get outside, I skipped around the garden like an excited child at a water park in search of the outdoor hydrotherapy pool.

As well as the spa, there are 30 new Splendid spa bedrooms and the SOUL cafe. The latter is stylish and bright. On day one I went for a colourful and nutritious salad. On day two I opted for a gold-dusted millionaire shortbread. Well, the soul wants what it wants.

The Splendid bedrooms were designed by Fiona Parke: prints by artist-in-residence Olivia Axson hang on the walls and Pooky lamps dot the tables. There are colourful touches—a patterned green wallpaper in one bedroom, a blue coral headboard in another, a glossy, freestanding copper bath in another—but the overall feeling is one of pure relaxation and stillness. Chalky greys and shades of navy dominate. In-room amenities are from Bath House, a Cumbrian brand, and there’s plenty of The Lakes Gin in the mini bar.

The main hotel still looks fabulous six years on from its substantial refurbishment (the hotel was seriously affected in the 2015 December floods)—think bold floral- and bird-patterned wallpapers. In the warmer months, nab a table on the riverbank-terrace and watch the comings and goings in the nearby marina.

While you’re there

  • Newby Bridge Halt station is a five minute stroll from the hotel. Hop aboard a train on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite steam railways, to the southern tip of Lake Windermere where you’ll find an aquarium
  • A short ferry-ride from Lakeside will deposit you in the Fell-Foot National Trust Park which offers excellent views of the Lake and plenty of walking trails
  • Alternatively, carry on your journey aboard the Windermere Steamer to Bowness (and the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction) or Ambleside

Splendid rooms (river or garden facing) from £200 per night, including two hours access to Holte Spa 

Visit Visit Lake District for more information