The top 5 hidden gems in the Lake District

As Easter approaches the Lake District heaves with seasonal visitors, but it's perfectly possible to escape the crowds if you venture off the beaten track

The Samling
LA23 1LR
015394 31922

There’s not a trace of Beatrix Potter chintz at this secluded lakeside hotel (above), which stands in 67 acres on the northern shores of Windermere. Each room has been elegantly and individually decorated, and there are six cottages in the grounds. The restaurant, which works wonders with local produce such as Herdwick lamb, has a Michelin star. Rooms from £220 a night including breakfast.

Wordsworth Museum and Dove Cottage
LA22 9SH
015394 35544

There’s no better time to explore Wordsworth’s Lakeland cottage than when the daffodils are out. Take a tour of Dove Cottage (the guides, many of whom are recent graduates, really know their stuff), stroll around the gardens where he composed some of his best-known poems, and take in one of the special exhibitions at the museum.

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Cartmel Village Shop
LA11 6QB
015395 36280

Styling itself ‘the home of sticky toffee’, this characterful little deli is the perfect place to treat yourself after a day’s walking. The puddings (above), handmade to the same recipe for almost a quarter of a century, are a must-eat. But foodies will find there’s plenty more fun to be had – there are also dozens of artisan cheeses, selections of antipasti and smart kitchenware.

Lucy Cooks Cookery School
01539 822507

If the forecast isn’t looking promising, why not book yourselves onto a one-day cookery course? ‘Cake District Thursdays’ (£45 per person) at Lucy Cooks in Kendal are just the thing for a rainy day. You’ll learn the secrets of local cakes, bakes and scones – and of course, you get to eat them afterwards. An Easter Breads course (April 18) and an Easter Family Fun Day (April 19) will also be running this year.


and more peaceful than some of the big-name lakes, but every bit as
beautiful, Buttermere (above) is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. A gentle
walk around the shores will take in views of craggy peaks, grassy
uplands and, in the spring, carpets of bluebells. The name Buttermere
means ‘the lake by the dairy pastures’, so make sure you don’t miss out
on an ice cream at one of the farms in the village.

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