Hotel Reviews - UK

Lake District cottages: Hot tubs, hiking, and home-cooked treats at Holmescales Cottage

Finding somewhere nice to stay in the Lake District that is affordable, in a good location, and has all the facilities you need for a family holiday can be tricky.

We found this out for ourselves recently when planning our first little family trip with our nine week old baby. We ideally wanted to stay in a cottage in the Lake District but didn’t want to pay a fortune for the privilege. We also wanted to be on the eastern side of the Lakes so that our drive from Leeds wasn’t too long. Finally, we wanted our accommodation to be comfortable with a touch of luxury.

After spending some time browsing online, we came across Holmescales Cottage, a cute little cottage located near Kendal and under a two hour drive from our house in Leeds. We checked the availability and decided to book based on a combination of the photos and the TripAdvisor reviews.

The cottage from the outside

The cottage from the outside

We had really high hopes for our stay and, happily, weren’t let down at all! The cottage was set on a quiet (narrow – you’ve been warned!) country lane, next to a field with horses and cows in. There are two bedrooms in Holmescales Cottage, along with a lovely family bathroom (done up to a really high standard with a stand-alone bath tub), a kitchen, lounge, and downstairs toilet.

The two main features we loved were the hot tub in the garden and the log fire in the lounge. We used the hot tub on every day of our stay (our little one happily slept in her pram by the outdoor table and chairs whilst we relaxed in the bubbles!) and it was a novelty that we never tired of. There’s no better way to relax after a day hiking up a mountain than to jump in the hot tub (always kept at a hot temperature and easy to operate) afterwards.

BBQ and hot tub area

BBQ and hot tub area

Chilling in the tub!

Chilling in the tub!

Similarly, the log fire kept us warm when temperatures dropped slightly in the evenings. On one evening, we bought a huge bag of marshmallows and roasted them over the fire. Bliss!

The kitchen had everything in it that you might need during a family holiday. We cooked a lot over the course of our stay, making everything from a pasta bake to a huge fry-up for breakfast, and never once found ourselves frustrated looking for utensils that didn’t exist.

Home-cooked delights - not good for the heart!

Home-cooked delights – not good for the heart!

The cottage is well-stocked with a range of books, games, and DVDs. This was perfect for lazy evenings for us; as our little one slept in front of the fire, we watched such DVD classics as Slumdog Millionaire and My Big Fat Greek Wedding!

Holmescales Cottage is about a 10-15 minute drive from the middle of Kendal, and a 30-40 minute drive from Windermere and Ambleside. This makes it the ideal base for a holiday in the Lake District. Being slightly outside the really touristy areas, the prices are kept modest as well. We found it very affordable for a three night stay, especially considering the facilities on offer.

One final word about the owner. Catherine doesn’t live near the cottage but her family do and we were reassured that there would be someone around should we need any help. She also texted us to ask if we’d arrived safely and to let her know if we had any problems. This was a really nice, personal touch.

We really hope to be back to Holmescales Cottage in the future!

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