A visit to The Lake District is always something we look forward to, and because of its size, there is always somewhere new to discover.
Our latest trip took us to some fabulous hotels and self-catering options, and we managed to tick off seven of ‘The Wainwright’s’ before moving further north to Penrith and Carlisle. Along the way we found more hidden treasures to share with you, including some of the best food we have eaten in a long, long time! But first, our adventure started in popular tourist destination, Bowness on Windemere where we stayed at The Ro.
The Ro is more than ‘just a hotel’, it’s an all-day destination for tourists and locals and as we were to find out, makes the perfect base from where to explore all that this part of ‘The Lakes’ has to offer.
We stayed in one of their impressive Super Lake View Rooms which are on the first floor, each with a private balcony that has uninterrupted views over Lake Windemere. The day we arrived it was pouring with rain, so there was little to see but the next day, with full sun and a clear blue sky, the view from that balcony was certainly impressive.
The room itself was on two levels and extremely spacious, with everything you would need if you had to do some work whilst there – as we did! Our content creating for our travels never stops so we were really pleased to find a dedicated workspace in the room.
There’s an impressive history to this hotel, dating back to 1881, it was formerly known as The Hydro and is one of Windemere’s oldest hotels. This grand Victorian building has been welcoming visitors to the area for well 141 years!
Once parked in their private car park, you can explore the area and attractions on foot, a bonus because parking in such a popular place is a nightmare unless you get there very early!
If you have children with you then a visit to The World of Beatrix Potter is a must and there are many boat trips on the lake to choose from. But our own itinerary was to climb and tick off some more ‘Wainwright’s’.
If you love hiking, you will know all about The Wainwright’s, if not here’s a snapshot of why they are so popular and what they are.
The Wainwrights are a group of 214 fells (hills and mountains) in the Lake District. They are all connected by featuring in Alfred Wainwright’s famous guidebooks: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.
They all lie within the boundary of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, and all but one (Castle Crag) are over 1,000 feet (304.8 m) in height. So you need good walking boots and clothing as it is common to climb more than one in a day, this is made easier by the fact that some are connected.
We climbed four the first day and three the second day and boy did we know about it!
We certainly built an appetite for dinner in Lacu Restaurant at The Ro, preceded by a couple of G&T’s in the cocktail bar. Having burned a lot of energy, we were ready for three full courses – or so we thought!
Portion sizes are generous here, but we ploughed through starters of Smoked Salmon Pate and Smoked Salmon Tartare with fennel and apple salad, crispy bread. Chicken Liver Parfait, Westmorland chutney, Cumberland sauce, sourdough toast and both were delicious!
Followed by hearty main courses of Braised Shank of Cumbrian Lamb with caramelised shallots, kale, glazed carrots, mashed potato and red wine jus and, Slow Cooked Pork Belly with creamy mash, carrots and peas, green apple and sage jam!
The lamb fell from the bone and was packed with flavour. The pork belly was just as delicious and very tender. Two superb main courses, but as I said, hearty portions so we took a break before tackling desserts of Orange Posset with a compote of Yorkshire rhubarb and ginger, and Chocolate Mousse with salted caramel popcorn and cinder toffee ice cream.
We slept like babies and after a Cumbrian breakfast, we were all set to tackle three more Wainwright’s!
The Ro had served us well. Great location, good locally produced food and excellent, friendly service. They do things a little differently and it works!
Check them out at www.therohotel.com