Travel: Cumbrian fells

by Jane Hayward on Thursday, 29 September 2011

Cosy in This ex-stately home with 400-acre deer park has period-drama pizzazz – you'll love the wood-panelled rooms warmed by log fires and lake views – but it's also refreshingly friendly. Choose between traditional bedrooms and more contemporary ones in the spa wing.

Chill out Ask guests what they love most and chances are they'll say bubbling under brilliant stars in the spa's al fresco hot tub. The spa itself shines brightly too, with an infinity pool, thermal suite and vast treatment menu. A wellbeing leg and foot massage, £38, is bliss after a day on the fells.

Go explore Osprey spotting is Bassenthwaite's most popular pastime, while Skiddaw Mountain looms by the hotel waiting to be (at least partially) conquered.

Eat and drink In the restaurant, a mix of classical French cuisine and English favourites can't fail to please – think daily roasts such as fell-bred lamb with garlic and rosemary and rather dramatic flambé of prawns and scallops in Pernod with garlic butter.

What it costs Doubles from £190 B&B, including use of spa facilities. You can create your own upgraded break with dinner, afternoon tea, spa treatments and activities. Visit armathwaite-hall.com

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