Want to enjoy the best of all worlds in a dog-friendly hotel which boasts huge grounds and a spa? Read our review of Armathwaite Hall in Cumbria – it could be just the ticket!

An unexpected burst of warm weather in the midst of an otherwise chilly and wet month made a long-planned trip to the Lake District even more of a treat.

Though I had never visited that part of the country before, I was well aware of its reputation for rain, but our luck was in as we headed north in warm sunshine for a two-night stay at Armathwaite Hall, near Keswick in Cumbria.

The historic hall, stands in a landscape that genuinely deserves to be called awesome, on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, set in 400 acres of grounds and private woodland. The hotel itself feels traditional, elegant and friendly, and we were made welcome on arrival in the early evening with a glass of sherry. We couldn’t have been happier with our room, especially because it had a balcony overlooking that beautiful lakeside scene – the perfect spot for a morning cuppa!

Great hotel for Lake District walks

The hall is in a great location for anyone seeking inspiring countryside to enjoy, so after a proper cooked breakfast we headed out to explore the area on foot. Basically, just head out in any direction and you’ll find stunning scenes to simply stop and take in, from the still water glinting in the sunshine to the pine-scented forest. We headed out and uphill for a 10-mile stroll that repaid us with fine views across the hills and valleys, and from a distance we could even spy our own room at the hall.

A dog-friendly Lake District hotel

And if going for a walk is just not the same without your dog, you can bring them along too. Armathwaite Hall offers a special dog-friendly package where you can bring up to two pooches and stay in a ground floor room opening out onto patio areas – complete with comfy dog beds and doggie treats.

Perfect Lake District spa break

After all that hard work walking, we felt we deserved a bit of pampering so headed back to try out the Armathwaite spa. Highlights for me were the hydrotherapy pool, where I allowed the jet stream to pummel and massage my aching shoulders into relaxation, and the outdoor hot tub, which overlooks the gardens (and where a glass of wine can be summoned at a push of the intercom button).

As well as a sauna with windows looking out onto the grounds, large steam room and aroma room, there’s a pool and plenty of places to just lie back and relax in comfort and luxury while you take in the view.

We tried out a couple of treatments there and the therapists were friendly and professional, asking all the right questions to make sure we got the best out of the experience and so that they could tailor the products to our needs. The spa uses its own formulas made just for them, and my treatment – the milk and honey wrap – began with a body scrub with an uplifting scent. My therapist, Marie then mixed up the mask, which was applied all over, straight on top of the scrub. I was then carefully wrapped up so the mask could sink in and do its work and while that was happening Marie gave me a relaxing head and face massage. Once it was all showered off I was spritzed with oil. The treatment left my skin soft and glowing and left me very relaxed. After that we settled into the Hush Room to lie down on cosy loungers, relax and look out at the trees beyond.

The day was rounded off with elegant dining at the hall. As the sun went down we sampled a tasteful and prettily presented menu that included gravlax, pork on a bed of black eye beans and chorizo, a selection of local cheeses and a rich and satisfying lemon tart.

For a weekend escape that will give your wellbeing a boost, it’s a great place. Sunshine may not be guaranteed, but I think it would be a treat in any weather.

Armathwaite Hall prices

The Milk and Honey Body Wrap is £75

An Escape Half Day Package with full use of the spa and a 25-minute face or body treatment is £80 at weekends and Bank Holidays and £75 at other times.

A Serenity Package, which is a full day at the spa including a 55-minute face or body treatment and a two-course lunch costs £139 at weekends and Bank Holidays and £129 at other times.

The Escape one night spa break (available Sunday to Thursday excluding Bank Holidays) staying at the hall, and including accommodation, full English breakfast, three-course dinner in the Brasserie, a 55-minute treatment and use of the spa facilities including exercise classes, costs from £335 per room.

The Serenity two-night spa break (available Sunday to Thursday excluding Bank Holidays) including two nights’ accommodation, full English breakfast, dinner in the Lake View Restaurant on the second evening for two people, 85 minutes of treatment time per person, a two-course light lunch in The Brasserie on one day for two people and use of the spa and exercise classes, costs from £610 per room.

The Paws For A Break package including accommodation in a dog-friendly room includes three-course dinner, an overnight stay, cooked breakfast and a spa treatment as well as use of the spa, and costs from £335 per room with a charge of £15 per dog.

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