Haweswater Hotel, Cumbria – Review
By Paul Howard
Haweswater is as quietly secluded as England gets yet it’s easily accessible from the M6. This makes it an ideal location for romantic getaways or outdoor pursuits. The fells are swathed in autumnal colours, the lake below us a shining mirror, the only sounds those made by nature. The wind in the trees, rushing waterfalls and chattering birds.
Haweswater is a reservoir, made during the thirties by the enlargement of two natural lakes in the Mardale valley. This was a controversial development, yet this Lakeland dale has returned to nature and is a haven for rare wildlife. A hotel located here has a lot to live up to.
“Cuisine has a French feel”
There is only one way (and one road) in to Haweswater. You can watch the scenery transform from rolling Cumbrian farmland into spectacular mountainsides. The Haweswater Hotel is half way along the eastern shore, the only building in the entire valley. Built in 1937, it provides glorious views for all guests and has 22 rooms.
The hotel restaurant, ‘le Mardale’ features accomplished cooking with artful but unpretentious presentation. The cuisine has a French feel and majors on local and seasonal produce. You might encounter sea trout or asparagus, venison or black pudding. Our starters are uniformly delicious. These include potted trout, fishcakes and pork and apple terrine. Main courses include Lakeland lamb, sea bass fillets and a char-grill rib-eye steak that comes rare, as is ordered. Wash it all down with wines such as an Argentinean malbec by Finca Flichman.
“Moments to cherish for a lifetime”
However, the major attraction is the Lakeland countryside. There is plenty to do in the immediate vicinity. Mountains such as High Street beckon the fit, but gentler excursions such as spotting kingfishers along Haweswater Beck are just as satisfying. Activities can be as gentle or as strenuous as you like, but do make sure you work up an appetite.
The principle wildlife attraction is England’s only wild Golden Eagle. It’s an easy yet dramatic walk around the lake to reach the RSPB viewing point in Riggindale. There is no sighting on our first visit, but our persistence pays off the following day. Then we witness this magnificent creature soaring above us. It comes closer to patrol the crags before finally a squadron of ravens mob it. Moments to cherish for a lifetime.
If you are thinking of taking a Lakeland break then the Haweswater Hotel should be at the top of your list. We’ll be back there soon.
Haweswater Hotel, Bampton, Penrith, Cumbria, CA10 2RP
The rooms start from £75 per room, per night including breakfast. For reservations call 01931 713235 or for more information visit haweswaterhotel.com