Landal Whitbarrow, Penrith, Lake District – Review

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Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

By Steve Crabtree, May 2024

I say it every time I go: The journey from Yorkshire to the Lake District is one of the nicest drives you can get.  Those beautiful views that greet you as you enter the last half hour or so are worth the drive alone.

This time, our journey was taking us to Whitbarrow by Landal in Penrith, nestled in the serene surroundings of nowhere but stunning green hills and peaks.

We were here for two days, and had hiking and hot-tubbing planned…

“Natural feel”

After two and a bit hours, we came off the main road and arrived at Whitbarrow thanks to its long-wooded driveway, warning us to look out for the red squirrels. The driveway took us to the main Landal Whitbarrow complex, made up of a nice mix of traditionally converted buildings, and some newer builds.

We’d booked into the Troutbeck accommodation, a small series of modern two-floor properties that blend well into the natural feel of the surrounding areas. It’s also the first accommodation that you come to when you get to the car park, so this was a bonus for us – not lugging our bags, shoes and everything else too far. It looked pretty nice as well.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“A home-from-home”

Stepping inside, we took ourselves on a quick tour of the accommodation, discovering a ‘novel’ layout of bedrooms and bathrooms on the lower floor, while the living room and kitchen occupied the top floor. Would we get used to this in the two days we were going to be here?  Well, we soon did. In fact, this ended up being a thoughtful bit of design and functionality. More on that later…

The bedrooms were nice too, with good finishes and tasteful decor. The main double bedroom, came with a modern en-suite bathroom, and a little bit of luxury. The additional twin room and kids bunk room meant that plenty could stay here, and highlighted the property’s suitability for families seeking a getaway in The Lake District. We were quite impressed with how this could easily be a home-from-home for a family, which can sleep between two and eight people.

Heading up to the living space, we were very pleased to see local delicacies such as biscuits and fudge grinning at us from the kitchen table.  I don’t get called ‘Sweettooth Steve’ for nothing, and I can tell you they didn’t make it past lunchtime on day two! It’s a spacey bit of room up there, with half the area a dining kitchen with all the kitchen stuff you might need, and a living room with a large-screen TV, positioned opposite a sumptuous L-shaped sofa, and more lovely decoration to boot.

We were very happy with the accommodation. In fact, we were more than happy – we were tempted to just be hermits and stay in for the best part of three days! But instead, we went to check out the rest of the complex.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“A warm welcome”

Venturing outside, we discovered there’s so much more to Landal Whitbarrow than just a comfortable abode. It’s large, and boasts a range of amenities, including a charming duck pond, a sprawling outdoor chess board, a swimming pool, spa and gym; and a fun-looking crazy golf course, again showcasing its suitability for for guests of all ages.

What we liked were the walkways – you could stick to an obvious path to walk around Landal Whitbarrow, or you could divert through small ginnels, and round other corners – with the buildings switching between old conversions, and newer builds at every corner.

We accidentally stumbled on the reception too, we were met with a warm welcome. Two very pleasant ladies, very friendly and our first bit of human interaction (We received a key safe code via text prior to arrival to check in) and these lovely people left a positive impression on us, setting the tone for the rest of our stay.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“Lovely food”

We’d booked into the Eden Bar and Restaurant for food on our first evening.  Definitely the right thing to do after a long journey. It was a very quiet evening in the restaurant, and when we arrived there was one couple dining in there.

Our hostess greeted us and sat us at the table next to them – which was very close.  At risk of sounding rude and offensive, we didn’t ask if we could sit away from that table, but you could sense both us and them were a little awkward by being in such close proximity (the guy to my left was as close to me as my wife was on my table) with no-one else around. Our conversation volume was turned down so low it was highly audible.  I’d have hoped it’d have been a bit more sensible to give both couples at least a table between us, for some comfortable space. But hey-ho.

That said, it was the only small blip of our stay.  And the unexpected flyover of fighter jets added an amusing twist to the evening, making all four of us jump out of our skin!

The highlight of the restaurant was undoubtedly its lovely food. I tucked into a succulent Calamari starter, with my wife enjoying a very tasty Falafel main course. I went for a Chicken burger too, which came with a delicious side of chips, and a couple of huge onion rings for good measure.

Safe to say our stomachs were satisfied as we left, and decided to take a dip before bed.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“Gorgeous, huge hot tub”

Now, remember I mentioned this thoughtful design?  Well, we got back to the accommodation and headed for our downstairs bedroom.  After slipping into our swimming costumes, we opened the patio doors and headed for this gorgeous, huge hot tub that was an incredible end to our day.

We stayed in for a good 45 minutes, just chilling, talking and taking a look at the few stars in the sky.  I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily like the thought of a hot tub, but when I get in, I love the feel. Who doesn’t?

Like the rest of our accommodation, it was clean and comfortable. And because we were straight back into the bedroom afterwards, we didn’t drip all over the hallway, lounge, kitchen etc.  This ‘upside down’ design made sense.  And we absolutely loved where we were.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“Location is perfect”

After a restful night’s sleep, we cooked sausage sandwiches for breakfast and planned out our first full day in the Lake District.

We’d checked out a route that we liked the look of and decided that a mid-morning trek to Gowbarrow Fell was going to be the main trek of our visit to the Lakes.  Gowbarrow Fell is a fairly challenging, but rewarding hike that gives you plenty of different terrains, climbs, and views that the diverse Lake District offers.

A National Trust site, it’s only a few minutes away by car. And after parking up, we were straight into everything from dry ground to boggy patches, misty air to clear skies.  We really enjoyed the ever-changing landscape that unfolded before us. Despite the occasional rain shower, the breathtaking views from the summit made every step worthwhile.  You just can’t beat nature of this kind.

As we walked down, my wife said that if anything Landal Whitbarrow’s location is perfect.  There are a number of fantastic walking and hiking options nearby, you’re actually spoiled for choice.

In total, we’d completed 5.34 miles, climbed 1,140ft, and taken three hours and 21 minutes heading up to the top and back, in a loop. 12,482 steps.  We’d had a day, and we’d got hungry.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“Local charm”

On the way back, we came across The Boot and Shoe Inn in Greystoke—a really good find that offered nice beer, lovely hospitality, a Scrabble board, and incredible pies! The local charm in this place made its mark on us, and where we thought we’d have a quick pint, we stayed three hours, eaten their food, and enjoyed their atmosphere.  If only we didn’t have the car, I could safely have stayed for a few more drinks.

We returned to the comforts of our accommodation though, and indulged in one more dip in the hot tub, before catching a film on TV. It’s a comfy sofa, and I was nodding off quite easily on it.  But the large bed was so comfy, we both made it back downstairs and got under the covers.

Landal Whitbarrow Penrith Lake District

“We’d have happily stayed”

Next morning, we were up and out by the check-out time of 10am.  And checking out was a breeze too – requiring only a simple text to inform Landal Whitbarrow of our departure.  Whereas this might not be the most personal of touches, it’s certainly convenient and quick.  And when it comes to heading home, you just want to get home, don’t you?

But we’d have happily stayed too.  Landal Whitbarrow had exceeded many expectations of our stay, and although the Lake District is pretty vast and you have an abundance of options of places to stay, this place is more than just a very decent option.

A great base, a lot of comfort, and a whole load more in one of England’s most picturesque regions. Great for the family in the school hols, great for everyone else at all times.

Landal Whitbarrow, Lake District
A two-night stay for up to six people in the Troutbeck Cottage Spa costs from £379. For more information or to book, visit landal.co.uk or call 01603 367066.

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