Spring in the Lake District.
Even when the sleet is whipping horizontally across the peak of Helm Crag and every sensible person is sitting listening to the rugby with a pint and the Sunday papers in a respite such as the Miller Howe Hotel, you will find our Far Eastern cousins tramping the streets of Grasmere or Ambleside looking for Peter Rabbit under lonely clouds.
Filling up the scarce car parks. Crowding out the National Trust shop. Asking directions at the local garden centre. Milling around in the churchyard or queuing in their droves at Sarah Nelsons Gingerbread shop. Lord only knows what it must be like on a sunny bank holiday weekend. William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter never meant it to be like this. But it is - and it's pretty much their fault for being so popular. The Japanese are so potty about Ms Potter they've even re-created her house in Japan.
So don't go at a popular time to The Lake District. Ever. Got that?
Instead go midweek, when it's cold and windy and take someone you love to a boutiquey hotel like Miller Howe on the shore of Lake Windermere. That way like Wordsworth, you can wander in their gardens and compose poetry in your head whilst admiring the remarkable views undisturbed.
After I climbed Helm Crag, I needed sustenance and rest, which I found when I arrived alone somewhat tired and frankly rather out of sorts for a posh hotel. I ordered tea and a found a place by the fire that was badly needed. I was welcomed.
They have a cottage you can stay in separate from the hotel that is quiet, private and comfortable. It has sheep in the field outside the window. The bed is large and the curtains heavy. The peace is heavenly and constant.
We had a meal on Sunday night in the restaurant and breakfast there the following morning. Neither could be faulted.The food was creative and stylish, yet so mouth watering. Not to rush on a Monday morning was beyond wonderful.
The staff were personable. helpful and professional. As I ate my eggs and bacon, I watched the maitre'd at breakfast make a nearby yummy mummy and her young daughter happy with his personal attention in a way I'd forgotten still existed. He made their time fun.
The letter welcoming us to our room and asking for comments was from the manager Nigel Williamson. Nigel, it was remiss of me to not say at the time but you have a wonderful hotel.
Oh, and whether you feel you need a guide book or not, The Lake District should always be accompanied by "A Walk Around The Lakes" by Hunter Davies. It defines the word invaluable.
Rather like his predecessors, he wrote the book. Thankfully without any rabbits.
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- Also Known As:
- Miller Howe Hotel And Restaurant
- Miller Howe Hotel & Restaurant Windermere, Lake District