Get a great big dose of the Lake District with a stay at Another Place, The Lake, a charmingly relaxed hotel with adventure at its heart.
Review: Another Place, the Lake
Welcome to Another Place, The Lake. The name may sound a little poncy, but it suddenly makes sense when you arrive, hugging the shores of Ullswater lake before pulling up on pleasingly scrunchy gravel by the rather grandiose building that was until recently the Rampsbeck Hotel, but is now a new, more forward-thinking incarnation. The illusion of arriving at a traditional country house hotel is shattered by the sight of people playing table tennis in the garden and kayakers paddling on the water. Guests walk past in wetsuits, ready to go swimming in the lake, which lies glittering at the bottom of the gardens (all 18 acres of them). Walk into the hotel and there’s a row of wellingtons for guests to borrow, a big board displaying weather conditions for hikers and a warm welcome from the charming staff.
Another Place, The Lake is half Cumbrian tradition and half cutting-edge in both ethos and style. The new architectural additions to the original house are all clean lines and earthy colours that blend in harmoniously with the Cumbrian landscape. There’s a smart spa called the Swim Club and a pool with incredible views of the mountains across the lake. Bedrooms are sleek and simple, with enormous beds and lovely touches such as a thermos you can fill up with coffee before heading out on a walk. We did exactly that, driving around the lake to hike a section of the Ullswater Way below Arthur’s Pike. We scrambled up the hillside until we’d gained enough height to look back at Ullswater in all its glory, and at the hotel sat placidly across the water. The hotel’s location is truly its crowning glory, in the heart of the Lakes but removed from the madding crowds.
And there’s no need to leave the grounds to find a little adventure. The Sheep Shed, by the water, offers kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing and guided wildlife walks. I especially loved the rows of wetsuits and buoys available for guests to use if they fancy a swimming session. Back from a day of exploring, my absolutely favourite place in the hotel was the wonderful Library, an adults-only snug complete with roaring fire and books on the Lakes to peruse.
My only discordant note – Another Place, The Lake doesn’t seem quite sure if it’s a family hotel or aiming itself at grown-up, adventurous travellers (you’d only think the latter from the website and Instagram account). When we stayed it was full of families with young children, and there was an odd feeling of being segregated, as some areas are just for adults, some for little ones and some mixed, such as the pool, which looks zen but is on the noisy side in reality. That said, I imagine that parents missing the outdoor life and keen to take children on a weekend away would find this a welcoming haven, with lots of space for everyone to swim, explore and play. And for anyone in need of some fresh air, this is definitely a lovely base for exploring the Lake District.