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The Waterhead, The Lake District

The Waterhead

The Waterhead is a sophisticated hotel on the shore of Lake Windermere. Every detail of the boutique property’s 41 contemporary guest rooms has been carefully designed to offer a relaxed, intimate atmosphere and the staff’s attentive, award-winning service will make you feel right at home. 

The beautifully lit restaurant offers a contemporary dining experience, putting a modern twist on traditional dishes. The hotel’s Lounge Bar offers an all-day menu within a relaxed environment, focused around local ingredients. Afternoon tea is also served daily and is further enhanced when enjoyed from the hotel’s elegant lakeside garden and terrace.

Our rating: First Class

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Rooms

The Waterhead Hotel offers guests three room categories to choose from. All 41 generously-sized, contemporary designed guest rooms feature white walls adorned with bold, modern artwork, well-lit bathrooms and tea and coffee facilities. House rooms provide guests with everything they would need for an enjoyable stay. Classic rooms offer the same amenities as the House rooms but also feature spectacular views over Lake Windermere. Luxury Lake View rooms have extra special touches to enhance your stay. These extra amenities include luxurious bathrobes and complimentary beverages and snacks such as Nespresso coffee pods and locally distilled Bedrock Gins.

Location

The boutique Waterhead Hotel has a waterfront location next to scenic Lake Windermere and lakeside walks can be enjoyed right from the hotel’s front door. Ambleside with its numerous shops, activities, and restaurants is just north from the property.

Food and drink

The Waterhead’s restaurant offers an intimate dining experience and a diverse menu that puts a fresh twist on regional dishes. The stylish restaurant also serves a traditional afternoon tea, which can be enjoyed on the hotel lawn. Additionally, the bar is the perfect place to enjoy a morning latte, evening wine, or one of the 40 gin infusions on offer.

Families

Every child receives a goody bag when they arrive at the Waterhead Hotel. The property’s dining facilities welcome children and offer a separate children’s menu. High chairs and booster seats are also available. Additionally, children aged five to ten years old can join Sam's Club, an activity club run by the hotel group.

Facilities and activities

Guests at the Waterhead Hotel receive complimentary access to the Low Wood Bay Leisure Club, where facilities include an indoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, gym, squash court and a beauty salon. The seasonal Low Wood Bay Watersports Centre is also discounted and offers a wide range of instructional courses such as kayaking and paddle boarding, as well as boat hires.

Our opinion

With its prime position on the shore of Lake Windermere and close proximity to Ambleside and Grasmere, the Waterhead Hotel is perfectly situated for exploring the Lake District.

Lake District tour ideas

Nearby accommodation

Nearby places

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favorite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Forest Side, Grasmere

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      Tucked away among the trees in the Lake District town of Grasmere, the Forest Side Hotel is full of Victorian charm.

    • Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, Bowness-on-Windermere

      Gilpin Hotel & Lake House

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    • Macdonald Old England, Bowness-on-Windermere

      Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa

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      Overlooking the Lake Windermere of William Wordsworth’s poetry, Macdonald Old England Hotel & Spa is a quiet retreat surrounded by nature, located in the Lake District town of Bowness-on-Windermere.

    • Macdonald Swan Hotel, Grasmere

      Macdonald Swan Hotel

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      The Macdonald Swan Hotel is a characterful pub-style property, providing comfort and warmth in in the heart of the Lake District. Its long history includes a connection with the poet William Wordsworth.

    • The Wild Boar, Bowness-on-Windermere

      The Wild Boar

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      The Wild Boar offers exceptional cuisine and service in a welcoming, characterful setting. Guests will feel right at home at this traditional inn, which boasts unique features such as its own on-site smokehouse and microbrewery.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Hardknott Roman Fort

      Hardknott Roman Fort, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway and Muncaster Castle

      The Lake District

      Your driver-guide can navigate Cumbria’s steep and winding roads while you admire the looming mountains and sweeping sea views. The tour also stops at Muncaster Castle, the Roman-era Hardknott Fort and the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway, a Victorian steam train line.

    • Lake District farm experience , The Lake District

      Lake District farm experience

      The Lake District

      Experience life on a traditional Lake District fell farm where you'll get a chance to meet the hardy Herdwick sheep, learn about farm practices and local lifestyles and get to try your hand at dry stone walling.

    • Buttermere

      North Lakes explorer

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      Your driver-guide will create a tour of the North Lakes area based around your interests. You can take your time exploring the unspoiled lakes, sheep-dotted mountains, and tiny towns at an unhurried pace, with pauses for walks in the countryside or taking photographs.

    • Hawkshead

      Tea at Beatrix Potter's cottage

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      Discover the land that Beatrix Potter loved and helped to preserve on this tour of her Lake District home. Cross Lake Windermere before having a tour and tea with a Potter expert at the author’s marital house, Castle Cottage.

    • Rydal dining room

      Wordsworth's Lake District

      The Lake District

      Explore the landscape that inspired one of Britain’s most renowned poets. Your guide will bring you to two of Wordsworth’s homes, Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage, to learn about his life and family. You can also explore nearby Grasmere village.