The sophisticated Gilpin Hotel & Lake House offers characterful guest rooms, luxurious spa services and fine dining in the heart of the scenic Lake District.
Forest Side Hotel
Housed in a romantic Gothic mansion, the fully renovated Forest Side Hotel offers inviting accommodation befitting of royalty. The hotel features muted tones in its decor, as well as sprawling gardens that bring to mind the property’s former Victorian glory, while still providing 21st-century comforts such as free Wi-Fi throughout.
Each room is designed by local interior designer James Mackie, using Zoffany fabrics and wall coverings, and plush furniture and bedding by local firm Westmorland. In the kitchen, head chef Kevin Tickle and his Michelin-starred team prepare meals with locally sourced ingredients and the in-house sommelier will be happy to recommend you accompanying artisanal organic wines.
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Regardless of category, each room at the Forest Side Hotel aims to wrap guests in comfort and luxury. With premium toiletries, designer furnishings and plush bedding, you can feel right at home while surrounded by elegance. Each room also provides a soft bathrobe, a newspaper and free Wi-Fi access.
The Forest Side Hotel is hidden among the trees in a quiet location in the Lake District town of Grasmere. While there’s a feeling of seclusion around the property, many shops and restaurants are only a five-minute taxi ride away.
Food and drink
With a Michelin-starred chef, a head gardener and an in-house sommelier, you’ll be well fed during your stay at the Forest Side Hotel. Head chef Kevin Tickle truly captures the tastes of Cumbria in his dishes, as nearly 90% of the ingredients are sourced from within ten miles of the hotel. You have the option to dine à la carte or select from a variety of tasting menus set by the chef. The restaurant also offers daily afternoon tea, expertly prepared by head pastry chef Cal Byerley.
The Forest Side Hotel has one accessible room with all the same stylish amenities as the other rooms, but designed to accommodate guests with limited mobility. The doors have been widened and there’s a roll-in wet room with non-stick flooring. Other features include an adjustable shower chair, adjustable grab rails, and pull-cord alarms.
Elegance pervades throughout this property, from its tasteful and stylish rooms through to its menu concept, which we love.
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.
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.
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 Waterhead is a boutique hotel on the edge of Lake Windermere. Its beautiful design is complemented by the staff’s attentive service and delicious meals served either in the stylish bar or on the hotel’s stunning lakeside garden terrace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the landscape that inspired one of Britain’s most renowned poets. Your guide will bring you to two of Wordworth’s homes, Rydal Mount and Dove Cottage, to learn about his life and family. You can also explore nearby Grasmere village.