Howtown Hotel – Ullswater, Cumbria

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Howtown is set back from the shores of Ullswater and set back in time. Jacqui Baldry has run it, latterly with her son, David, for nearly 60 years. Jacqui has never had a computer; when you phone for a room, you are asked to confirm in writing; she then acknowledges by hand. It may be old-fashioned, but there’s nothing hair shirt about this truly special hotel (open March to November). Warmly lit, red-carpeted corridors, lined by watercolours and prints, lead to the 12 bedrooms, spacious and neat as a pin, with wonderful views. No new-fangled toiletries (bring your own shampoo) but a bar of Imperial Leather soap, plentiful hot bath water and large towels. At 7pm, a gong sounds for dinner from well-known chef Colin Akrigg in the duck egg blue dining room, gleaming with silver cutlery. At 8am: tea and biscuits brought to your room. Sounds regimented? This is the warmest, kindest hotel in the world. Doubles from £208.


Name to Know: One of the owners, David Baldry. Ask him to take you for a spin (or swim) in his amphibious car.

See: Go for a long walk around the Lake District.

Eat: Jacqui Baldry has handed over the cooking to ex-head chef at Sharrow Bay, Colin Akrigg. Don’t miss the cheese soufflé he made famous there.

Buy: A tour around Lacy’s Caves in Penrith.

Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.

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