Mini-moons are more popular than ever, but if you're looking for a romantic location not too far from home this winter, check out these ideas
1 The Yan, Lake District
Ski holiday vibes without the big journey…
For ski holiday feelings without the need to fly, head to The Yan – a chalet-style bistro with beds and one of the best places to eat in the Lake District.
Its menu is inspired by Chef Will Manley’s time working the French resort of Sainte Foy and includes Cumbrian fondue made with a local cheddar, smoked cheese and gruyere, with roasted herby potatoes, pickled cornichons and radish, sourdough chunks and a fresh salad of rocket, pickled carrots and green beans. And then there’s Croziflette – think Mac & Cheese with an alpine twist – small flakes of pasta from the Savoie region of France baked in cheese, topped with slow cooked beef brisket, roasted chorizo and brie, which can all be enjoyed in The Chalet – The Yan’s new dining space with views of Helm Crag.
The Yan sits at the foot of the fells and guests can walk Helvellyn right from its door so days can be spent on the mountains and nights can be spent eating, drinking and sleeping in The Yan’s cosy rooms. A stay at The Yan won’t break the January bank either – rooms cost from £130 per night. It’s dog friendly too.
The central Lake District can get busy in the summer months, but during the winter it is very much a hidden gem. The scenery is just as spectacular, the fells and lakes are still there, but it’s much, much quieter. For a slice of the best of the Lake District stay at Storrs Hall which boasts arguably the best setting in Cumbria – right on the shores of Windermere, England’s biggest lake.
There are 17 acres of private grounds and lakeshore to enjoy plus the hotel’s own jetty, right in the heart of the Lake District’s most popular area, but exclusive to Storrs Hall guests. The brave can wild swim as the hotel is just steps from the water’s edge. There’s paddle-boarding, canoeing and kayaking too. Or just enjoy the lake view from the comfort of your room or your hot tub if you’re staying in a Lakeside Suite near the water. Rooms in January cost from £170 per night including breakfast.
Victorian House Hotel in the picture-perfect village of Grasmere now offers a Stargazer Experience for both guests and non-guests which costs £15 per person and includes a backpack and waterproof rug to borrow, a map to one of the best Orion viewing spots in the Lake District (just 100 metres away), homemade sausage rolls, a generous tipple of Whiskey Mac, a Red Torch, binoculars and a star guide.
On a non-stargazing note, Grasmere is also home to the teeny Grasmere Gingerbread Shop and January is the ideal time to enjoy its gingery treats – get there first thing in the morning when they’ve just come out the oven and are still warm. Rooms at Victorian House Hotel cost from £107 per night including breakfast and it happily welcomes kids, dogs and muddy boots.
If you’re feeling in need of some serious pampering then the Brimstone Hotel and Brimstone Spa offer that in spades. Brimstone has 16 luxurious suites and a team of hosts to see to guests’ every need. There’s a Reading Room with complimentary beer, wine and treats on tap 24/7 and there’s room service and breakfast in bed too.
Every suite has its own private terrace with sliding doors, so you can bring the outdoors inside. Guests that feel a bit more adventurous can enjoy thermal experiences and be cosseted with treatments at the spa. But for peace and quiet and zero pressure, this is the perfect place to hideaway. Rooms at Brimstone cost from £310 per night including breakfast, Reading Room drinks and treats and Brimstone Spa access.
If you’re seeking complete and utter luxury, indulgence and privacy this one’s for you… Waternook is a super-luxury destination offering two excusive-use properties on Ullswater. They stand in 27 acres of their own private grounds and lake frontage and offer complete seclusion.
Waternook sleeps 12 people and has its own cinema room and wellness sanctuary. The Great Barn sleeps up to eight people and both properties welcome children and dogs. They each come with a menu of optional concierge services so guests can enjoy everything from helicopter transfers, private chefs and wellness therapies, to their own mountain guide, country pursuits instructor and security team. An incredibly special place.
A three night stay for up to eight people in the Great Barn in January costs from £2800 on a self-catering basis. Concierge services are obviously charged as taken.
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