Relaxing in a hot tub on a misty morning in Cumbria, with nothing but the sound of birds and bubbles to be heard – bliss!
If it hadn’t been 10am, a glass of prosecco would have perfected the moment, but that came later.
Nestled on the edge of the Lake District, surrounded by rolling hills, Appleby Manor Country House Hotel and Garden Spa is a mix of old and new.
The heart of the hotel remains a beautiful, sandstone Victorian manor house dating from 1871, complete with a roaring fire and a sweeping staircase which greet you in the lobby.
An impressive drawing room, with another open fireplace and comfy sofas, is the perfect place to relax with a wine or a coffee while taking in the views of the Eden Valley.
While the en-suite bedrooms, with original, thick wooden doors and all the unique quirks which come with older buildings, offer a cosy retreat from the outside world.
The dining room, complete with original oak panelling, adds to the historic feel of the manor house and creates the perfect ambience for the fine dining food and drink on offer to guests or foodies prepared to travel to sample the menu.
A bright and airy conservatory, which is the perfect place for afternoon tea or a pre-dinner drink, is a new addition to the hotel, but it’s a £1 million spa which makes Appleby Manor stand out from the rest.
Created in an extension to the older part of Appleby Manor, a finalist in Cumbria Tourism Board’s ‘Small Hotel of the Year’ award this year, the centre piece to the spa is a luxurious infinity hydro pool, where users bathe in mineral water, thanks to a 72 metre deep bore hole.
The Garden Spa’s facilities also include five treatments rooms, a steam room, pedidarium, salt inhalation room, manicure and pedicure room and a sauna.
Outside, a private garden with hot tub, fire pit and seating area would be perfect for lounging and relaxing on summer evenings.
It wasn’t quite as appealing on our winter trip, but braving the elements we relaxed outside in the hot tub jacuzzi, barely even noticing the drizzly rain as we just enjoyed the peace and quiet...a rare treat away from two children and their busy lives.
Back indoors we relaxed in the infinity pool complete with all its jets – perfect for easing away the tension in your neck, back and shoulders.
It also boasts underwater beds complete with jets to massage you from head to toe.
Wrapped up in comfy robes after our spa experience, the relaxation mode continued long after we’d dried off.
Some groups lounged in their robes in the lobby in front of the roaring fire, others had a light lunch.
We enjoyed a glass of fizz before wrapping up and enjoying the great outdoors.
With the lakes just a stone’s throw away, we opted to head to the picturesque market town of Keswick sitting in the shadow of the mighty Skiddaw.
A walk around Derwent Water and a browse around the shops before finishing off in a warm, country pub was the perfect end to a perfect break.
Now we just need to do it in the summer!