Shropshire Star

Lake District, Cumbria - travel review

My love affair with the Lake District began back in the age of the dinosaur - when I was at school doing my Duke of Edinburgh awards.

The Wild Boar Hotel is set in tranquil surroundings in the hills above Lake Windermere

My 'expedition' for Gold was a camping challenge over three days set in the Lakes which included a climb over Scafell Pike on one of the hottest days of the last century - yes indeed in prehistoric times. But even though the heat was tropical and the challenge tough, I fell in love with the area and have often been back, usually to something more comfortable than the two man tent I enjoyed at 17!

My last visit was a stay at The Wild Boar Hotel set in tranquil surroundings in the hills above and not far from Lake Windermere, a place I have eaten at before but never spent a night. And for me the added advantage is that the hotel is dog friendly. I love walking in the Lakes with the pooch and breaks in this country are a bonus when he is welcome. And dogs are made very welcome at The Wild Boar. In the bedrooms there are beds, dishes, treats and even a towel to clean the canine off if he gets dirty in the hotel's lovely woodlands. And there's a hose outside to wash them off if they get specially messy.

Cosy seating the perfect place to relax

You can take them in the bar and lounge area and can have your meals in there as well if you can't bear to be parted! Dogs aren't allowed in the restaurant which is fair enough but eating in the bar is very pleasant and comfortable. And you can pet all the other dogs and chat to the other owners.

The Wild Boar has 34 individually styled bedrooms with three categories of rooms to choose from. The Classic and Feature rooms offer everything you would expect from a four star Lake District Inn and the luxury rooms are perfect if you are looking to treat yourself to something a bit special. My room featured a free standing copper tub in the corner (and there was a separate bathroom with shower!) in which you could float and enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. A king sized bed with top cotton bedding gave a good night's sleep and French windows opened out on to a private terrace area - perfect with a dog.

When you arrival at the Inn there's a variety of cosy seating and open fires it is the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring the Lake District. Plus the Inn has its very own Brewhouse with a selection of its own real ales available at the bar as well as an extensive wine list and a selection of over 150 whiskies.


On the eating side, the grill and smokehouse is a popular stop for Windermere locals and visitors alike and The Wild Boar emphasises its commitment to sourcing some of the best local and seasonal ingredients. This traditional Lake District Inn close to Windermere has a very special reputation both locally and nationally, both for its quality of food and drink and a welcome as warm as its open log fires.

Smoked produce is a speciality with the smoking carried out on site in the smokehouse. Everything from fish to cheese, steak to wild boar, are treated to the smoking experience. I particularly enjoyed the Deli Board which includes a selection of air-dried ham, homemade pastrami, in-house hot-smoked peppered wild boar, salami, hand carved smoked baked ham, our house-cured Loch Duart smoked salmon, smoked cheddar, pickled egg, chutney, smoked wild boar sausage, bread and butter. A banquet.

There is so much to see and do in the Lakes but you don't have to go far from The Wild Boar if your time is limited, or you just want to totally relax. Windermere and Bowness Bay are just a short drive down the hill and there's the added advantage of woodland trails in the Boar's own private woodland.

There are 34 individually-styled rooms

The Wild Boar has an array of memorable and 'individual' events throughout the year including popular whisky tasting evenings, smoking courses and special dinners. Or you can just enjoy the peace and quiet as we did

Set amongst the beauty of the ancient Gilpin Valley, The Wild Boar takes its name from the local legend of Sir Richard de Gilpin, who killed a particularly ferocious wild boar close by. Today The Wild Boar is all about the warmest of welcomes and high standard of service, complemented by its choice of individually designed rooms and the excitement of the Grill & Smokehouse's open kitchen.