Travel review: Stand and stare on the shores
What is this life, if, full of care .... Wordsworth's words seemed so apt as I stood, so many times over the weekend, and stared in awe at the beauty of the Lake District in Autumn.
At the height of the summer the national park, now also a world heritage site, can seem crowded.
But go to Cumbria off season and you will find so many wonderful walks and beauty spots where you may not see anyone.
The changing of the seasons is one of the real joys of the area, from stunning winter snow and those springtime golden daffodils to blankets of bluebells in May, through the summer and onto Autumn when the mountains and the shores of the lakes, meres and tarns blaze yellow, orange and red.
The southern lakes are less than three hours from Shropshire, perfect for a weekend away.
We were all to soon at our hotel, the Beech Hill Hotel and Spa midway between Newby Bridge and Bowness on Windermere.
Its enviable position, right on the lake shore, means the restaurant, lounges and many of the bedrooms with their wall to ceiling windows and terraces, have the most incredible views across Windermere.
It was when I walked through the terraced gardens down to the lake that I realised just how magical the Lake District can be.
Beech Hill has its own jetty and Wordsworth like, I really did just stand and stare.
You could easily stay enjoying the peace of the hotel throughout the weekend but we were determind to get some walking in.
With the forecast warning of heavy showers we decided to opt for a couple of low level walks in the Windermere area during out stay.
We headed for Ambleside and the Stockgyll waterfall.
Overnight torrential rain meant the river was a raging torrent, framed by those Autumnal trees.
We climbed upwards following the river, stopping to take in the wonderful scenery and, and of course, take photos.
Finally we reached the main falls plunging 70feet downwards. There is a terrific wooden bridge on the top where you have a brilliant view.
Our second walk took us to the much smaller Rydal water and a fabulous route around the lake and up through White Moss woods to the magnificent Rydal Caves.
So still was the lake that the autumn hues of the trees were perfectly mirrored in the water.
Of course you don't have to enjoy walking to enjoy the Lake District. There are museums galore, fab shops and of course great drives.
If you are energetic Cumbria has it all, walking, mountaineering, cycling, water sports, the list goes on and on.
When you have worn yourself out you can return to Beech Hill Hotel for some luxurious pampering.
The spa has a decent size pool, sauna, steam room and a fabulous, outdoor, hot tub overlooking Windermere.
And having worked up an appetite then enjoy the hotel's Burlington Restaurant.
Named after the local slate, Burlington's is not just a hotel restaurant, its a destination in its own right. Head chef Lukasz specialises in French and English cuisine the restaurant prides itself on using only the finest, freshest produce and ingredients, local whenever possible.
Lamb and beef reared on the Cumbrian Fells were an obvious choice, my lamb chosen from the starter menu while I opted for Scottish salmon for my mains. I am not sure where hubby's wood pigeon breast was from the his fillet steak was locally bred.
A nice touch is the offer a choice of two, three or five course selections from the menu which means that you can enjoy the luxury of Burlingtons whatever your budget.
If you want something more casual then eat in the bar or lounge and maybe then enjoy and evening playing one of the board games that are available - another great touch.
While we have some fantastic countryside and our own meres in Shropshire and mid Wales - Cumbria steals a piece of my heart every time I go.
The Beech Hill Hotel and Spa is a 4 star hotel, overlooking Lake Windermere, Cumbria. On the shores of one of the Lake District`s most beautiful locations, you’re free to indulge yourself in stunning views, superb food and 57 comfortable bedrooms.
Room prices vary between seasons, days of the week, and room type. Room prices can start from £69 for single occupancy in a Classic Single room inclusive of breakfast.
The Two course menu is priced at £26.95
The Three course menu is priced at £34.95
The Five course menu is priced at £39.95
Children's three course dinner is priced at £14.95
Beech Hill Hotel & Spa
Newby Bridge Road
Telephone: 0333 444 6835
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