Sat, contemplating the same old vista, I pined for a change of scene – and a little luxury. With a heavy workload and limited time, an English weekend break seemed to be the obvious solution to my malaise; but where to go? Having explored relatively little of the English countryside, a quick search revealed a multitude of options.
Top of my list was The Lake District, where verdant, rolling hills converged with spectacular aquamarine lakes. Only 7 miles from Windermere, on the southern tip of the Cartmel peninsula, the pretty seaside town of Grange-over-Sands offers stunning countryside, shore line walks (of Morecombe bay), cream teas and close proximity to nearby towns – as well as the perfect luxury accommodation, the simply sumptuous Grange Hotel in which to ease slowly into a well earned weekend break. This high quality, four-star resort offers stunning views of the Lakes, with opulent bedrooms designed with luxurious comfort in mind, and a fantastic restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
An hour and half from the Lake District is Crosby, home to Crosby beach, the now permanent residence of Anthony Gormley’s internationally acclaimed ‘Another Place’ sculpture. The beach is actually one of Britain’s best kept beaches, having won the national Beach Awards Quality Coast Award in 2011. Crosby itself has also recently been voted one of the best places to live in the north-west of England, so a weekend break there is a great opportunity to see why that’s the case. Self-styled as Liverpool’s only ‘budgetique’ hotel, The Heywood House Hotel offers four-star accommodation offers superb luxury at affordable prices. Just a couple of miles from Crosby, it’s perfectly situated between the quiet, rural village and the bustling metropolis of Liverpool. With a choice of rooms, a brand new bar and brasserie, and its fusion of traditional design with contemporary features, The Heywood House Hotel is the perfect getaway.
Head back up towards Cumbria and you’ll eventually discover Seascale, a picturesque town opened up as a popular holiday destination with the introduction of the Furness railway in 1850. Of Norse origin, Seascale now bears more evidence of its Victorian influence, with the old water tower now a listed building, and the former goods shed still standing, now converted into a sports hall. The beach receives a pleasant amount of sun in the summer, and the average temperature in Seascale over the summer months tends to stand around eighteen degrees, with highs in the late twenties and early thirties. A charming little place to stay is The Calder House Hotel, now with its brand new annex, No. 3 Calderside. Both locations offer modern, comfortable living within a classic Victorian building, combining the history and tradition of the town with the highest resort standards. The beautiful Victorian dining room is a gorgeous place to enjoy some of the finest local foods, and the location of the hotel is ideal to reach the surrounding attractions.
There’s so much to see and do up north that you really are spoilt for choice. The fantastic range of places to stay offers you unparalleled access to the wonders of the north, as well as a place to lay your head after an exhausting day out!