After an excellent, but rather soggy week in Yorkshire’s two National Parks, we crossed the Pennines and headed to the Lake District National Park, in Cumbria. Having previously visited the Lake District, for a few days back in 1980, we correctly anticipated some rain.
We planned to stay a week and with no timeshare exchanges available, we found Virginia Cottage, an excellent Guest House/B&B in Bowness-on-Windermere.
Virginia Cottage Guest House
Located a short walk from the shores of Lake Windermere, Virginia Cottage was originally 2 cottages, dating from the mid 1800’s, that were converted to the current guest house. It has operated as a guest house for over 45 years.
Virginia Cottage entrance under the red sign
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Virginia Cottage, where we found it to be an excellent combination of old & new. On making a reservation, owners Graeme & Shirley forward a detailed confirmation outlining their facilities and a parking pass.
Virginia Cottage from towards the lake
As seen above, they have no parking lot, however this is clearly included on the website and the documentation sent after registration. On arrival, I pulled into the adjacent driveway to unload our substantial luggage, with owner Graeme assisting. Once unloaded, I headed to the adjacent hotel, where they have a complimentary parking agreement. Just print and post the parking pass they forward with the confirmation. It was then about 150 to 200 yd walk back to the cottage.
We had a room on the top floor (3rd), and with no lift, owner Graeme again assisted in carrying our luggage upstairs. The room was huge, with a very comfortable 4-poster bed.
Bedroom with 4-poster canopied bed
The room was again an excellent combination of old and new. The structure with older windows, doors and uneven floors complimented by new fixtures and one of the best en-suites we have seen on our travels. Everything was spotlessly clean and well maintained.
You almost needed a training session to operate the shower, as each of the 5 controls operated a different shower head.
They also provide a guest lounge on the ground floor, which has some comfortable chairs and couches, lots of local brochures and every evening Graeme delivers a decanter of sherry and biscuits, which are complimentary.
Breakfast is served in the dining room, located on the 2nd floor. On entering, you locate the table corresponding to your room number. They provide an extensive selections of fruits, cereals, yogurts, etc. on the buffet table, from which you help yourself. The staff then deliver tea/coffee and toast. Individual marmalade/jams are available on the tables, or you can opt for Shirley’s home made jams from the buffet table. Cooked breakfasts are ordered the evening before, but are made fresh, when you complete your cereal/fruit. Every morning we received an excellent hot breakfast that was well cooked and presented.
We also received complimentary in room wi-fi that had both very good speed and bandwidth. We had no problems Skyping with our grandson. They also provide complimentary passes to the pool and gym at another local hotel.
To summarise our excellent stay at Virginia Cottage – if you want modern, valet parking, lifts, etc go to a hotel, but if you opt for the ultra expensive adjacent Laura Ashley Belsfield Hotel, you will experience the same parking issues. If you want great service, ambiance and a great filling breakfast, then Virginia Cottage is an excellent choice.