This last weekend, we were guests at The Keswick Country House Hotel. A Victorian hotel, which combines an air of history with a modern, welcoming feel.
Much as I love broad landscapes and towering hills, I’ve never explored The Lake District and hadn’t considered it a family destination. Our weekend in the Lakes was very much two opposing weather fronts, glorious sunshine on Sunday and ceaseless rain on Saturday. Bad weather is great for assessing a destination’s family credentials.
Hotels and small children
Since having my son, I’d given up on hotels as somewhere for us as a family. We usually, self-cater, which suited my son’s early rising and early meal times. However, at 6 he is more flexible, but I was still in a self-catering mind-set. I’d forgotten how nice it is to have a newspaper delivered in the morning, for someone else to make the bed, but best of all for someone else to cook. It made for a really relaxing break for all 3 of us.
Given the bad weather on Saturday, we spent more time in the room than we might have. The TV had channels to please him, while I made the most of the generous amounts of tea, hot chocolate and biscuits. The room was spacious and more than adequately contain a 6-year-old boy and two adults on a rainy day. We were supplied with plenty of towels, extra pillows and the shower was properly awesome. The room was comfortable and clean and we were very impressed. Our room was in the old station annexe of the hotel with its own entrance.
Initially my social media soul was slightly distressed to discover the room was out of WiFi range, however I was on holiday with my family, I don’t need constant social media. However, there is good, easy connect WiFi from the lounge area by reception, it’s quiet and the chairs are comfy, should someone need a little social media.
The Keswick Country House Hotel
The hotel sits in 4 acres of gardens, inhabited by lots of wild rabbits, who nibble on the lawn. There is space for children to run and enjoy the gardens. It is a short stroll to town and an even shorter stroll to a modern children’s playground.
We found the staff friendly and old school in their service; attentive and courteous.
The Keswick Country House Hotel prides itself on its food. The breakfast is a wonderful buffet, cooked options, fresh fruit, pastries, cereals. After downing two bowls of rice crispies and a bacon, sausage and beans my 6-year-old was perfectly set up for the day.
A daily changing evening menu. The food is sophisticated, impressive and locally sourced.
We ate in the restaurant on Saturday evening my son opted for five-hour, slow roasted lamb. He was given a generous child’s portion which he ate with gusto. I had creamy lemongrass infused risotto with butternut squash, petit pois and Garstang blue cheese. It was gorgeous. Mr. had pan-fried medallion of mature local venison lion, which he pronounced; perfect. Did I mention the thai fish cakes to start and chocolate torte to finish? Both delicious and portions just right. My son had ice cream, everyone left happy.
There is a daily changing children’s menu, featuring the type of food children love, spaghetti, pizza etc. My one critic would be that the hotel don’t promote this enough. Arriving late Friday night, we were invited to eat in the hotel. I stood in reception with my son, read the menu and was over awed by the food. For two adults it spelt culinary delights, but there was nothing I could have fed my 6-year-old. We were all hungry, so we ate out. On Saturday, having seen the menu and knowing my boy would eat lamb, we arranged a time for dinner. Only as we sat down we were offered a children’s menu.
I made the assumption there wasn’t a children’s menu. It would have been whole different experience if staff, while suggesting dinner, also shared the option of a children’s menu.
That blip aside, I can thoroughly recommend The Keswick Country House Hotel. It made a perfect base and The Lakes made for a great family weekend. There is loads to do as a family and we loved exploring the Lake District.
What do to in Keswick in the rain with children?
The leisure pool, literally next door to the hotel, is extremely child friendly, shallow pool, slide and intermittent waves. We spent a happy Saturday afternoon there.
We didn’t visit the Pencil Museum, it looks great fun and well worth a visit. Keswick climbing wall has indoor walls and offers lessons.
Even in bad weather, there are woodland walks and plenty of places to buy waterproof trousers. The right clothing makes all the difference and put a child in wellies and waterproofs and most really don’t mind the rain.
Keswick has excellent tourist information facilities on the main square, with information on family friendly walks and local attractions.
The town itself, has plenty of small shops to browse and various cafes. We loved Ye Olde Friars chocolate shop. Everything in chocolate form. Heaven.
Things to do in Keswick with kids, in the sunshine
If we had more time, we would have hired bikes, or explored .
We did walk up Catbells, which is a glorious fell with rich views. It was the perfect first fell for a 6-year-old, who really enjoyed the experience. You can see more of our walk here.
There is a lovelyto Castlerigg stone circles.
I was so proud to see my son climbing his first fell. The Lake District is a great place to get back to nature with children and impress upon them the beauty of UK, I hope we made memories that will last my son a lifetime.
The Keswick Country House Hotel offers spacious, modern rooms in an elegant setting. With easy access to Keswick. Ample parking. Attentive service. The food is the star of the show. Thoroughly recommended.
Bed, breakfast and dinner £87 per person, per night (dependent on season and minimum 2 nights stay).
We stayed as guests of Choice Hotels UK. All words and opinions are my own.