Location, location, location. A mere fifteen minutes from the M6, The Swan Hotel is one of the Lake District’s easier charms to access. Only over the five arches of a picturesque bridge, built way back in 1651, does the road finally narrow to a single track.
Alternatively, you could arrive by boat: mooring up at the hotel’s marina, walking past emerald lawns and weeping willows to find a white lacy table at The Swan’s alfresco area for brunch, lunch, drinks or dinner. Though in the New Normal of the travel world, you will need to book your table, even if you are just dropping in for a coffee. Only the ducks drifting by are freed of the obligation to provide their details.
Back in the 17th century, The Swan began its life as a coaching inn. Now with that marina, spa, indoor swimming pool, adventure playground and nature trail, it is a family-friendly base, a veritable Lakes resort, for exploring the southern lakes. If it’s too wet to go for a walk, bike ride or cruise on nearby Lake Windermere then there’s a child-friendly lounge with pool table, books and games. The connecting rooms of the Beatrix Potter suite are even equipped with PlayStations.
All the family are welcome too. Dogs are greeted with a bowl of water, towel for a rub down and a treat. Ground floor rooms and the self-catering Nest cottages accept dogs. By the bank of the River Leven, there’s a flat and spacious car-park with ample space for the family estates and SUVs that are drawn to the lakes.
After the devastating floods of December 2015, a £4m refurbishment programme gave The Swan a vibrant make-over. Public areas feature bold Designer Guild wallpapers though a custom made tropical themed paper was commissioned for Reception.
The Swan is fortunate that it has so much space in The Cygnature Restaurant, few tables have been lost to ensure generous social distancing. Daring interior design brings intense colour to the restaurant: royal blue walls are brightened by cerise banquettes backed with a floral chintz design. Filament raw light-bulbs, hanging from uneven length cords, introduce a contemporary edge to a restaurant that could have become country-twee with the grey flint fireplace and willow pattern crockery for breakfast.
Serving food throughout the day, both the bar and brasserie menus cater for healthy appetites stoked by biking, climbing, hiking, kayaking or swimming. Sharing platters introduce the local cuisine including Ale Bread baked on-site, a Cumbrian take on chorizo and a tender, succulent steak-and-ale-pie from The Northern Pie Company.
Frequent orders from the brasserie menu show a preference for regional classics. A crisp-topped crumpet soaking up the gin sauce from Morecambe Bay potted prawns is the number one starter. Mid-summer, salmon crowning a tower of asparagus, green beans and new potatoes, accompanied by dill-flavoured creme fraiche is a main course favourite. In a region where Sticky Toffee Pudding allegedly originated, that is the most requested dessert.
The Swan’s 56 rooms, nine of them suites, continue with the bold decor. Amongst the beams of Cosy Loft, it is almost a case of James Bond meets Alice in Wonderland. Guests can use the key fob to raise a wide-screen television, Netflix and Amazon Prime are amongst the options, from the base of the super king-size bed. Though a tiny door, most guests would have to duck, leads to a white marble effect bathroom. Back in the bedroom, there’s a spacious roll-top white bath lit by the antler design rustic mini-chandelier.
Blessed with a perfect location, The Swan is just a short drive from Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top and other National Trust properties. Peter Rabbit World at Bowness on Windermere is just a fifteen-minute drive away too. And if guests tire of hills and lakes it is not far at all to the beaches and sea-shore of Grange-over-sands.
Tell Me More About The Swan Hotel At Newby Bridge
The Swan Hotel & Spa Newby Bridge, Cumbria LA12 8NB
T: 015395 31681
Currently, rooms begin from around £180 and suites from around £270