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Finding creative inspiration and extreme luxury in the stunning village of Grasmere

It’s poetry in motion as Ben Turner pays a relaxing visit to a spa hotel just a stone’s throw from William Wordsworth’s Lake District home...

The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, Grasmere
The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, Grasmere

The hotel was originally built in 1855 as a testimony to the tourist industry that William Wordsworth inspired.

It helps that the English Romantic poet’s famous Dove Cottage home on the village edge of Grasmere stands directly across the road.

Throw in the fact that this charming and extensively recently redeveloped hotel affords guests stunning views across the waters of Grasmere to Loughrigg and Red Bank or over the Vale of Grasmere, and it has all the ingredients to write its own success story.

After a wonderful stay during a gloriously sunny Bank Holiday weekend, both my fiancée and I were left wanting to pen a little ode of our own – urging anyone wanting a luxurious stay in beautiful surroundings to try the four-star Daffodil Hotel & Spa for size.

The mood was set even before we checked in.

With the sun beating down, and for once arriving ahead of schedule, we took a leisurely walk into Grasmere, around five minutes from the hotel.

This charming village, situated  in the heart of the Lake District National Park just north of Lake Windermere, has a raft of independent gift shops, pubs, restaurants and cafés.

But for my sweet-toothed partner and I, its jewel in the crown was the must-visit Grasmere Gingerbread Shop which literally lets you taste history. Proving that size doesn’t matter, this delightful shop is so tiny you have to queue single file to get in.

But once inside you can purchase hand-packed Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread which – made from a secret recipe – has enticed tourists since the Victorian era. The shop is nestled on the corner of St Oswald’s Church – home to the graves of Wordsworth and his family.


The grave and churchyard is such a tourist hotspot that visitors from Wirral to Watford have lapped up the chance to sponsor an engraved slate slab which is set in the path of Wordsworth Daffodil Garden placed between the River Rothay and the churchyard of Saint Oswalds.

After a naughty afternoon pint in the Travellers Rest Inn, we walked back to the hotel to check in.

The new-look hotel opened in July last year and has 78 rooms.

They say first impressions last and we were both smitten after being shown to our spacious room which offered views of both the lake and the hillside.

The room itself included a 40-inch flatscreen TV, huge couch, bed and indulgent bathroom. The icing on the cake for the future Mrs Turner was the Molton Brown toiletries which apparently “make cute presents”.

The outdoors proved just as impressive as the hotel’s interior, as we found The Terrace – which allowed us to sit back and relax just yards from the lake and stunning surroundings.

The only slight gripe we had was that we had to visit the first floor to order a drink as the ground floor bar only opens at certain times.

Another highlight of our stay was the fantastic three-course meal in the hotel’s restaurant which, headed by AA Rosette award-winning head chef Nick Martin, prides itself on the use of local produce and is open to both residents and non-residents.

After much deliberating over the hotel’s extensive grill menu we were both delighted by our choices, in particular a beautifully tender sirloin steak and the sticky toffee pudding and butterscotch sauce – a spot-on recommendation from our Hungarian waiter.

Our hotel visit ended on a high note the following morning in the shape of one of the raft of treatments available at The Germaine De Capuccini Spa.

Refreshed, we headed back home, pledging that after a trip as golden as the flowers in Wordsworth’s Daffodils poem, we would return to Grasmere and this exceptional hotel.


Ben Turner stayed at The Daffodil Hotel & Spa, Keswick Road, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9PR, as a guest of the owners.

The hotel is celebrating its first birthday and until September is running a First Birthday Offer – with prices starting from £126 B&B per night (non view rooms) up to £226 for master suites.

It also has a free competition online to win a weekend in the Molton Brown Suite. See www.daffodil hotel.co.uk or call 015394 63550.


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