The magic of this place really lies in the setting. You are on the Whinlatter pass - a great drive, but not too steep - in the middle of England's only mountain forest. It's stunning. As you sit in the restaurant for breakfast you're greeted (on a clear day) with views of Skiddaw and some resident red squirrels. All around you, the sound of birds and wildlife and the wind whistling through the trees. For an outdoor lover, it's brilliant. It's so much wilder than the South Lakes too - a real feeling of adventure.
The room we chose was very small - I would say a bit too small for the value - but we were only using it a walker's base. I'm guessing the majority of people staying at the hotel are doing the same. They provide a good selection of walks to look at with graded difficulties, and even offer to make packed lunches for you. They are obviously aware that it is a bit remote, although it's only really a 10-minute drive to Keswick.
The service is generally good, although the staff are a little bit odd. I wouldn't say that they are rude, but you don't get much change out of them in conversation. We ate in the restaurant one night - it has good reviews so we went for the tasting menu. I have to say that it was one of the more disappointing tasting menus I have eaten - not to say that it was bad, but for the price I think I had the right to set my expectations a lot higher.
Overall, it's a lovely location but let down a bit by the price to quality ratio of the food and the size of the rooms. Next time we are in the North Lakes, we will stay in the Kirkstile Inn; better value, much better food, similarly beautiful surroundings.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 17th Century former coaching Inn located in the middle of Whinlatter, England's only mountain forest. Stunning views of the Forest Valley and Skiddaw mountain range. The Forest hosts a variety of wildlife including Deer and Red Squirrels. This restaurant with rooms has achieved recognition through the award of Cumbria Tourism's Taste Cumbria 2016 and 3 AA rosette for culinary excellence. 'The Cottage' is featured in the Good Food Guide and Good Hotel Guide. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Cottage In The Wood Hotel Braithwaite
- The Cottage In The Wood Braithwaite, Keswick, Cumbria