Review: Askham Hall In the Lake District


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Like many people, I love a bit of history and the ability to step back in time and imagine what life was like long ago, and dare I say it. The British do it better than most.

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If you’re seeking a taste of the Best of British in a luxurious, well-preserved mansion that dates back as far as the 16th century, then look no further than the beautiful Askham Hall Luxury Bed & Breakfast on the edge of the Lake District in Penrith, Cumbria, about 4.5 hours drive from London.

This magnificent old property features grand lounges, traditional oak paneling and beams, beautiful turrets, high ceilings, lavish guest rooms with four-poster beds, and views across the countryside to take your breath away.

Style & Character

Set in a secluded part of the Lake District, just over the hill from Ullswater, Askham Hall currently offers 15 bedrooms, each completely different from the last, with quirks to delight all imaginations. In addition, there are acres of grounds to explore with manicured gardens and topiary bushes that look like they’ve stepped right off the pages of Alice in Wonderland; a restaurant that deserves its own Michelin star; a spa, outdoor pool; library with wonderful honesty bar and a converted ancient oak-beamed party barn which is perfect for functions and events. Having said all this, this establishment has no pretense or snootiness to make you feel unwelcome. Instead, you are greeted like long-lost friends and met with loving little touches like a welcome card from the staff and there is very much a kick-you-wellies-off-at-the-door kind of homeliness about it all.


Every room at Askham is different, and the sizes can vary greatly, but each room has a character of its own and stunning British countryside views. All rooms come with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, Bluetooth radios, and telephones, and the rooms in the Pele Tower also feature mini bar larders and Nespresso coffee machines. The rooms are divided into four categories: Pele Tower Master rooms, the largest rooms on the property, and of high architectural significance. Decorated modestly to best show off their design and features, these rooms have spectacular south-facing garden views overlooking the River Lowther, Knipe Scar, and the fells beyond and bathrooms with large antique baths for you to soak in – bliss.

Pele Tower Superior rooms are more modern and have been decorated more quirky with south-facing garden views. Superior rooms are located in the later 16th and 17th-century wings of Askham Hall, some with views over the courtyard and old stable block and others with views of the surrounding fields and River Lowther. These rooms ooze character and unique features such as antique fireplaces, oak buttresses in the ceiling, and Chinese antique wallpaper, making a stay in one really special. Finally, the Standard Rooms are small but very comfortable and still benefit from wonderful views and stunning design finishes like 17th-century antique fireplaces combined with modern furnishings. Room rates start from as little as £150 GBP per night. Room tip: The quirkiest and most interesting rooms are in the Peel Tower, looking out over the front of the property, especially at the top. Note: due to the size of this property, some rooms can be right on the limit of the Wi-Fi, but then again, who wants to be connected to the outside world when you can get lost in glorious times gone by?

Service & Facilities

To ensure your stay is as relaxing and reviving as possible, Askham hall also has its own Spa, which is exclusive to guests only. Spa facilities include an outdoor heated pool (available to use April-October only), a Swedish sauna, and a choice of over 25 treatments, including energy healing Reiki, soothing Hopi Candle Therapy, a tension-busting Indian Head Massage, and a range of beauty treatments. Spa Tip: Treatments are available in the stylish new treatment room or the comfort of your hotel room Tuesdays to Saturdays (including evenings), and booking ahead is essential.

The gardens at Askham Hall, which you can happily get lost in for hours, are full of stunning features, including colorful terraces, unusual species of plants, formal lawns, kitchen gardens, woodland, meadows, and ponds. You can also get more in touch with nature by meeting the animals, including shorthorn cattle, rare breed pigs, boer goats, ducks, chickens, wild red squirrels, rabbits, badgers, and pheasants – hours of fun for children.

Food & Drink

There is an excellent restaurant at Askham Hall that creates its menus based on what is in season and sources many of its ingredients from its gardens, surrounding farms and woodland. There is a limited selection of dishes to choose from, usually just three choices a night, but each is exquisite in flavor and beautifully presented. The restaurant is open to both guests and non-residents from 7 – 9:30 pm. For £50 GBP per person, you will enjoy delicious nibbles (like a tray of canapés) before your meal, three courses, coffee and after-dinner treats (sumptuous homemade chocolates!). In addition to the restaurant, there is a Kitchen Garden Café hidden in the beautiful Grade II listed gardens that overlook the River Lowther. The Café (with children’s play area) serves morning coffees, light lunches, and afternoon teas, and in late spring and summer, it also offers delicious freshly cooked pizzas from the outdoor wood-fired.


Whatever your reason for venturing to this part of the world, a stay at Askham Hall will relax and revive you with sumptuous dining, invigorating spa treatments, and peaceful meanders through the grounds. In addition, the great service and little touches like homemade cookies and the quirky Zzzz luggage tag on your door will ensure you will leave with a smile on your face, planning when to return.

Note: Benefits offered correct at the time of writing but may be amended at discretion of the vendor. Posts may be sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own & are in no way influenced.