Inside the Lake District hotel with gorgeous views of Windermere that was once visited by Wordsworth

Warm evening sunshine coupled with stunning views down to the lake and the rippling fells were enough to dissipate the stresses from my journey to Cumbria.

The 12-bedroom Samling is a treat destination, drawing, on our visit, a mix of well-heeled Americans appreciating the finer things in life, and Brits celebrating round number birthdays, anniversaries and engagements.

The picturesque white cottage dates back to about 1780 and was once visited by Wordsworth, who is said to have had a romantic dalliance by the stream in its gardens, which he enjoyed so much he wrote a poem about it.

Perfect position: Will Hide stayed at The Samling hotel in Cumbria, pictured, which dates back to about 1780 and was once visited by Wordsworth. Above is the view of Windermere from the terrace

Perfect position: Will Hide stayed at The Samling hotel in Cumbria, pictured, which dates back to about 1780 and was once visited by Wordsworth. Above is the view of Windermere from the terrace 

Will noted that the other guests at The Samling were 'a mix of well-heeled Americans appreciating the finer things in life, and Brits celebrating round number birthdays, anniversaries and engagements'

 Will noted that the other guests at The Samling were ‘a mix of well-heeled Americans appreciating the finer things in life, and Brits celebrating round number birthdays, anniversaries and engagements’

Beside the main reception is a snug, and in the opposite direction a drawing room and bar, whose cellar has about 3,000 bottles of wine, the most expensive of which is yours for £16,000.

Just along from that is a modern extension housing a glass-walled restaurant where views are only exceeded by the food. 

If you stay for a weekend I’d strongly recommend you throw credit card bills to the wind and dine here both nights: course after course on the £115 tasting menu was sensational. 

Guests can book the hotel's hot tub, pictured, with reception for an exclusive-use time slot

Guests can book the hotel’s hot tub, pictured, with reception for an exclusive-use time slot

The hotel's cellar, pictured, has about 3,000 bottles of wine, the most expensive of which is yours for £16,000

The hotel’s cellar, pictured, has about 3,000 bottles of wine, the most expensive of which is yours for £16,000

The picturesque main building has a modern extension housing a glass-walled restaurant where the 'views are only exceeded by the food'

The picturesque main building has a modern extension housing a glass-walled restaurant where the ‘views are only exceeded by the food’

'If you stay for a weekend I¿d strongly recommend you throw credit card bills to the wind and dine here both nights,' Will says of the hotel's restaurant

‘If you stay for a weekend I’d strongly recommend you throw credit card bills to the wind and dine here both nights,’ Will says of the hotel’s restaurant 

Above is one of The Samling's colourful dishes

Above is one of The Samling’s colourful dishes 

This is where you have breakfast too, with choices such as eggs benedict, a full Cumbrian, or warm, just-baked pastries.

Bedrooms are either in the main building or cottages a short walk away. My room, called Elter Water, was spread over three levels and painted in shades of grey and beige, accented by subtly pink cushions. There was a large, deep bath and separate shower downstairs, and a bed at the top with goose-down pillows and duvet.

The sitting room had a large TV but the star attraction was the picture window looking down to the lake, which was as mesmerising as anything on the gogglebox.

Pictured is Will's 'Elter Water' room, which is 'spread over three levels and painted in shades of grey and beige, accented by subtly pink cushions'

Pictured is Will’s ‘Elter Water’ room, which is ‘spread over three levels and painted in shades of grey and beige, accented by subtly pink cushions’

Pictured is the bathroom in Will's 'Elter Water' guest room, which features a large, deep bath

Pictured is the bathroom in Will’s ‘Elter Water’ guest room, which features a large, deep bath 

Above is the hotel's Rydal Water room. 'Bedrooms are either in the main building or cottages a short walk away,' says Will

Above is the hotel’s Rydal Water room. ‘Bedrooms are either in the main building or cottages a short walk away,’ says Will 

It’s certainly a great base from which to explore the area. You’re just a short drive from Ambleside, with plenty of shops and cafes to wander around. 

And there are some good walks from the hotel itself, such as through the woods to Jenkin Crag and on up along ancient tracks, past fields of sheep and ponies to Wansfell Pike for some spectacular views.

If you want to cool off you can swim in Lake Windermere, as I did, under the guidance of local adventurer Pete Kelly, who can kit you out with a wetsuit before a refreshing dip around the northern shore (swimthelakes.co.uk).

Will went swimming in lake Windermere, pictured, 'under the guidance of local adventurer Pete Kelly'

Will went swimming in lake Windermere, pictured, ‘under the guidance of local adventurer Pete Kelly’ 

Afterwards, relax in the hotel’s outdoor hot tub, which you book with reception for an exclusive-use time slot.

At night, the sound of rain on the roof above me had a sleepy effect and in the morning birdsong provided a natural alarm clock.

I made a coffee from the machine by the large sofa, watched the sunlight start to ripple over the lake as mist hugged the water, and was thankful that although we might be a soggy little island at times, we’re an absolutely gorgeous one too.

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