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The Samling Luxury Country Hotel in the Lake District

The Gentle Side of Winter.

Winter can be magical, and is a vastly misunderstood time of year. Suffering from mistaken assumptions and weather prejudices – the cool crystal clarity of light and endless combinations of light and water only happen now. It makes Summer look bland, as if it just doesn’t try hard enough, content to bask lazily in warmer days.

So it’s cooler – but as the saying goes, there’s only wrong clothing. Luckily we can loan out Dubarry boots if you want to take an impromptu stroll – and the lakes are not short of outdoor clothing shops to suit all budgets and tastes.

Dressed to keep fingers and toes cosy don’t worry about tackling the heights – we’re recommending waterside strolls with either long views, or otherworldly tiny mere’s and misted woodlands. You’ll feel like you’re on a film set for something brooding and mythical.

Stroll to Ambleside – taking in the view from Jenkin’s Field as in the photo by Head Gardener Luke. Or just linger here, around the corner from The Samling, and watch mists drift over a motionless lake. Wray Castle on the western side of the lake is the start of nearly 4 miles of lakeshore walk. Heading further north to park at White Moss Common you are midway between Rydal Water and Grasmere. Moss is a Cumbrian term for this regional ‘wetland’, a river flows through native woodland, actual Temperate Rainforest, one of the rarest habitats in the world where trees are coated in moss and studded with ferns, in turn themselves sparkling with dewdrops – breathing out new clouds. The choice is yours. Rydal Water has a mined cave, who’s deep green pool is puzzlingly filled with fish; Grasmere is home to the Arthurian myth of Excaliber after Cumbrian King Dunmail threw his sword into the lake rather than have it captured by the combined Roman and Scottish armies.

Whether it’s a big view, tiny details, miracles of nature or the magic of myth and legend – it’s in your imagination and right in front of you but better than you ever thought.

We can recommend Guided Tours, personal Photography Workshops, and Art lessons, or supply you with maps and suggestions, please just ask at reception and we’ll be happy to help.

(Photo by Head Gardener Luke Evans, looking across to Wray Castle in Winter Calm).

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