Another Place in the Lake District is perfect for families

Let’s face it. A holiday in the Lake District isn’t exactly the easiest thing to sell to pre-adolescent children old enough to complain about the weather.

Yes, there are bracing mountain walks, chocolate-box villages, proper pubs and real beer — all ideal for me, but I’m not convinced my 13-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son will buy it.

But then I hear about Another Place, The Lake — the new 40-room resort hotel from the people behind popular Watergate Bay on the North Cornish coast, where we have stayed in the past and were bowled over by the latter’s cliff-top location and buzzy, family-friendly vibe.

Another Place, The Lake, is a new 40-room resort hotel on the shores of Ullswater, a few miles outside Penrith

My children were obsessed with Watergate Bay’s indoor infinity pool with its floor-to-ceiling windows and eagle’s-eye views over the beach to the surfers beyond.

And you know what? When we arrive at Another Place to spend five nights on the shores of Ullswater, a few miles outside Penrith, the first thing the children discover is an almost exact replica of the Cornish pool, complete with those same wrap-around windows.

What these clever people have done (as in Cornwall) is take an old, down-at-heel hotel and given it a total makeover, adding a roster of endless activities to suit intrepid adults and raring-to-go youngsters. It’s a gold-medal formula.

On arrival, in a brace of shakes, we are kitted up in wetsuits and find ourselves paddle-boarding merrily towards the peaks at the southern end of the lake.

Luckily, we’re under expert instruction, but that doesn’t stop one of our party taking an unscheduled dip while attempting a super-fast 180-degree tail-turn. Me, actually. Cue hoots of laughter all round.

There’s kayaking and sailing, too, with availability and weather conditions chalked up daily on a massive blackboard in the New England- style reception.

The blackboard is just one of the ingredients lifted from the Watergate Bay menu.

Kayaking is just one of the activities on offer (stock image)

Kayaking is just one of the activities on offer (stock image)

Another is the Living Space — a relaxed dining area that’s all tongue-and-groove panelling and Farrow & Ball colours — where parents work their way through vast goldfish-bowl-sized gin and tonics while taking on their children at Scrabble, cards or dice game Perudo.

Our supremely comfortable family room has wood panelling, jute flooring and thrilling views. And getting the children up reasonably bright and early is never a problem, not least because they can’t wait to pour a malted waffle mixture into special machines at breakfast then douse the lot in Nutella.

To work that off, one morning we head to Glenridding to make an assault on Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain, via knife-like Striding Edge ridge. This is a serious undertaking. 

Fatalities are not uncommon here, although as many as 500 people a day attempt it in the summer, some in no more than trainers. When our turn comes to make the final ascent, thick cloud rolls down menacingly and we wimp out, opting for a memorable picnic at Red Tarn just below the summit instead.

This being the Lakes, walking is in unlimited supply. The 20-mile Ullswater Way, which circles the Lake District’s second largest lake, is on the hotel’s doorstep and can be enjoyed in bite-size chunks, perhaps via the Aira Force waterfall before boarding the Ullswater steamer for a leisurely cruise.

For something more challenging, we venture further afield to the peaks above beautiful Buttermere, and to Coniston to tackle the famous Old Man fell that towers over it.

My wife and I love these outings, but every so often one of the children pipes up: ‘Are we going back soon?’ What they mean is, will they soon be back in that fabulous pool?

Happy children, happy holidays. And it helps that several of the staff have been imported from the Cornish mothership to ensure the same high standards pertain.

We thought the view from Watergate Bay was pretty much unbeatable, but, as we sip our flat whites from the comfort of our poolside loungers, we all agree that this one runs it mighty close.


Another Place, The Lake (, 017684 86442) offers doubles from £160 and family rooms from £270, B&B.