APPROACHING the stunning 17th century Winder Hall, taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding fells, it’s hard not to fall in love at first sight with this hidden gem.

The intimate country house B&B tucked away in the Cumbrian vale of Low Lorton, close to Cockermouth, Buttermere, Keswick and the mountain forest of Whinlatter, is just the tonic for the world weary. It’s not hard to switch off from the hustle and bustle and the world of mobile phones and social media and tune in to the tranquillity that Winder offers.

Staff at the former manor house where William Wordsworth is rumoured to have stayed, are more like a family; informal and friendly in their approach and more than helpful.

Secluded and soaked in history Winder Hall has an interesting and unusual past. Although the present building dates from the 17th and 19th centuries there has been a manor house on the site since Saxon times.

On arrival we were shown around, taking in the oak panelled Cedar Tree Dining Room, open to residents and non residents alike (a real selling point is the Winder Hall afternoon tea, something alas we didn’t get to try – but we will be back). We were then taken up to our rooms and invited down to the lounge bar for coffee and home made cake once we’d settled in.

The bar operates on a serve yourself if there are no staff around policy, just write down what you’ve consumed in the honesty book – this all adds to the charming, homely atmosphere you’d struggle to get anywhere else.

There are seven rooms, all named after nearby fells, and vary from four poster rustic to modern luxurious boutique- style. There is also a separate cottage across the road for larger groups.

We managed to sample three different rooms over three nights (all with iPod docking stations) with our favourite being Hobcarton. This had a huge feature fireplace which housed an ancient priest hole.

Waking in an antique four poster bed to breathtaking views of the fells we then wandered down to breakfast – like kings.

Afterwards we enjoyed coffee on the terrace before taking a stroll around the perfectly kept gardens and ventured out for a walk around Buttermere then headed to Cockermouth to visit the National Trust owned Wordsworth House and Garden, the poet’s childhood home.

We headed back to Winder for a glass of fizz from the honesty bar which we sipped in the outdoor hot tub; decadence has new meaning as you soak in the tub taking in the dramatic scenery and listen to birdsong while quaffing champagne!

After some tasty canapés we dined in the celebrated Cedar Tree restaurant, where foodies travel from miles around to sample the locally sourced menu.

Chef was more than happy to provide a vegan main for myself while my husband raved about his mustard mash.

Relaxing in the bar we chatted with other guests, all returning visitors, and enjoyed a nightcap with our new friends.

After three nights at Winder it was time to pack up our bags and bid farewell – to the house itself and its wonderful staff. Winder is a place you don’t visit just once – I’m already suffering ‘Winder withdrawal’.

Two nights’ bed and breakfast in a double room, with
four course dinner on the first night, for just £175 per room
(a saving of £125).

Offer valid from Sunday to Thursday.

£25 per night surcharge for Friday and

Upgrade to four poster room for £15 per night.
Call 01900 85107 to book and quote code: WHCHES. Book
by December 31, 2014.