Boltongate Old Rectory
Up in the area locals call "Back o' Skiddaw" – literally, around behind the 3000-foot heights of Skiddaw mountain – is a series of hideaway villages and hamlets that really do deserve the much-used 'off-the-beaten-track' tag. Amid all this rustic beauty, the Old Rectory at Boltongate is a perfect gem, ideal for couples looking to get away from it all. It's a handsome house set in mature gardens, with a very grown-up feel all round. David and Gill Taylor are unobtrusive hosts, keeping you supplied with morning tea, afternoon cakes and a sundowner glass of wine on the lawn, but otherwise leaving you to get on with it – 'it' being pondering the views of Skiddaw from the gardens or enjoying the peace and quiet of a house that dates back centuries. Three spacious, comfortable rooms have plenty of light (and no TVs, in keeping with the general air); furnishings are antiquey and Victorian, while crisp linen, classy bathrooms and handmade chocolates all add to the impression of a place in good hands. Breakfast in the stone-and-oak sixteenth-century dining room is a rather grand affair, with the table laid under a lit candelabra. Gill's also an excellent chef and many choose to have a supper platter here, or a full dinner, rather than drive to the local pubs (Caldbeck is ten minutes' drive away, Keswick or Cockermouth twenty). It's a five-star B&B experience all round, giving many smaller hotels and boutique places a real run for their money.
PriceDoubles £120–£130; supper platters £14, dinner Fri & Sat only £35 per person; advance reservations required.
Opening TimesClosed Sun and Mon nights; also closed Dec & Jan.
Boltongate Old Rectory, Boltongate Ireby Cumbria CA7 1DA
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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews