Dower House in Bassenthwaite, Cumbria

Last weekend, myself and Jacob stayed in a 300-year-old cottage with eight of our friends for two nights. The cottage was named ‘Dower House’ and was located on the Bassenthwaite Lake in Cumbria.

When we arrived we were stunned by the authenticity of the house and surrounding woodland areas, we couldn’t wait to see the inside of the house and explore. The cottage was really beautiful, with a nice cosy lounge, large dining room, a games room, nice sized kitchen, outdoor seating area with a huge eight-seater hot tub and five bedrooms (two double on-suites, two double bedrooms and one twin room.) Me and Jake took one of the on-suite rooms. This was an average sized room with a small bathroom, fitted with a modern shower, basin and light-up mirror. The bedroom had a very comfy double bed, two large windows with a stunning view of the lake in the distance, a lovely wooden wardrobe and a dressing table with hairdryer and mirror, perfect for doing hair and make-up or sitting with a nice cup of tea and a good book!

The downstairs of the cottage was beautiful, not quite modern, but not old fashioned either! The perfect decor for a cosy weekend getaway. On our first night at the cottage we all drove out to the nearest supermarket to get food for the weekend before heading back and making tea. We all played some card games and drinking games and took advantage of the pool table and the dart board in the games room.

It was a late night of drinking and dancing on the tables whilst screaming out Disney songs at the tops of our lungs, going up to bed at the grand time of 5.00am and I would not have had it any other way!

Somehow, despite going to bed at 5am, me, Jake, Anthony and Bekka were up and ready for the hot tub at 10am. We put on our swim wear and headed out into the cloudy, windy weather and hopped into the steamy hot, 8-seater hot tub and turned on the bubbles. After a little while the boys jumped out to make us some breakfast, we ate together before pouring out the cocktails and jumping back in the tub! We enjoyed the relaxation for an hour or so and then we decided to go and get showers and get dressed before going for a lakeside walk.

The view was breath-taking. The wind rippled through the trees, the birds were singing softly and there were sheep and chickens in a nearby field. I could have sat down by that lake for hours on end, taking in the fresh air and watching the rest of the world fade away into the background.

We spotted an open gate and decided to explore, we followed the path right around the lakeside and through a field of cows with beautiful little babies! It was a beautiful walk, peaceful, serene and calming, despite the light showers and the wind.

The second night in the cottage was a lot more relaxed, the boys watched the football, we all ate tea and then we all got into the hot tub again. We stayed in the hot tub until after dark, we took advantage of the fancy disco lights in the hot tub and put some music on. It was around 10pm when we finally got out and went for showers. We put our pjs on and played some games before heading up to bed ready for our early morning check out.

Both nights I managed to get a decent sleep, the beds there were rather comfy and the bedrooms were lovely and cosy. When we woke up on our final morning, the majority of people collected their things and headed home, leaving me, Jake, Anthony and Bekka to do a final check around the house and clean any last little bits before handing in the keys at reception. We decided that instead of heading straight home, we would go into Keswick town centre for a little bit first. We bought Anthony and Bella some little gifts as they were unable to come with us for the weekend and then we found a little cafe and sat outside enjoying a morning coffee before heading back out on the road. Some of our other friends had recommended the Lake District Wildlife Park to us, which was just a 10-minute drive from where we were, so we decided to go and check it out.

The entry fee to the Wildlife Park cost £10.50 per person. We decided to go in and have a look around. It was quite nice there! We seen some beautiful birds of prey, however we missed the talk and display that they do. We then sat watching the adorable Gibbons, they were so cute and a little bit funny looking, with their extra long arms and their funny little human-like run! We were throwing rolled up grass to one of them and they were catching it and playing with it.

We then went to watch the naughty lemurs. They are so fast and can jump super high. There were even a couple of small babies in there who were play fighting with one another and chasing each other around the enclosure. After this we went to see the otters! These were by far my favourite. They were so sweet and they kept resting their little heads in the gaps in the fence and making adorable squeaking noises as they waited for their lunch.

There were also llama’s, alpaca’s, pigs, red panda’s and zebra’s here, along with a big outdoor park, a cute little cafe and a small gift shop (where I purchased a sweet little Lemur plushie)

Overall we had a lovely weekend, which was more than needed! We paid £105 per person for the cottage for two nights, which sounds expensive at over £1000 for the weekend, however when you break it down, it worked out at around £52 each, per night… which is not bad at all! The cottage was stunning with lots of places to walk and explore nearby, the weather (although a little wet and windy) was nice and refreshing and the company was pretty good too. We will definitely be visiting this beautiful place again in the future and we would definitely recommend this to people who would like to have a relaxing weekend away with their friends or their family, especially if they like nature walks and cute vintage towns!

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