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“Time stops in Howtown...”
Review of Howtown Hotel

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Howtown Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Howtown
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 October 2012

We stumbled across the Howtown Hotel after a lovely walk around Ullswater. We were desperate for a cup of tea and a place to relax for an hour or so. What a find! We were greeted warmly and served tea, scones and biscuits by a roaring fire in one of the many cosy lounge rooms. We stayed for a couple of hours, and almost stayed for dinner... this place is an absolute gem. If you want to get away from it all (no mobile reception, no wi-fi, not even a fax machine) this is your place. Stunning location-- will definitely be back to stay.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wendy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (146)
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96 - 102 of 146 reviews

Reviewed 4 October 2012

We first came here in May "Our Honeymoon" was the review.
We returned in September and had the same wonderful experience.
The accomodation cottage was perfect for us and as very busy people looking after stock and crops catching a holiday is very precious to us allowing us to break completely.
This place suits us perfectly and we shall continue to return for the walks and the peace and the traditional country house hotel flavour.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2012

I have stayed here many times and know the place well. It is a fantastic, traditional, family-run hotel in an idyllic location. The food is great, the atmosphere is relaxing, standards are high and the fells are on the door step. It is the perfect escape.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled solo
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3  Thank Tony D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2012

My cousin and I have just returned from a Thursday Friday Saturday dinner bed and breakfast stay at the Hotel. We are both approaching our mid fifties and are seasoned travellers both abroad and in the UK, particularly the Lake District. We are fellwalkers who were keen to explore in particular Place Fell and the Helvellyn range. On arrival at around 14.30 we were shown to room number one which complied with my requests of being in the original part of the hotel and having a Lake view although the original fine proportions of the room were spoilt by the en suite partitioning which immediately adjoins the sash window. I stated that the room was cold to which the pleasant young girl told me not to worry because the heating would come on at five o clock-in approximately two hours! I again remarked that the room felt decidedly chilly and at this second prompting the young girl offered to bring up a portable electric heater. She also explained to us that dinner could only be taken between 19.00 and 19.30 although we subsequently learned a later sitting is available on Saturdays. Breakfast could only be taken between 9.00 and 9.30, with no possibility of an earlier time! Clearly the rigid enforcement of these mealtimes is somewhat restrictive for the average fellwalker who generally likes to be away before 9.00 and to return for dinner by perhaps 20.00.

The food at the Howtown Hotel is average only. There is no menu, and you are informed by the waitress of the limited choice available. Neither of us are vegetarians but if you were then you would seriously struggle with this menu.The wine list appears reasonable and there is a fair choice. My chicken salad starter was basic and consisted of a few iceberg lettuce leaves. The chicken was rather tasteless. The second course was a kind of chicken soup which was extremely thin and again, rather tasteless. For the main course I had beef which was reasonable. My cousin had salmon which was cold and had clearly been hanging around the fridge for too long! For sweet I chose the fruit pie which arrived stone cold. On asking the waitress if it could be warmed she replied there was no possibility of that!

The dinner rate is £24. This excludes cafetiere coffee. No cappucinno or other types of coffee are available.

We endured dinner once more on the Friday evening and this was a similar forgettable experience. The hotel has an attractive and old fashioned bar area but we were somewhat surpised to note there are no draught beers available. Both the electric pumped bitter and lager were dire.

On the Saturday we drove over to Glenridding and had a superb day walking on the Helvellyn range via Striding Edge. Not wanting another dinner at the Hotel, we had two excellent hand pulled pints and a brilliant curry in the Travellers Rest pub-highly recomended and a very welcome change.

To sum up, if you are happy paying £85 for mediocre small portioned food on a dinner bed and breakfast basis and are more interested in a few short local walks or hopping on the boat for a trip into Pooley Bridge perhaps, then the Howtown Hotel is probably okay. Whilst not being ageist, I have to make it known the Hotel is full of 65-75 year olds you would normally probably bump into in the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop and and the like therefore for this reason together with its other numerous disappointments I would not recommend the Hotel to someone wanting good quality and varied food or drink who would also find the meal times very restrictive. Having stayed numerous times at the similarly priced Bridge Hotel in Buttermere, this is a good example of what the Howtown could be like with the relevant improvements.

Upon checking out we pointed out that our room number one had a very annoying plumbing noise emanating from both the toilet when refilling and also the washbasin. The manager told us that he was unaware of this but we found this hard to believe simply due to the level of noise
due to the defect. He did say he would look into it but again he didnt manage to convince us...so beware of this if you should stay in room one!

We were lucky to have near perfect weather whilst staying at the hotel. If the weather had been poor and we had been forced to hang around the hotel then we would have probably have had no hesitation in departing for home earlier!

Room Tip: Not number one until the plumbing is sorted!!
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with friends
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5  Thank david w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 September 2012

This is the place to go for the most wonderful stay in the most idyllic setting with wonderful staff, and owners who really know how to care. Dot come here's for luxury marble bathrooms and options for vegetarian food or gluten free bread, this place has style and and honest about it that no money can buy, the food is locally sourced, wonderful after a long day hiking, wine list is good and well priced not over inflated like the sparrow bay that thinks it is something out of Mayfair which it isn't!!
Clearly when speaking to other guests people come back year after year for a very good reason, it's amazing,

Room Tip: The cottages are a great option if you want some privacy and independence and great for dogs,
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Jonathon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2012

My wife and I spent 4 nights here in mid -Sept. Once we “mastered” the gongs to summon us to breakfast & dinner and prepared for the 8.00am tea & biscuits we were really in the swing of it! The food was traditional English fare which we enjoyed; it made a pleasant change from a la carte. Eating at set times gave everyone the opportunity to converse which is more than happens in a great many hotels. Most of the other guests returned to the hotel year after year; some for 37 years and more! The appeal of Howtown, in the main, would be to those of more mature years but we made some good friends during our stay and enjoyed fun conversation. It is situated in an ideal spot for walking & we took full advantage. No tv or tea making facilities in our room did not affect the enjoyment of our stay. It has an old fashioned appeal and we absorbed this atmosphere along with our enjoyment.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank TopShopper76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2012

We thought it was great and it was what we expected. We found this hotel whilst out on a walk last year and vowed to come back as it intrigued us.
We liked the gong to announce the set dinner without a menu, the staff in their old fashioned aprons, the quaint bar, and the lounges.
We made friends with other guests and enjoyed the beautiful setting of the hotel and went for walks from the door.
We had an nice en suite room with lovely views and enjoyed the cup of tea that was brought to us at 8am each morning.
I had to suspend my reliance on wi-fi and actually read a couple of books instead.
It's old fashioned but it's fun and comfortable

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank brian581951
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Howtown Hotel

Address: Ullswater | nr Penrith, Howtown CA10 2ND, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Howtown
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Howtown
Number of rooms: 24

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