Bowness-on-Windermere travel on test: our reader spends some quality time in the beautiful Lake District

Bowness-on-Windermere travel on test: our reader spends some quality time in the beautiful Lake District

Why The Macdonald Old England Hotel?

I have always wanted to visit the Lakes so, on condition that Alex would drive, I booked us on the Macdonald Old England Mother & Daughter Spa Day at Bowness. Not only were we practically on the shores of Lake Windermere, but our journey through the Cumbrian countryside had some spectacular views.

What was included in the day?

The package covered full use of the spa, Champagne lunch for two, an Elemis deep tissue back massage and intensive facial. We couldn't believe our luck at being almost the only ones in the pool!

Did everything go to plan?

We arrived at 11am and were immediately asked what we would like for lunch and when. You could choose to eat in the spa lounge or hotel restaurant, with its beautiful lakeside views. The food lived up to the reputation of Macdonald Hotel excellence and the treatments were heavenly - Alex fell asleep during hers...

Were you well looked after?

Yes, splendidly. The spa is built around a spiral staircase; lovely-looking but not for me as I can't really do steps. However there was a lift nearby and the staff were very attentive and helpful. They were so lovely that I booked in for a pedicure that evening, which was equally good. I was even presented with the bottle of polish afterwards.

Was there plenty else to do and see?

Yes - a stroll around the lakeside is a must. The village shops were extremely quaint and the church bells were ringing as we left the hotel to explore. We had a lovely weekend - and a good chat.

Want fab views for less? Day use of the gym and spa facilities is just £15


  • Bowness-on-Windermere is situated roughly halfway up the east side of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England.
  • A spa day at the Macdonald Old England is the perfect way to enjoy Lake Windermere in low season or bad weather, with great views and top service. Day packages from £50pp, overnight spa packages from £119pp. The Mother & Daughter Spa Day package is £95pp Mon-Thurs and £105pp Fri-Sun. Call 0844 879 9144 or visit
  • How to get there: The hotel is just under two miles from both the A591 and Windermere Rail Station.
  • Disabled access at the hotel is good. Bowness is hilly but some river cruisers have disabled access, so a trip on the Lake is still an option.

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