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Budget hotels & hostels
Guesthouses and B&Bs
Moss Grove Organic
This eco-chic hotel champions its green credentials: sheep-wool insulation, organic paints, reclaimed timber beds, but for once, eco also equals elegance. Rooms are enormous, and bathrooms sparkle with sexy showers and underfloor heating...
This recently refurbished inn in Elterwater makes a really delicious place to stay. Rooms mix minimal style with country trappings (go for a lake view), while classy fireside food (mains £14 to £19.50) is served in the downstairs inn...
Not the cheapest sleep in Windermere, but definitely one of the sexiest. Owners Steve and Helen have given this Victorian house a sleek, boutique makeover: chic decor, monochrome colours, quirky furniture and all...
Reliable if unspectacular Bowness B&B in a slate-topped house along Helm Rd.
Windermere Boutique Hotel
Run by the owners of Aphrodite's Theme Lodge, with a similarly extravagant approach.
Between Bowness and Windermere, this detached house looks Victorian, but inside you'll find eight elegant, contemporary rooms with either power shower or sit-down jacuzzi...
Crown & Mitre
This redbrick pile commands a super spot over the main market square, and in its heyday must have offered Edwardian splendour aplenty...
Lake Side House
On the corner of Lake Rd, this Victorian house has a top location, with the town centre and Derwentwater both minutes away. It looks fresher thanks to a recent revamp, but rooms are variable: get one with a bay window for park views.
The decor at this midsized hotel is disappointingly generic, but as its name suggests, it sits in a great waterfront spot along the River Kent.
Newly renovated by the owners of the Howbeck, the rooms here are simply enormous: all are named after different Lakeland locations but share a similar taste for soothing whites, gloss-wood floors, enormous flatscreen TVs and the odd touch of boutique ...
Unashamedly frilly rooms and an antique ambience define the old Bridge. As the name suggests, it's right beside Buttermere's village bridge. There's standard pub food in the bar, or more upmarket fare in the smart-casual restaurant...
Penrith's venerable redbrick coaching inn offers classically decorated rooms in prim stripes and country patterns, plus a quaint bar and restaurant. It's right in the heart of town, but rates are pricey.
Perched above the village's internet cafe is this no-fuss B&B. Budget doubles border on the utilitarian (a bed, tea-tray and wardrobe is all you get), so it's worth stretching to Superior for space and comfort...
Top Kendal honours go to this extremely elegant B&B at the top of the steep hill of Beast Banks. Rooms are a prim-and-proper treat: some feature sleigh beds and fluffy cushions, others freestanding baths and comfy sofas.
Number 80 Bed Then Breakfast
This cute Bowness refuge is still off the radar, so keep it under your hats. Just four rooms, but all are up-to-date: room No 1 has a pine four-poster, the other three feel more modern.
The Waterhead Hotel
Ambleside's main hotel has a super position down beside the lakeshore...
Lodged beside the River Rothay half a mile from town, this detached Victorian villa is distinguished by its luxuries: walking guides, ethical bath products, fresh chutneys from the Hawkshead Relish Company...
This turn-of-the-century house is halfway down the Eskdale valley, near Beckfoot station...
1 Park Road
It's the little treats that keep this cosy guesthouse a cut above: bath goodies from Pure Lakes and The White Company, iPod docks in every room, and home-made baked beans and marmalade on the breakfast table...
Lonsdale House Hotel
The most convenient option for the town centre is this pleasant Georgian town house just a few steps from the market square...
A tiny hideaway in Seatoller that feels like a Beatrix Potter burrow. It's tucked beneath Honister Pass and all the rooms are named after animals: attic Osprey has skylight views, Rabbit is pine-filled and Badger looks over the garden.
Run by the same team behind the Regent Hotel, this modish mini-hotel offers a touch more luxury than Ambleside's other guesthouses...