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Ees Wyke Country House sits on a hillside overlooking Esthwaite Water, one of the lesser-known and smaller lakes. The property remained a private residence until 1976, and retains many home comforts inside, where a "warm welcome awaits" (The AA).
It is in the village of Near Sawrey, a huddle of stone houses surrounded by countryside, and home to National Trust property Hill Top, which Beatrix Potter bought with the royalties from her stories. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was in fact completed while Beatrix was staying at Ees Wyke.
Hawkshead, home to the Beatrix Potter Gallery (the shop is open year-round), and a 16th-century church that sits on the site of a Norse chapel, is a 5-minute drive away. You can walk the 4.5 miles from Near Sawrey to the Latterbarrow monument, 800 feet above sea level. It is not an intense hike, and there are far-reaching views of the fells from the top.
Esthwaite Water Trout Fishery is also a 5-minute drive away, or a 20-minute walk along country lanes, and it offers boat and bank fishing. There's a fishing tackle shop, and fly-fishing tuition is available. Grizedale Forest -- with its sprawling woodland and scenic trails -- is a 15-minute drive, as is Wray Castle, which is closed for winter, but the grounds are free to roam.
You can watch the sun set over the lake from the terrace, or leaf through maps of the local area by the fire in one of the lounges. Breakfast includes sausages from local farms and homemade bread, and there's a 5-course dinner menu that changes daily, but book dinner in advance to avoid disappointment. There are eight bedrooms, some with views of Coniston Old Man or the Langdale Pikes.
Click here for our guide on 101 Things to do in the Lake District.
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