How an indoor adventure in the Lake District taught me to love the great outdoors
24 January 2020, 11:09 | Updated: 24 January 2020, 11:10
Low Wood Bay Spa Resort and Spa is located on the shore of beautiful Lake Windemere, but you don't need to step foot near England's longest lake to enjoy what it has to offer...
Looking back at my long weekend in the Lake District, I felt refreshed and relaxed - and it wasn't surprising, I'd only been outside a handful of times in the past 48 hours.
One of those was spent trying to coax a sheep over for a friendly stroking (fail); almost getting blown over after getting out of the car to take a photo of a very moody cloud (terrifying); and gazing over Lake Windemere from the comfort of an outdoor hot tub (bliss).
It's safe to say that I am not an outdoorsy person. I had previously avoided visiting this beautiful part of the country as I couldn't bear the thought of hours of uphill walking while nibbling on a powdery slab of Kendal mint cake; trying to navigate the the UK's largest lakes in a kayak; or worse still, getting lost in the depths of the Lake District National Park with only the sheep for company - especially as it seems I am the ultimate sheep deterrent.
Thankfully I found a way to enjoy the beauty of the Lakes with absolutely minimal exertion after checking in at Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa, a sprawling yet cosy hotel on the eastern shore of Lake Windemere.
Purchased by hoteliers English Lakes in 1952, it attracts visitors from across the world thanks to its fantastic location, offering everything from waterskiing and wake boarding, canoeing and kayaking, fly boarding, paddle boarding and sailing just minutes walk from the complex.
There are other thrilling - and less watery - pursuits on offer around the Lakes too. Those with a head for heights can tackle Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, or explore the region’s historic slate mines using a via ferrata, a climbing route lined with metal ropes and cables.
But for people like me who don't take a break from work and 'real life' to wear themselves out, Low Wood Bay Resort's spa is the perfect way to immerse themselves in the ambiance of this gorgeous pocket of the UK - and only break out a sweat during a stint in a sauna.
The Lakes offers some of the UK’s most stunning scenery, and thanks to the design of Low Wood Bay's new thermal spa, you can take some of it in from the comfort of a bubbling jacuzzi, or a luxurious extended armchair as you sip on a glass of champagne and tuck in to complimentary home made cakes.
Ahead of a wonderful ESPA aromatherapy massage, we enjoyed a whole day at the spa, moving through the different indoor pools, steam rooms - including one gorgeous coconut scented chamber - before heading outside in to the freezing winter conditions to enjoy an al fresco dip in the heated pools outside.
A larger indoor swimming pool provided space to do more traditional lengths, and as part of the resort's health club's classes, was the scene of a vigorous aqua aerobics class for some residents looking to build up an appetite before lunch - not that you needed much persuasion to eat.
Newly refurbished restaurant Blue Smoke On The Bay featured a special charcoal grill that seared meat, fish, and vegetables to perfection - we enjoyed eating there so much we opted to eat dinner there twice, ordering the same meals both times! - and also had a brilliant and well priced wine list.
Like others staying at the resort we were early to bed - relaxing can be just as exhausting as being active. We were staying in the resort's newly built Winander Club, which is set slightly back from the rest of the complex, and includes its own bar and breakfast area.
Waking up early was hard, but getting photos of the Lake from the building's roof terrace was too good an opportunity to miss.