Recently, I was lucky enough to spend a fantastic week in the Lake District. The location for my stay was a priority because I needed to cover a lot of ground in one week. I required a base where I could stay centrally in the Lakes - Little Gem ticked all my boxes. Sleeping two people, this split-level property is perfectly placed to experience all the Lakes have to offer.
When you first arrive in Ambleside the directions take you around a one-way system and into a little back street to the rear of the main street. The reserved parking spot for Little Gem is located in a small hotel car park. The front door and exterior of the narrow property is well presented with lots of flowers and hanging baskets to welcome you.
On entry to the property you come through a small porch way into the kitchen. From here you proceed upstairs into the lounge and onto the bedroom and bathroom. The property is narrow, but very nicely decorated. Upstairs the property is very light, the kitchen can be quite dark when the sun sets, but the lighting makes up for this with plenty of cupboard and ceiling lights.
I took my trip alone, but the lounge had seating for 3 people, so you’d be comfortable with a couple in here. Although the room was narrow I didn’t feel closed in and had plenty of space to spread out. There’s a small balcony from the lounge over the back of the property, to let in some fresh air.
Well equipped, the kitchen had everything you could need. I tended to eat out most days when I could and had brought simple to prepare food with me so didn’t use the oven too often, but you could easily make a home cooked meal for two here with ease. The dining table seats four around a round table, so again you can sit comfortably for meals.
That bed! With hotel quality bedding and a super comfy mattress I slept like a log! The property even provides you with two soft dressing gowns so you can be even more comfortable during your stay. There’s no TV in the bedroom, but for me that wasn’t an issue as I had a book to keep me occupied before bed.
The bathroom was modern, nicely decorated and had the most amazing spa bath! With jets and bubbles, it may as well be your own private hot tub – plus you can switch off the bathroom lights and turn on the twinkling blue and white star lights on the ceiling so you can really shut off and relax after a hard day of fell walking. The bathroom also has a separate shower too.
Right in the centre of Ambleside you are well placed for evening meals, drinks, takeaways, food shops, everything you could possibly need. But be warned Ambleside (as does most of the Lake District) tends to close most of their shops around 4.30pm. Ambleside is very central in the Lake District and you can basically get to any of the main areas from here. My journeys to Grasmere, Kendal, Keswick, Ullswater, Windermere, Bowness-on-Windermere and Consiton were all very easy. If you want to explore the South Lakes it really does make the perfect base.
What to do
As mentioned all the main sites of interest are within easy reach so you can basically go anywhere and do anything. I’d say you definitely need a car in the area, but there are some beautiful walks from the cottage itself. I ventured up to see the Stock Ghyll Force waterfall during my stay, which was just a 10-15 minute easy walk, plus the more adventurous can easily go fell walking straight from the front door.
Ambleside has loads of eateries on offer. During my visit I wanted to try something different so opted for their cinema restaurant combo Zeffirellis and Fellinis. Three buildings in the town with cinema screens showing the latest movies before or after you’ve enjoyed a delicious meal in their two restaurants. All three buildings are within a short minute or two walk of each other so you aren’t restricted on which film or which restaurant you visit. I chose to see a new film, which was screening in Fellinis but as I wasn’t vegetarian, decided I didn’t need to eat at Fellinis vegetarian themed restaurant, so booked a table straight after the film at Zeffirellis restaurant. The cinema was comfortable with ‘proper’ cinema seats, they had a bar for drinks and then the restaurant was well decorated and my meal was delicious. The restaurants offer a movie meal deal offer so you can combine a two or three course dinner with a film for a bargain price.
As a resident of the cottage you also get free entry into a local hotel’s spa too, so if you want to spend some time relaxing Little Gem is great.
Would I recommend Little Gem – and who to?
Little Gem was a lovely little property. Great for a couple getting away on a walking break in the Lake District. If you want to see the South Lakes and enjoy some beautiful walks then it’s well located. Being in Ambleside town you have loads of things to do and places to eat of an evening. So it would definitely suit people wanting a quiet week away and those looking for a livelier getaway.