Sleeps 16-24 Cockermouth, Lake District
Imagine your perfect Lakeland group or family break. You’d glide there along country roads past towering peaks and deep lakes. There’d be a sweeping drive, then there it would be. Set back in regal splendour, amid many acres. Inside, all would be dipped in designer luxury, without a hint of snoot. A home from home.
If you were being picky, you might want a hot tub, a play barn for kids, a pizza oven, total privacy, and then the magical X factor. Something different. Maybe something crazy like a luxurious barbecue lodge on an elevated deck. Surely such a place doesn’t exist?
Inside, chandeliers drip from the ceilings, huge curtains swag at sash windows, marble bathrooms come with freestanding baths, wifi whistles around, TVs are 65-inch, and the kitchen’s bursting with mod cons. So what are you waiting for? The logs are ready to be lit in the living room.
Three acres of garden, 20 acres of woodland and 37 acres of parkland are yours to explore. Within it, you’ll find plenty of possibilities for soaking, lounging, dining, sizzling and playing.
But trump cards first. Head out to the back of the house to the elevated barbecue deck with indoor lodge. Sizzle your sausages on the outside charcoal barbies, or warm your pizza in the woodburning oven. Gather around the indoor firepit to sip wine and swap stories.
Clear your heads in the morning in the playroom hut, with table tennis, pool, darts and board games. Play cricket and croquet on the lawn or kick a ball into the nets. As the kids explore the swings, slides and trampoline, you can explore some bubbly in the hot tub. Stare at the stars and chill.
The Fitz is a party palace or extended chill-out zone. However you want it. The lavish, luxurious spaces are built for relaxing with friends and family amid heavy curtains that gently skim warm wool carpets, chandeliers that drip with sparkling jewels, and décor that shimmers with a designer’s deft touch.
In the living area, sofas built to withstand an earthquake sit primed for your quiet forays into books or music. Alternatively, there’s space here, and more, for drinking and dancing. When the party’s over, the 65-inch wall TV offers the perfect wind-down.
Your left-field alternative living-space sits behind the house on stilts. Escape alone or in small groups to fire up the pizza oven or barbie and repair to the interior of the elevated barbecue lodge. Light the firepit, pass the wine and share your stories. Or just break out a good book alone and savour the oasis of silence in a crazy world.
Kitchen facilities here are mean and magnificent. Amid the high-gloss gleam sit four ovens, one with a steamer and one with built-in microwave. Stock up on Lakeland lamb, Cumberland sausage, and local beef and steak at Cockermouth Country Market, then stew, stir and savour the results.
If you’d rather we did the hard yards in the kitchen, then just say the word and our chefs will wade in and even load the two dishwashers afterwards. Whether it’s a special occasion or a fully catered break, settle back with a white wine and be wowed.
Get two dozen together around the humungous slab of dining table or al-fresco on the terrace with the cooking aromas hanging in the country air. Light up the barbies or woodburning pizza oven and eat informally in the elevated barbecue lodge, with your toes wiggling in front of the firepit.
For informal pub bites, head to Castle Bar or The Bush in Cockermouth, The Pheasant Inn at Bassenthwaite Lake or the Kirkstile Inn at Loweswater. Or get your glad rags on and get down to Portofino’s for brilliant bistro, Chinese at Bamboo, Indian at the Spice Club or Frederick’s for local salmon or Cumberland ham.
Sleeping up to 24, The Fitz has bedrooms the size of buses, but a million times plusher. Designed in subtle, neutral tones, the eight en-suite rooms come with soft cotton bedding, deep mattresses and sash windows that slide open to admit great lungfuls of healthy, hearty Cumbrian country air.
The Fitz offers two master suites. Pick from Brown and Blush or Black and Gold. Each has a superking bed and sofa for two. Luxury en-suites feature walk-in showers and baths. Bedroom three (Gold) features two zip-and-links to operate as twins or a superking. The en-suite has a walk-in shower and bath.
It’s a similar story in bedroom four (Bluebird), plus a decadent double sink. Zip-and-links in en-suite bedrooms five (Elephants) and six (Blush) come together to make a superking. And ground-floor bedroom seven is perfect for disabled access, with two zip-and-links and an easy-access wet room with alarm.
For a little privacy, pick bedroom eight, a self-contained flat up ten stairs at the back of the house with a separate entrance. Self-sufficiency rules here, with your own seating area, full kitchen, dishwasher, seating for four, plus table and four chairs.
The Fitz has the perfect handle on how to bring together impressive luxury and homely comfort; the grand and the subtle; and a touch of the unique threaded throughout to ensure the greater whole stays with you long after your departure.
It also knows a thing or two about making itself a haven for children of all ages and energy levels. Whether you’re bringing teens or toddlers, The Fitz is equipped to entertain one and all.
Kids can stretch their legs outside and take in the fresh country air while popping by the stables to see the ponies. Why not get the whole family involved with cricket, croquet and football. There’s even a dedicated games room for table tennis, pool and darts.