Fall hook, line and sinker for this Lake District hotel

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It’s easy to follow the millions of tourists who flock to the popular towns and lakes in the Lake District every year such as Windermere and Ambleside.

However, there are plenty more places to explore a bit further afield.

Cockermouth, a small bustling market town on the north west edge of the Lake District is worthy of exploration.

Famous for being the birthplace of William Wordsworth, the town has rebuilt itself following devastating floods in 2009 which caused huge amounts of destruction and left most of the shops, restaurants and pubs in the town completely wrecked.

However, within a year most of the businesses were back up and running.

One of the hotels affected by the flooding was The Trout Hotel, on Crown Street leading into the main centre of the town.

Situated on the bank of the River Derwent, the hotel was inundated with water and today has a plaque on the wall outside showing the height the flood waters reached.

Undergoing total refurbishment following the floods, the hotel has been modernised to a high standard, with plush, modern furnishings and sumptuous carpets.

During our stay at the hotel, rumoured to be a favourite of Hollywood legend Bing Crosby, our room was a delightful respite from the intense heat of one of the hottest weekends of the year.

The bed was incredibly comfortable and there was plenty of storage space if needed.

There was complimentary water and a fruit basket if required.

Dinner in the Derwent Restaurant was a pleasurable experience and was thankfully air conditioned, much needed in the extreme heat of the evening.

For starters, I opted for a crab spring roll with parmesan crisp, which was delicious and my partner had scallops with rocket and apple which were plump, juicy and perfectly cooked.My main was steak with chunky chips, mushrooms and green beans. Due to being a fussy eater, I asked the waiter if it was possible to have a different sauce with my steak. The chef was more than obliging and conjured up a smooth, silky and perfectly seasoned sauce which was a perfect accompaniment.

My partner had lamb with potatoes and vegetables which he polished off with gusto.

Desserts were chocolate tart and a coffee ice cream sundae, which rounded off the meal perfectly.

The next day, still a little full from our dinner the night before, we went for breakfast.

There was continental breakfast on offer, including cereal, delicious danish pastries, fruits, yoghurt and there was also a menu on the table for hot food. We both opted for the full English, which arrived tout-de-suite on very hot plates.

Everything, including the bacon, sausage and egg was piping hot and we both agreed it was an excellent breakfast which set us up for the day.

The hotel prides itself on supporting the local economy by sourcing home grown and local ingredients and this is evident from the meals produced here.

The warm danish pastries available for breakfast were the best I have ever tasted.

During the day we explored Cockermouth, which was surprisingly cosmopolitan, with countless independent shops, coffee houses and restaurants.

Tables on the street gave it a continental feel and we enjoyed a coffee al fresco while we were there.

Cockermouth had at least five or six antique shops, with a variety of antiques and collectables on offer to suit every taste.

For those with a sweet tooth there is a speciality fudge shop with all manner of sweets as well as fudge on offer.

Part of the charm of Cockermouth is the range of specialist shops selling clothing, pottery, paintings, musical instruments and much more.

Visitors can also take a tour of Jennings Brewery and take a look at Wordsworth House, now owned by the National Trust.

The remains of Cockermouth Castle are privately owned but occasionally open to the public.

Isel Hall and the Elva Plain Stone circle are also worthy of note. Cockermouth is certainly one of the hidden gems of the Lake District and well worth a visit.

The Trout Hotel, Cockermouth

Address: Crown St, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 0EJ

Telephone: 01900 823591

Web: www.trouthotel.co.uk

Hotel class: 4 stars

For more information about Cumbria visit www.cumbriatourism.org.