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The Belsfield History

"We don't want to push our ideas on to customers, we simply want to make what they want.”
Laura Ashley (1925 – 1985)

Laura Ashley Hotel The Belsfield, Windermere, is in the heart of the Lake District National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017. Situated on the Eastern shore of Lake Windermere, directly overlooking the “Belle Isle”, The Belsfield is set in 6 acres of landscaped gardens. The hotel offers unparalleled views over the lake and beyond, to the farther shore where the often snow-capped Langdale Pikes and the Fairfield Horseshoe can be seen.

The Belsfield is a Grade II listed building and is a superb example of Victorian Italianate architecture and one of grandest buildings on the Lake. Built in 1845 as a private residence for Baroness Von Sternberg, the house was later acquired by the steel magnate Henry Schnieder in 1869. The famous industrialist used The Belsfield as his country residence and commuted to his various business activities by way of his steamboat, the Esperance. His departure from the house early in the morning was always preceded by his butlers and staff descending the lawns to the lakeside carrying dishes for his English breakfast.

The house became a hotel in 1892 when Lieutenant A. D. Macleod became proprietor. His tenure was marked by his colleagues by the presentation of a rifle, now displayed in the corridor along with historic photographs and other information about The Belsfield’s history.

The hotel was extended to provide additional bedrooms shortly before the First World War and during the Second World War was requisitioned as a training centre for WRAF Officers.

Since that time the hotel has changed hands a number of times but on each occasion the proprietors have ensured that the building has retained its character and many of its original features can still be seen today.

Under new ownership, the hotel was transformed in 2014 into a Laura Ashley Designer Hotel. Each of the 62 bedrooms, restaurants and reception rooms now showcase elegant décor, stylish furnishings and exquisite fabrics from the Laura Ashley Home Collection.

Our Team are proud of our beautiful Lake District hotel and look forward to welcoming you.

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