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The bewitching glacier-ground landscapes of England’s north-western corner have made it a magnet for lovers of the outdoors ever since poet William Wordsworth wandered here (lonely as a cloud). Already the UK’s most visited national park, the Lake District’s recent UNESCO listing is likely to attract even more admirers of its natural beauty, picturesque villages, cultural history, plentiful outdoor activities and distinctive gastronomy. You can still escape the hordes on the fell tops – but you can also soothe your aching muscles in a boutique spa. Style and quality are on the up in the region’s hotels and there have been some impressive new openings. The pick of these is the impossibly pretty Forest Side. But the Lakes virtually invented the country-house hotel, and the likes of Sharrow Bay and the Gilpin won't be easily eclipsed. There's also a strong showing from proper pubs with rooms. From remote bivouacs to lakeside luxury, here’s our pick of the best hotels in the Lake District.