These Lake District cottages with hot tubs are the perfect place to unwind

When you think of the Lake District you probably think of the outdoors, mountains and amazing wildlife. The last thing that comes to mind is, likely, a hot tub. Still, you might want to keep a hot tub in mind when travelling around the Cumbrian countryside because they're an excellent way to wind down from a day of rambling, hiking or sightseeing. The warm water is going to feel good after you spend a day climbing Scafell Pike or exploring the Lake District National Park. Our guide steers you to the destinations that will let you soak it all in.

Splendid holiday rentals near Ambleside

This small town is the home to the University of Cumbria, best known for offering degrees in outdoor management and its splendidly maintained campus. Ambleside town centre is dotted with more than 10 pubs that are considered some of the best in the Lake District. Meanwhile, about a 20 minute drive to the south is Hill Top, the cottage where Beatrix Potter wrote her world-famous and much-loved children's books. For dinner, the town has several high-end gastro pubs that are popular with foodies.

Holiday lettings that stand out in Bassenthwaite

The village of Bassenthwaite sits about a mile from the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite. Hiking and cycling are big draws but perhaps the most popular outdoor activity involves birds. Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Preserve brings bird watchers from across the UK to see the local osprey population. Bassenthwaite is also the perfect jumping off spot to visit Cockermouth, just a few miles to the west. Just outside the boundary of the park, it's renowned as the birthplace of the great Lake District poet William Wordsworth. Tours of his childhood home are available daily. If you're thirsty afterward, take a tour of the Jennings brewery. It offers daily tastings of its ale and, sometimes, horse drawn carriage rides.

Lake District cottages for two in Pooley Bridge

Found just inside the eastern boundary of Lake District National Park, the quaint village of Pooley Bridge is set along the northern end of Lake Ullswater and is a termination point for the Ullswater Steamers. These boats are a lovely way to spend an afternoon as they ferry travellers to the towns of Howtown and Glenridding at the southern end of the lake. The village is also popular with tourists offering several pubs and local walks, some of which will take you to the Aira Force Waterfall, set amongst ancient glades and woodland.

Breathtaking holiday rentals in Keswick

Keswick is the town that gave birth to the modern pencil. That's right, the graphite that was originally used as pencil leads came from near Keswick where it was used to brand sheep. One of the more interesting museums in the area, Keswick's Derwent Pencil Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon. For more outdoors oriented activities, Keswick is the perfect jumping off point for climbing nearby Skiddaw, the 6th tallest mountain in England. Another fun option is the weekly market which takes place every Saturday and is a tradition that dates back to the 17th century.

Holiday cottages near the coast in Ravenglass

Ravenglass is a small village found at the confluence of 3 rivers, the Irt, the Esk and the Mite along the Cumbrian coast. It's history dates to the second century when it was used as a naval base for Rome. Roman influences can still be seen in the town with the ruins of a Roman bath house and fort, known locally as Glannaventa. While most of the fort no longer stands, the bath house is one of the largest remaining Roman structures in the UK and a great place for photos or a selfie. You'll also want to make time to ride the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, a period train dating from the 19th century that's a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Perfect holiday rentals in Bowness-on-Windermere

Bowness-on-Windermere is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Lake District. Found on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere, the town is best known as the home of the industrialist Henry Schneider of the Barrow Steelworks. His house has been converted into a hotel that offers spectacular views of the lake and is a great place for afternoon tea. The town is also the starting point for the Orrest Head walk that takes hikers up the hill for some of the best views of Lake Windermere.