DERWENT BANK HOTEL
Located on the shore of Derwentwater in the quaint Cumbrian village of Portinscale close to the town of Keswick, the four-star Derwent Bank Hotel has been owned by HF Holidays since 1937 although it actually dates back to 1788 when it was constructed as Finkel Street House by Joseph Pocklington (1736-1817).
However the house has been sold to various owners since then and has undergone some major changes in appearance, its three-storey original having been deemed 'very ugly' by all who saw it, its owner being branded 'A Man With No Taste' by the locals.
Various wings and extensions have been added and major improvements made by other owners down the years. But the biggest changes came in the early 1900s when wealthy widow Emily Haigh Edmondson (1862-1936) had several walls removed, opening up some of the rooms while adding a number a dated features like the huge wooden fireplace which stands proudly from floor to ceiling in the current dining room.
However once Holiday Fellowship purchased it together with its 20 plus acres of woodland garden in 1937, they began adding bathrooms, toilets and extending upwards above the current bar/cafe area, bringing the number of bedrooms to 38 – 23 being twins and 15 singles.
Having undergone a total refurbishment just last year, Derwent Bank has everything you need for an outdoor-style holiday, especially with that separate boot room to help with the drying of the wet clothing and footwear, the entire lakes region likely to suddenly change from bright sunshine to a torrential downpour at the drop of a hat.
There are no particular frills inside the building itself which has a large comfortable lounge, a conservatory and bar while its bedrooms are nicely finished. Our premier room (No15) looked out across the lake with its wooden jetty while other rooms faced the extensive flower and vegetable gardens and the hotel's own bee hives.
All the room are nicely furnished and provide plenty of storage while there is the usual television, tea and coffee making facilities and free Wi-Fi while the beds themselves are particularly comfortable.
Derwent Bank currently has 13 staff members under the guidance of its Spanish manager Mariano Marcos-Granados who has been with HF Holidays for a total of 21 years and has headed up the Portinscale operation for more than a decade.
"I've really enjoyed my time here," he told me. "We've got a great staff and we really try and give our guests an enjoyable experience. They are really loyal to the HF Holidays brand and many return year after year and have become good friends.