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The History of


History of the Lodore Falls Hotel In 1870, the main Victorian building you see here was erected as a hotel. It was built to the north side of an inn or public house which had existed on the site from a much earlier date. One part of the old inn is now the present day Cascade Room, down the steps from the main dining room. Other old parts house the linen room, hotel laundry room, stores and some of our staff bedrooms. The second floor of this older part is now a modern 9 bedroom extension built on the roof of the old inn around 1950. The public house on the site of the Lodore Falls Hotel has been referenced as early as 1795 in Budworth’s A Forthwright Ramble to the Lakes, ‘we landed near a public house and walked up to a ruinous mill at the foot of Lowdore Waterfall’. In 1834, Otley’s Concise Description of the English Lakes also refers to ‘a neat public house at Lowdore’.

1857 - HRH The Prince of Wales visited the then named, Lowdore Hotel, on his tour of the Lake District.

“They proceeded to the Lowdore Hotel which had been fitted up specially for the occasion, where the travellers took up their quarters for the night. The worthy host, Mr Bowness ... with a view to the comfort of the royal party, judged it expedient that as far as possible the rank of his visitors should be kept a secret. But this was impossible, as by some means the truth got abroad and the inhabitants assembled to gratify their curiosity and pay loyal respect to the prospective sovereign of the kingdom.”

The Westmorland Gazette


1879 is the year in which we learn from an old hotel advertisement of the exact year in which the hotel itself was built. The advert begins ‘The above first class establishment was enlarged especially for a hotel in 1870’. It claimed among its patrons the then Prince of Wales and Prince Arthur. John Scott is given as the proprietor. 1888 (March 29th) is the date Colonel Cody (Buffalo Bill) stayed in the hotel and signed an old register, which we still have at the hotel. He was touring with his Wild West Show at the time. 1898 Lodore Hotel together with the Lodore Falls and Lodore Farm is sold. Lodore Falls is still part of the hotel property with land stretching down to the River Derwent and the Lodore Landing Stage. In The Placenames in Cumbria by Joan Lee the name Lodore is explained as deriving from Middle English ‘1’ghedure’ or low dore i.e. the physical door or gap between the Borrowdale Valley and the Watendleth side valley through which the lovely Lodore Falls comes down in all its natural glory. In 1890 the owner was a Mr Edward Cesari, followed by Miss Cesari in 1901. In about 1910 the hotel was owned by Mr Harker. The advert of the time boasts of ‘telegraph on the premises’ and the number was easy to remember being Keswick 2. Mr Harker ran daily electric launches between Lodore, Portinscale and Keswick. He powered the electric boat batteries from electricity generated at the rear of the hotel from the falls which was later sold on to the National Grid. From 1920 to 1940 we have no definite information for the hotel. If you can help, please email marketing@lakedistricthotels.net. Around 1947 the hotel was bought by Mr Robert England and his Swiss wife Merthie Muggler who hailed from St Gallen in the German speaking part of Switzerland. Merthie England was a hotelier par excellence, a dynamo of a lady who worked very hard to put the Lodore Swiss Hotel on the map.


From the late sixties she and her husband were joined by their son Tony England and his wife Anita Gross who hailed from Berlin. Mr Tony as he was affectionately known had trained in the famous Ecole Hoteliere in Luasanne. The England family built up a fine reputation for the hotel. Even though they sold it in 1987 it is still fondly and widely remembered by guests as the Lodore Swiss or Swiss Lodore. The hotel was sold to the Glasgow based Stakis Hotel group in 1987. This was a group of hotels which had been founded in the late forties by Sir Reo Stakis, a Greek Cypriot hotelier and honorary consul and who was a real gentleman. The hotel traded as the Stakis Keswick Lodore Hotel until 1999 when the Hilton UK and Ireland group took over the Stakis Group and until 14th March 2004 traded under the Hilton Keswick Lodore Hotel. LIMITED

On 15th March 2004 Mr and Mrs Graves of Lake District Hotels Ltd began the ownership and management of the hotel which they bought from the Hilton Group. The new owners decided on an appropriate and attractive new name for the hotel. They renamed it the Lodore Falls Hotel.


The Cataract of Lodore In 1820 the then Poet Laureate Robert Southey (1774 -1843) wrote his poem ‘The Cataract of Lodore’. He was living with his wife and seven children at Greta Hall in Keswick at the time. Also living in the house was the wife of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and her three children and Mrs Lovel with one child. So with eleven children in the house, supplemented by numerous cats as we are told, it must have been quite a lively household. The children received lessons from the four adults and to amuse the children Southey wrote his poem about the Lodore Falls. “HOW does the water Come down at Lodore?” My little boy asked me Thus once on a time; And moreover he tasked me To tell him in rhyme. Anon, at the word, There first came one daughter, And then came another, To second and third The request of their brother, And to hear how the water Comes down at Lodore, With its rush and its roar, As many a time They had seen it before. So I told them in rhyme, For of rhymes I had store; And ’t was in my vocation For their recreation That so I should sing, Because I was Laureate To them and the king.

Excerpt taken from “The Cataract of Lodore” Robert Southey (1774 -1843)


The Lodore Falls Hotel has a long and varied history dating back to 1870. Today, we present you with modern facilities, beautiful furnishings and high quality service within one of the most spectacular settings in the Lake District, on the shore of Lake Derwentwater.

Do you have anything to add to the history of the Lodore Falls Hotel? We are always interested in the ancestry of our hotels so if you do have any further information, please do let us know, email us marketing@lakedistricthotels.net

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The History of the Lodore Falls Hotel  

The History of the Lodore Falls Hotel  

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