Ro­man­tic re­treat

STEVE ROB­SON vis­its a bou­tique ho­tel a few miles up the road from Kirkby Lonsdale

Accrington Observer - - TRAVEL -

PLUNG­ING four­teen me­tres from a lime­stone cliff which formed 330mil­lion years ago, the Thorn­ton Force waterfalls in In­gle­ton are an im­pres­sive sight.

It’s easy to see why the painter JMW Turner was in­spired to recre­ate them.

The thrilling spec­ta­cle was one of many high­lights on the In­gle­ton Falls walk­ing trail that me­an­ders up­stream along the River Twiss, over the rolling hills of the Twiss Val­ley and back down­stream via the River Doe.

My wife and I picked the 4.3mile hike as a chal­lenge dur­ing what proved to be a lovely ro­man­tic get­away at the Plough Inn in nearby Lup­ton.

The bou­tique ho­tel sits in a neat spot a few miles up the road from Kirkby Lonsdale and there­fore well-placed to visit the Lake District and the York­shire Dales.

In­gle­ton Falls was one of sev­eral rec­om­mended walks that show­case some of the finest nat­u­ral beauty in the coun­try.

Our first stop, it was barely an hour’s drive from Stock­port but still a wel­come op­por­tu­nity to un­stiffen the legs and get some gulps of coun­try­side air.

It’s a steep climb at times but noth­ing too dif­fi­cult with plenty to keep the eyes and ears en­ter­tained along the way.

And the re­ward at the top is ex­actly the kind of view that makes you feel a mil­lion miles from the stress of meet­ings, emails and traf­fic jams.

Hav­ing walked up an ap­petite, we were spoiled for choice with a wide range of res­tau­rants and pubs in the area, all ideal for a re­lax­ing Sun­day lunch.

We picked the Sun Inn in Kirkby Lonsdale where the food was de­li­cious and the cask ales went down fright­en­ingly easy.

By late af­ter­noon it was time to check-in to the Plough.

A con­verted farm­house, the his­toric pub is renowned as much for its food as its ac­com­mo­da­tion.

There are six rooms, each sep­a­rately named and uniquely dec­o­rated.

We stayed in Torsin, the largest and nor­mally able to sleep up to five - but as a treat for a cou­ple it was a quite the spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence.

Stand­out fea­tures in­clude a glass ta­ble sit­ting on a gi­ant horse’s head and a bath­room mir­ror built into an enor­mous, or­nate frame as if it were a Re­nais­sance mas­ter­piece.

While the eye is nat­u­rally drawn to some of the more un­usual and lux­u­ri­ous decor, the room is also well-ap­pointed.

A comfy cor­ner sofa was per­fect for cozy­ing up and los­ing an hour or two with a book and a nice glass of rioja.

Mean­while, my other half stuck a Fleet­wood Mac record on the vinyl player pro­vided while soak­ing in the stand­alone bath­tub.

There was even a fancy cof­fee maker so we were able to en­joy an ear­ly­morn­ing espresso. Bliss.

Our din­ner reser­va­tion was for 7.30pm but the staff couldn’t have been more pleas­ant when we lost track of the time and wan­dered down­stairs well past 8’o’clock.

The din­ing room was abuzz with plenty of other book­ings; while the kitchen has a fancy, sea­sonal menu they also don’t think them­selves above putting on spe­cial of­fer nights to show­case favourites such as fish and chips or a burger.

For us though, it was a chance to in­dulge in full hol­i­day-mode and or­der a steak.

We de­cided to try one each of the 28-day, dry aged 8oz sir­loin and Hi­malayan salt cham­ber 8oz rib­eye.

All the meat was 100 per cent sourced from the coun­ties we had en­joyed ex­plor­ing sur­round­ing the Plough Inn - Cum­bria, Lan­cashire and York­shire - and de­li­cious.

Served with a rocket and shal­lot salad, gar­lic and herb but­ter, fries and a glass of mer­lot, it was the per­fect way to be spoiled.

Af­ter per­haps one too many night­caps, we even­tu­ally stum­bled back up to Torsin for a peace­ful night’s rest in the su­per king-sized bed.

De­spite the ex­cess, we some­how man­aged to get up and use the Plough’s handy lo­ca­tion on the edge of the Lake District Na­tional Park to head in and en­joy an­other day’s out­door ac­tiv­i­ties.

A highly-en­joy­able stay, the Plough proved to be both a use­ful step­ping off point to some of the area’s best at­trac­tions and a quirky lodg­ing with a qual­ity restau­rant.

The Plough Inn at Lup­ton - a lux­ury bed and break­fast near Kirkby Lonsdale

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