Retreats & Hideaways - Luxury Self Catering the Lake District

A marketing and concierge service for Lake District self catering holiday home owners.

Retreats & Hideaways offer professional full-service property let management packages for your Lake District self catering holiday let, allowing you to relax knowing that your property and guests, are in the best possible hands.

thinking of buying a holiday home in the lake district?

With so much to consider, buying a second home can be a little daunting. But of course, it’s exciting too, and when you find your ‘perfect home’, the temptation to stretch the budget can be strong.

You’ll be either funding your purchase from cash, or adding a mortgage. Either way, you will want to know your investment is secure and safe.

Most people buying a holiday home in the Lake District want the best of both worlds – a second home that finances itself plus a capital investment.

things to consider ...

Position – buying in the best villages is expensive, but your holiday home will be more popular, so you can charge more per stay, and potentially enjoy a higher income from your holiday home.

Dog-friendly – not everyone likes the idea of accepting guests with dogs, but those who do find they can command higher letting fees, as well as ensuring a longer holiday season. You can make a nightly additional charge for a dog, and also ask for a damage deposit. It’s a good idea to include in your holiday let agreement specific rules, such as not leaving a dog unattended in the house. This is something we can help you with, so you get the wording right, and protect yourself.

Stag and hen parties – these can be a valuable source of income, especially if you have a large holiday home. But if your holiday home is in a quiet residential area, you may decide not to allow big parties. We can give you guidance on the best strategy, depending on your individual circumstances.

Damage deposits – these are a good idea to help you mitigate the risk of damage to your second home. Set too large a deposit, and it may deter holidaymakers from booking your property; but if your deposit is low, you run the risk of losing out financially if there is damage caused. We will guide you through the process of choosing the level of deposit to ask for, based on our experience and your specific home.

Buying an existing holiday let – you’ll pay more for a property that already has a commercial history, but you could benefit from a return on your investment from day one of your ownership. Buying an existing holiday home is often easier to get a mortgage on.

Furniture may be included but you will probably want to put your own style on your new home, with new furniture and accessories.

Length of ownershipmaking decisions about upgrades and renovations to your holiday home will be guided by your long-term plans for it. For example, if you’re planning on owning it for many years, putting a new kitchen in, or changing a bathroom will help add to your enjoyment. It’s often better to opt for high street options for any new fixtures and fittings, so you can more easily replace them at relatively low cost if needed. Also, selling a holiday home with a proven rental record is easier and more profitable than selling one without.

Own use – obviously the more time you choose to spend in your holiday home yourself, the lower revenue you will receive. But then, having a second home for own use is often the main reason our buyers choose to invest in a holiday home. We can help you get the balance right, by making a considered, informed decision on when to block out your home for your own use, and when to capitalise on the most profitable times of the year.

Cleaning and linen – whilst it’s tempting to employ a local cleaner for ‘turnaround’ days, you do need to consider what you’ll do if they are ill, or on holiday. Or if they simply don’t turn up. We use only the most reputable local cleaning agencies, who have a bank of trained cleaners, so we know you will never be let down on that all-important turnaround day.

Similarly, we recommend linen hire companies. They’re a little bit more expensive, but you don’t have to worry about replacing lost or damaged bedding; they take care of it for you.

our top 10 places to buy in the lakes

Bowness-on-Windermere Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways

1 - bowness

Bowness is the vibrant capital, the energetically beating heart at the centre of the Lake District. Whether glimpsing England’s longest lake from the top of Orrest Head or from Millerground on its eastern shore, the softly lapping waters of Windermere are iconic and have come to symbolise the natural beauty and grandeur of the Lake District National Park. If you can only make one call on a whistle-stop tour of the Lake District, best make it here.

2 - windermere

Big sister to the bustling town of Bowness, Windermere is packed with independent shops and cosy eateries. A must-visit for all families seeking a Lake District getaway with all the convenience of a city-break. Arrive by train and experience the unrivalled scenery as the mountains appear and consume the horizon. Spend the days relaxing by the water’s edge exploring the local fells exploring the lake by boat.

Windermere Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways
Ambleside Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways

3 - Ambleside

An outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Ambleside is situated at the northern tip of Lake Windermere. This charming town is the picture of Lakeland beauty, with tall grey slate buildings winding around higgledy-piggledy streets creating a warren of cosy cafes, country pubs and well stocked outdoor shops. Explore the peaks by foot or bicycle and feel the mountain air lift your spirits the minute you set foot in this iconic town.

4 - Grasmere

What more can be said about Grasmere? Wordsworth once described it as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”, and we are not inclined to disagree! Sit beneath the canopy of the mature Yew Tree beside the poet’s final resting place in the quaint 13th century church of St Oswald’s. Alongside, the gentle flow of the river Rothay tinkles by, as the drifting aroma of Grasmere gingerbread evokes nostalgia for an era gone by.

Grasmere Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways
Chapel Stile & Langdale Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways

5 - Chapel stile

Located in the stunning Great Langdale Valley and an enviable position in the heart of the Lake District National Park. The ideal location for fell walking, climbing, and cycling with convenient access to notable routes such as The Langdale Pikes, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the majestic Scafell.  Any outdoor enthusiast will feel right at home here, deep within the mountains with only the Herdwicks for company. 

6 - troutbeck

A unique collection of hamlets, scattered along the valley bottom, Troutbeck is perfect for anyone seeking their own pinch of pastoral bliss. Adored by Beatrix Potter ‘I loved to wander on the Troutbeck Fell… more often I went alone. But never lonely. There was always the company of gentle sheep, and wildflowers, and singing waters.’  Visit the Jesus Church to see William Morris’-stained glass windows or explore Townend and take a step back in time. This location is perfect for those seeking solitude and classic Lakeland beauty.

Troutbeck Village - Retreats & Hideaways
Keswick Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways

7 - keswick

Keswick is an iconic Lake District town. Surrounded by breath-taking mountains, deep valleys and vast waters, the landscape of the Northern Lake District is unlike any other. In the shadow of Skiddaw and at the head of Derwent Water, the streets are lined with cobbles and steeped in history. Castlerigg Stone Circle sits upon a hilltop and watches over the town. Keswick provides a stop off for travellers of every variety, whether that be backpack laden explorers, fresh off the Cumbrian Way, or rope heavy climbers, setting out to test their limits. Keswick creates a community for everyone with a passion for the outdoors and anyone with a taste for adventure.

8 - coniston

The village sits on the shores of Coniston Water, one of the largest lakes in the Lake District. This picturesque body of water is perfect for boating, sailing, kayaking, and fishing, offering stunning views of the surrounding fells. Despite its rural location, Coniston is easily accessible by road and public transport. The village is well-connected to nearby towns and attractions, making it convenient for visitors traveling from across the UK. Coniston has retained much of its traditional charm, with stone-built cottages, friendly pubs, and shops selling artisan goods and locally sourced produce. The village offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.

Coniston Village - Retreats & Hideaways
Hawkshead Village - Retreats & Hideaways

9 - hawkshead

Hawkshead boasts a quintessential English village atmosphere with its cobbled streets, historic buildings, and traditional architecture. Surrounded by stunning countryside, Hawkshead is an ideal location for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Situated amidst rolling hills, lush valleys, and picturesque lakes, Hawkshead is surrounded by breath-taking natural beauty. Visitors can explore the scenic countryside on foot, by bike, or by boat, taking in panoramic views of the Lake District landscape.

10 - ullswater

Ullswater is often regarded as one of the most beautiful lakes in the Lake District. Surrounded by towering mountains, lush woodlands, and picturesque villages, the scenery around Ullswater is breath-taking, making it a haven for photographers and nature lovers. Ullswater is home to some of the Lake District’s most iconic walking trails, including the Ullswater Way. Other popular walks include routes to Aira Force waterfall and the summits of Helvellyn and Place Fell. Despite its popularity, Ullswater retains a sense of tranquillity and remoteness, providing visitors with a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Ullswater Self Catering Cottages - Retreats & Hideaways

holiday let management or the diy route?

Choosing how to manage your Lake District holiday home is an important decision. With so much to take into consideration, we’ve outlined here the main points to take into account:

  • Your holiday home needs to be fully compliant with current legislation, eg. fire regulations.
  • The décor needs to be attractive and well maintained.
  • Your holiday home furniture needs to meet current fire regulations, and be sufficient and comfortable for the maximum number of guests that can stay.
  • Accessories and styling – these need to be well-chosen to make your holiday home attractive, but not to encourage pilfering or risk expensive breakages.
  • Customer experience, reputation and reviews – with your holiday home reputation available to all in just a few clicks, it’s vital it tells a positive story about your property. One bad review can counter many good ones, so we work hard on your behalf to make sure that every stay is an enjoyable one for your guests.
  • Repeat booking strategy – it’s not enough to ensure a great holiday experience for your visitors – we need to encourage them to book again, and again. That’s why we have a specific and proven process to motivate repeat bookings.

examples of potential return on your holiday let investment

Purchase Price
Potential Annual Revenue*
Potential Annual Profit
(After Management Fees)
Orrest Head

* Allowing for approximately 10 weeks’ owner’s use.

what retreats & hideaways can do for you

Our Retreats & Hideaways team will look after your home as if it were our own. We manage all aspects of the holiday let, to maximise your occupancy rates and protect your time.

lifestyle marketing

The holiday let market in the Lake District is one of the most competitive in the UK. We know how important those vital first impressions are to a holidaymaker. That’s why we do whatever it takes to make sure your holiday home stands out online, and gets the clicks and the bookings, instead of booking with your competitors.  From experience, we know your guests are less interested in what your holiday home has and fascinated by what it can do for them and their family, to give them wonderful holiday memories they will cherish for years to come. That’s why we use our signature ‘twilight’ images, to portray your home at its most cosy and welcoming. And our now trademark lifestyle photographs, so they can imagine themselves enjoying everything your home has to offer them and their loved ones, when they stay there.

We also put a lot of thought and expertise into identifying the type of guest most likely to want to stay in your holiday home, and design the marketing specifically around this ‘persona’. It’s a mix of marketing and consumer psychology, and it really works!

how this works for you

a 'hands off' approach

Managing a holiday home can be a full-time job – from the marketing of the home, to the 24-hour booking management, to organising the cleaners. We understand this side of owning a holiday home is not always part of the dream – that’s where we come in. From the moment you ask us to manage your holiday home, you can sit back and relax, knowing we have everything covered, while the holidaymakers enjoy and respect your home.

furniture sourcing

Getting your holiday home ‘holiday-ready’ can be challenging and time-consuming. It is vital you get it right to maximise annual income. Should you need some advice, a helping hand or for us to do the whole process – we have a trained team to help! We can decide on the target market, research your style, source the furniture, make sure we are at your home when it’s delivered and build and install it – without you having to lift a finger!

Maintenance & repair

Time-to-time, your home will need a little bit of maintenance or repair. If our maintenance team can’t fix it, we will work with an approved local tradesman to get the job fixed as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Retreats & Hideaways VIP Guest Welcome

Returning guests are super important. Having visitors book again and again not only maximises occupancy rates, but you have the comfort of knowing that that the returning guests respect your home, and love it as much as you do! Our Retreats & Hideaways VIP Guest WelcomeTM process ensures every guest feels like a VIP and will want to return again and again! The guests will have a dedicated personal contact for any information they may need, from the best walks to the best takeaways. All guests will have a very special Welcome Hamper on arrival with everything they may need after a long journey – local Penningtons Tea or a glass of bubbly? Or maybe just a piece of Grasmere Gingerbread

Get in touch


Holiday Let Management

Get in touch today to find out how much you could earn from your holiday let!

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