The History of Low Wood Bay

Created Thursday, December 19, 2019, by Tina Alexander

Low Wood Bay has an intriguing history dating all the way back to 1705, from family farm to a first-class resort. 

As a keen historian, alongside his love for hospitality, Michael Berry wrote a book in 2002 which delves into 300 years of history surrounding Low Wood Bay. We've chosen the key milestones in Low Woods history to share with you... 


 The first evidence of Low Wood being an operational Farm, however the first known owner of Low Wood was recorded in 1715.



First official record of Low Wood in Ambleside Parish register. At this time it was highlighted that Low Wood was being enlarged by a builder family, the Birketts. Low Wood was being enlarged from a small farmstead to a well-built hostelry for carriers plus waggons and teams of horses.



Records show a ‘Holbeck Inn’ is renamed as ‘Low Wood Inn’



It seems by this time Low Wood had be renamed to ‘Wrights Low Wood Inn’, the new tenants owned the again enlarged Inn, as sketched by Peter Crosthwaite.



John Wright continued to develop the reputation of the ‘Low Wood’ all the way until his retirement in 1803. Applications for tenancy of Low Wood were advertised in the ‘Lancaster Gazetteer’.



Her majesty the Queen Dowager dines at Low Wood. Queen Adelaide.



The death of Thomas Jackson saw Robert Bruce Logan take the tenancy of the Inn, he was a 36 year old scot. Succeeding members of the Logan family would continue the Low Wood tenancy for the following 96 years.


The first Steamer, ‘Lady of the Lake’ was launched on Windermere in 1845. Lady of the Lake carried 200 passengers and boasted a luxurious first class saloon fitted with mirrors and carpets. Her hull was finished in black and gold with a white figurehead. She continued in service until 1865.



The Kendal and Windermere railway opens.


Low Wood Hotel, completely rebuilt to accommodate the annual 21,000 carriages passing from the station.



Low Wood welcomes Motor Cars and later offers “Motor cars for hire” as well as several excursions and drives from the hotel.



Robert Logan retires.



Availability of Low Wood lease comes to the attention of Norman Buckley who, with his brother and father had built up a successful Solicitors practice in Manchester. They acquire it for £310 per annum.



Low Wood became available to buy, it was auctioned at Kendal Town Hall. Norman and his brother, Kenneth, were successful and bid for a total of 73 acres for £8,417.



Through the 60’s many famous faces visited Low Wood and enjoyed rides on Norman Buckley’s ‘Miss Windermere’ power boat. Guests included HRH King Hussein of Jordan, Donald Campbell and Richard Dimbleby.



Michael Berry invited to manage the hotel group, including Low Wood, with his uncle Norman Buckley.



A brush with film stardom as Joan Collins visits Low Wood Bay to promote a UK version of Jaws called ‘The Pike’. The movie was ditched after the giant man eating fish suffered a series of mechanical malfunctions.


Watersports centre was officially opened by the Minister for Sport, Mr. Neil Macfarlane, M.P and begins to offer guests and visitors a variety of water-based activities.



The Leisure Club and conference centre open, HRH Prince Edward attends the official opening.



Simon Berry takes on the responsibility of Chairman of the English Lakes Group.



In October 2001 Low Wood Hotel celebrated achieving 4 star status from the AA and RAC. This accolade followed improvements and re-development at the hotel amounting to £8 million over the previous 10 years.



Low Wood Hotel won the ‘Large Hotel of the Year’ award in the Cumbria for Excellence Awards run by Cumbria Tourist Board.



The 10mph speed limit is implemented on Lake Windermere and a major re-think is needed.



The first ever Great North Swim was held at Low Wood Bay with over 2000 open water swimmers taking part.




The new Winander Club accommodation, The Blue Smoke at Low Wood Bay restaurant, Norman’s Juice Bar and The Spa open after a multi-million pound renovation. 



April 2022 - Ben Berry moves from Sales and Purchasing Director to take the reins as Group Managing Director, becoming the fifth generation at the helm. His father, Simon Berry, becomes Executive Chairman.



July 2023 - 70th anniversary year extravaganza weekend held at Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa a highlight of the celebrations throughout 2023.


Book a break at Low Wood Bay Resort

Low Wood Bay has a range of rooms from named after native trees from Willows to Oak Suites and all with exceptional facilities making it the perfect base to explore the Lake District. 

Winander Club provides upgraded room features and a personalised service. Guests can enjoy a private bar and breakfast area with an inspirational view of Lake Windermere. Winander Club residents benefit from a prosecco arrival, a roof terrace and late check out.

The Spa at Low Wood Bay offers the chance to unwind in an area of stunning natural beauty. Escape busy schedules and feel revitalised with a spa treatments, spa day or thermal journeys. As a resort, Low Wood Bay hosts two wonderful restaurants, ‘Windermere Restaurant’ and ‘Blue Smoke at Low Wood Bay’.

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