Inn Collection Group snaps up Lake Windermere hotel

The Wateredge Inn on Lake Windermere has been sold in a confidential transaction that has highlighted the popularity of the Lake District as a staycation location.

The established 22-bedroom hotel at Waterhead Bay has been acquired by The Inn Collection Group in a deal negotiated by real estate advisors Colliers on behalf of the Cowap Family, who had owned and run the business since the early 1980s.

The Grade II-listed property, which has four star Visit England status, is the seventh Lake District inn with rooms to be added to the portfolio of the Inn Collection Group, which has over a dozen inns in the Lake District, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, and County Durham. These include The Angel Inn at Bowness-on-Windermere, which was purchased through Colliers at the end of 2020 in an off-market deal.

Sean Donkin, managing director of The Inn Collection Group, said, “The Wateredge Inn is an exciting addition to our portfolio. We are delighted to have brought this extraordinary venue into our collection as our group continues to earn its stripes for its outstanding pubs with rooms in the very best locations across the north of England.

“Our priority is identifying and sourcing remarkable venues with their own USPs. With its lakeside setting and close proximity to Ambleside, The Wateredge Inn is matchless and will be a stunning new addition to our eat, drink, sleep and explore collection.”

Julian Troup, head of Hotels Agency at Colliers, said, “This transaction provides further evidence of buyers being prepared to consider the positive trading position that is anticipated in all staycation locations throughout the UK once lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

“Many appear to mistakenly believe that there has been no activity in the hotels market during lockdown, but this is quite simply not the case. We are continuing to experience a strong flow of interest, particularly in quality businesses located in quality locations, and the Lake District continues to be our most productive region with nine hotels and inns being sold and let during 2020.

“The Wateredge Inn is probably the best located in the region, enjoying an outstanding lakeside position at Waterhead Bay and on the fringe of Ambleside, and we received keen competitive interest after being instructed to go confidentially to the market and approach a target list of active buyers.”

Haydn Spedding, who has covered the Cumbria region for the Hotels Agency team at Colliers for more than 30 years, and until recently was also a director of Cumbria Tourism, added, “Despite the challenges of lockdown, deals have still gone through and it is clear that there are buyers who are looking beyond the pandemic and can see the opportunities of investing into the Lake District hotel and hospitality sector.”