TRAVEL REVIEW: A taste of the Lake District at The Plough at Lupton
I grew up in the rural Yorkshire countryside.
It wasn't until 2010 when I turned 18 and moved to Newcastle for university that I truly experienced city life.
But to this day I still relish every opportunity to pack a bag and escape to somewhere green with cosy pubs and a river to walk down - and if I'm lucky, a glimpse of sunshine too.
As a Yorkshireman I must say it pains to me say that living in Lancashire has its perks in that respect.
We're a stepping stone away from Manchester, Preston, and Liverpool, which is great, but it's what's north of the red rose county that really gets me - The Lakes.
One place I've been a fair few times in the last year has been Kirby Lonsdale, an idyllic small town on the River Lune, close to the North Yorkshire border.
And every time you get off the M6 at junction 36 for the village, you drive past The Plough at Lupton - the place my fiancee and I decided was the perfect place to stay to enjoy what the Lakes have to offer.
The first thing you notice when stopping off at The Plough is the distinctive metallic horse on the road side - an obvious homage to what the inn is named after. Even if you aren't stopping you can't help but slow down 10mph for an extra few seconds to look at the unique statue.
With only six rooms, The Plough has a very homely feel to it, something replicated by the staff that greet you and show you to your room.
We stayed in what the inn's website calls "the jewel in The Plough's crown" - the 685 square foot Torsin suite.
I've stayed in five star hotels before but this was quite honestly the most in awe of a room that I've ever been.
With a huge L-shaped couch, super king bed and premium coffee machine, it had everything you needed to relax after the hour drive from central Lancashire.
And then there's the bathroom. My other half loves a relaxing bath, and she wont mind me saying that I've never seen her more excited to have one than in the roll top standalone tub placed in the middle of the room.
I myself prefer a quicker wash, but that was equally impressive with the walk-in monsoon shower.
After unpacking and a quick espresso, we went downstairs for a late lunch alongside a proper pint of ale.
The service was quick and friendly - and even when they originally brought us the wrong plate, it was corrected hastily and professionally. Hospitality after all is about how you are treated and not innocent mistakes - something I think a lot of people easily forget when eating out.
We decided to stick around the inn for the rest of the afternoon, having a few more pints in the beer garden, which neatly hugs around the side and back of the inn.
We went back to the room after a few hours before getting putting a fresh shirt on and heading into the restaurant for our evening meal.
Having spent the day outside, it was nice to settle into the cosy feel that the restaurant holds.
The place doesn't take itself too seriously, as seen in the mixture of odd chairs and tables scattered from the bar area into the main restaurant.
It was little things like this, the candles scattered throughout, and the welcoming staff that put me at ease straight away.
The food being superb also helped!
It's this warmth that the whole place has that makes it a perfect place to stop off when wanting a low-key rest in the Lakes.
The small village of Kirkby Lonsdale is only a few miles away, home to an array of quirky little pubs and walking routes.
Then there is the likes of Winderemere and Ambleside a little further in the opposite direction, which have a little more of a buzz around them but with that, more people.
Whatever it is you're after, staying somewhere as relaxing and welcoming as The Plough is a must for those escaping to the Lakes.