Interiors specialist helps transform landmark Lake District inn


A SPECIALIST interiors business has played a key role in the transformation of a landmark Lake District inn.

Ghyll House Upholstery and Design was part of the team involved in the multi-million pound revamp of The Coniston Inn, formerly The Waterhead Hotel, on the shores of Coniston Water in the English Lake District.Joe McAlpine general manager Ghyll House (1)-min.jpg

The historic 42-bedroom pub with rooms reopened last month following an 18-month redevelopment. Coniston Inn photo 5 (1)-min.jpg

As part of the work, the Ghyll House team created curtains and blinds throughout the venue, and recovered chairs in the bedrooms and fixed seating in the bar area.

Joe McAlpine, Ghyll House general manager, said: “It was great to be part of such a big project in the heart of the Lake District. 

“We were able to use our expertise to deliver stylish and practical upholstery and soft furnishings as part of this major refurbishment.”Coniston Inn photo 4 (1)-min.jpg

Joe and the Ghyll House team worked on dozens of pieces of furniture at their base at Mealsgate, near Cockermouth, using a specific palette of fabrics, which was in keeping with the new look of the inn.

The team have extensive experience in the hospitality sector, working with a range of hotel, leisure and other businesses across the north of England and Scotland to create quality, on-brand interiors for clients.Coniston Inn photo 3 (1)-min (1).jpg

Chris Moor, operations manager for The Inn Collection Group, which owns The Coniston Inn, said they were delighted to work with a Cumbrian company that delivered such a quality service.

He said: “The Inn Collection Group pride themselves on their local and community connections. Coniston Inn photo 2 (1)-min.jpg

“We were delighted to work with a Cumbrian company of the calibre of Ghyll House who provided the upholstery fabrics and soft furnishings for our exciting new Coniston Inn as part of its multi-million pound refurbishment.

“The design brief included fabrics that would both be in keeping with the surroundings and the inn’s classic heritage while being practical and hard wearing as our inns are all walkers, outdoors and pet friendly. Coniston Inn photo 1 (1)-min.jpg

“We want customers to feel relaxed and at home when they enter our doors whether they are enjoying an evening out, or have stepped straight off the fells. 

“Ghyll House certainly delivered on all areas producing an end result that is aesthetically stunning while being fully functional.”

Ghyll House was sub-contracted by Cumbrian construction firm Thomas Armstrong, who were the main contractors for the work on The Coniston Inn.

Conor Tinnion, a quantity surveyor with Thomas Armstrong who was involved in the project, said: “We were pleased to be involved in such a prestigious development in a beautiful location on the shores of Coniston Water. It’s a great addition to the local area for both visitors and locals.”

The redevelopment included a redesign of the bar and dining area to create an open-plan space which makes the most of the lake and fell views. A new extension with 21 extra bedrooms was added as part of the work and is designed to complement the original Lakeland slate building.

The former Waterhead Hotel has been welcoming guests for more than a century and its revamped interiors draw on its heritage, with vintage memorabilia and photo murals on the walls. 

Guests can take advantage of direct lake access from a private jetty and enjoy four acres of mature gardens. 

Its green credentials include a sustainable reed bed water purifying system, a biomass boiler and an on-site herb garden for the kitchen. The bedrooms include fully rechargeable lanterns to light the way for guests walking into the nearby Coniston village after dark.

The Coniston Inn is part of an award-winning portfolio of pubs with rooms across the north of England. The Inn Collection Group’s ethos is to create welcoming, relaxing environments for walkers, cyclists and outdoors enthusiasts as well as families and dog owners.

As well as The Coniston Inn, its Cumbrian pubs with rooms portfolio includes The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite; The Swan at Grasmere; and The Ambleside Inn in Ambleside.



No 1: The stylish black fixed seating in the bar area of The Coniston Inn was recovered by Ghyll House Upholstery and Design as part of the multi-million pound redevelopment. Photo: Tracey Bloxham


No 2: Ghyll House Upholstery and Design is behind the stylish black fixed seating in the bar area of The Coniston Inn. Photo: Tracey Bloxham

No 3: Ghyll House Upholstery and Design supplied soft furnishings throughout The Coniston Inn including the full-length curtains in the bar area which complement the view of the Lake District fells beyond. Photo: Tracey Bloxham


No 4: The subtle check fabric on the chairs in the bedrooms was upholstered by Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, who also created the pretty curtains which complement the Lake District landscape. Photo: Tracey Bloxham


No 5: The Coniston Inn, formerly The Waterhead Hotel, reopened last month after a multi-million pound redevelopment. Photo: Tracey Bloxham


No 6: Joe McAlpine, general manager of Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, brought in to carry out key elements of the refurbishment at The Coniston Inn. Photo: Sheenah Alcock.

Ghyll House Upholstery and Design, based at Mealsgate, near Cockermouth in Cumbria, is part of the Eco group.


To find out more about Ghyll House Upholstery and Design visit email: or call 016973 21329.


Eco operates across a range of sectors to deliver multiple products and services for commercial, industrial, public sector and residential customers. 


Any organisation or business which would benefit from Eco’s newly-launched Econnects Visitor Registration system is asked to visit email or phone 01461 500 206 for more information


To find out more about Eco’s other solutions which are designed to help the economy across a range of sectors fight back from lockdown go to or email


For more information about The Coniston Inn go to Phone 0191 580 3610 or email



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