Welcome to Howtown, a world lost in time on a lane that goes nowhere on the quiet side of Ullswater. The position here is heavenly – water, mountain, field and sky – one of the best in the Lakes. The house sits in its own hamlet, dates to 1640, and has been welcoming guests for 117 years, a licensed farmhouse that has passed though five generations of the same family, who still run sheep and cattle on 400 acres of Lakeland fell. Inside, the past lives on: a panelled bar, William Morris wallpaper, smouldering coal fires, wall clocks and lots of brass. Homely bedrooms upstairs have simple pleasures: good beds, sheets and blankets, toile throws, fabulous views. Most are en suite, three have bathrooms one step across the landing. Dinner is old-school – you’re summoned by a gong – then served at oak tables with a beautiful dresser at one end of the dining room. The food is a joy, perhaps Stilton soufflé, loin of venison, steamed marmalade pudding; there’s a walkers’ café and a locals’ bar, too. David has an amphibious car for the odd lake cruise. Walks start from the front door. Matchless.