THE UK'S 'first country house hotel' has been taken over and looks set to reopen for the first time in four years.

Sharrow Bay Hotel, on the shores of Ullswater, was closed in 2020 due to an outbreak of coronavirus in March that year; the company in charge of the iconic venue went into liquidation in September of the same year.

New documents have shown that Cumbrian company, Ciel Hotels Ltd, based in Askham, look set to take over the hotel after a 'significant investment' into Sharrow Bay.

In a statement of Ciel Hotels Ltd's full accounts for the year up to March 2023, published on Companies House on December 21, the company stated that they have secured the Sharrow Bay Hotel in Ullswater on a long lease, and are planning on moving their Michelin-star restaurant Allium to the venue, allowing an increased capacity for diners.

It is not yet known when an official announcement for the takeover will be announced, or when the much-loved and iconic hotel will re-open.

A strategic end-of-year report for the business, in the general overheads and structure section, said: "The directors have continued with their capital investment strategy in year and secured a long lease at a new location in the Lake District, Sharrow Bay.

"Sharrow Bay is an iconic site in the sector, renowned for being the first country house hotel in the UK and having an unrivalled setting overlooking Ullswater.

"The investment will allow the directors to move their Michelin star restaurant, Allium, to Sharrow Bay where there will be an increased capacity for diners.

"This capacity of 50-55 diners is a more balanced offering to the accommodation capacity that will be available at the new site.

"The directors have secured funding for this capital project via a mixture of equity and debt. It is a significant investment but in the opinion of the directors, the high profile renovation will result in the company running one of the best hotels in the Lake District."

The company, whose directors include Charles Alexander James Lowther and Marie-Louisa Raeburn, also own the George and the Dragon at Clifton, Askham Hall and the Queen's Head.

Sharrow Bay is famous as the place where Beatles star Sir Paul McCartney proposed to ex-wife Heather Mills, and for its association for the creation of sticky toffee pudding.

Ciels Hotel Ltd were approached for comment on the takeover of the hotel.