The Inn Collection Group shores up prime waterfront Lakes purchase


The Inn Collection Group is continuing to make waves with the acquisition of premium waterfront Lake District venue The Wateredge Inn at Ambleside. 

The northern pubco has completed on the prime landmark venue at Waterhead Bay which has frontage on to Lake Windermere – the largest natural lake in England. Set in 1.3 acres of grounds, The Wateredge Inn has direct lake access, a private jetty, and a large outdoor seating area.

The undisclosed deal for the 38-bedroom site was finalised yesterday evening (Wednesday 24 March), with The Wateredge Inn becoming the group’s third venue in the destination Lakes town of Ambleside. Its acquisition broadens the group’s customer base in Cumbria further ahead of the predicted post-lockdown UK staycation surge, taking the northern pubco’s Lake District estate to seven.

Managing Director Sean Donkin said: “The Wateredge Inn is a magnificent addition to our portfolio. We are excited 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.

“In the most challenging of times for the hospitality sector, it’s a real boost to have good news like this to share as the trade looks ahead to reopening in line with lockdown restrictions easing and we prepare for a predicted staycation boom fuelled by Covid uncertainties about overseas travel and Brexit.

“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.”

The acquisition of The Wateredge Inn was supported by strong working partnerships with Colliers International who acted on behalf of the vendors and coordinated sale negotiations leading to successful completion.

Julian Troup, head of hotels agency at Colliers International said: “The Wateredge Inn is probably the best located inn 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.”

The Wateredge Inn will reopen for trading under The Inn Collection Group’s award-winning brand in line with planned lockdown restrictions lifting for indoor hospitality venues on 17 May.

The Wateredge Inn acquisition is the Alchemy-backed group’s first purchase of 2021 as it continues to expand with strategic ‘buy and build’ freehold growth plans, supported with banking from OakNorth.

The Inn Collection Group’s Cumbrian portfolio includes Ambleside sites The Ambleside Inn and The Temperance Inn (formerly Churchills Inn) as well as The Angel Inn at Bowness on Windermere; The Coniston Inn at Coniston; The Swan at Grasmere and The Pheasant at Bassenthwaite.

Elsewhere its roster lists venues in Northumberland, County Durham, Yorkshire and Lancashire while a 40-bedroom, new-build site on Sunderland’s seafront at Seaburn is set to open in June.

The Inn Collection Group’s Eat, Drink, Sleep and Explore pubs-with-rooms brand includes food and drink venues that are open daily, all year round, with serviced AA Gold three and four-star accommodation.

The Inn Collection Group were advised by Newcastle-based law firm Wardhadaway and Silverstone on pre-acquisition diligence.