I would love some advice from people who have stayed in B and B's in these areas. There are so many lists and it is difficult to decide since all the descriptions seem to run together after awhile. Would like to keep rate below $200 US. We will have a car and plan to stay three nights in each location. I have looked at Wolsey Lodges and many of those seem very good. If you prefer one town (Cotswolds and lakes) over others, please tell me why. Thanks for your suggestions.
Great timing on your request as my wife and I just returned from England with a stop in the Cotswolds. I give the Cornerways B&B in Chipping Campden my highest recommendation. Your hosts Carole and Les could not be more charming. Just a very nice couple who really seem to enjoy being in the B&B business. We had a very very large room at a reasonable price, a little over $100 US. We stayed there the weekend before last, April 26-28. Really, this is a very memorable B&B experience - but only two rooms so book ahead. The location is excellent, though a little tricky to find so study up on that before arrival. We also visited Burton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, Broadway and liked our home base of Chipping Campden the best by far. Stow did not seem to have the personality of Chipping Campden, though we arrived after 5pm so shops were closed. Burton.. and Broadway were both overrun with fellow tourists on a Saturday afternoon so this may have affected our perception. You can go for a brief country walk from Cornerways, walk down Calf Lane and there is a public footpath. Maybe a twenty minute walk through a pasture with sheep and little lambs. A really fun town all around.
In York we stayed at the Abbey Guest House, http://www.abbeyghyork.co.uk/, well located on the river with easy walks to the medieval center in one direction and the railway station and museum in the other. Good breakfast and friendly hosts. They have a small parking area. In Keswick we stayed at Badger's Wood Guest House, http://www.badgers-wood.co.uk/, on Stanger Street just uphill from downtown. Great views from our front-facing bay window out to the hills, great breakfast, friendly and helpful host. They have Ordinance Survey maps to borrow if you want to hike. Parking is on the street but wasn't hard to find. These were both good places we enjoyed and within your price range. Needless to say, there are many other choices. Take a look at the RS England guide for more.
Two recommendations: In the Cotswolds, I can't recommend the Old School in Little Compton, just outside Moreton in Marsh, highly enough. We've stayed there twice and loved everything about it - the gracious hostess Wendy, the fantastic breakfasts, the beautifully appointed rooms, etc. In the Lake District, Howe Keld in Keswick which I believe is still in Rick's book. Perhaps the best breakfast we've ever had at a B&B; nice, extremely comfortable rooms, centrally located, very friendly hosts, environmentally friendly. I think you would be very happy with either (or both!).
In York I have stayed at 23 St Marys (their address and name) and been well satisfied.