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Ona Ash

Kirkoswald, Cumbria
Sleeps 6
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 1
Change Fri
No Dogs
4 star
Enclosed garden / patio
Internet access
Pub nearby
Shop nearby
Fishing onsite / nearby
Family friendly
Towels included
10 more

At a glance

  • Dating from 1693, this unique Grade II-listed retains thatched roof, original flagstones, cruck beams, an inglenook fireplace and spiral staircase
  • Explore the wonders of the Eden Valley as you walk along the River Eden from your front door
  • Look out for the neighbouring village's resident family of owls - you might even get the chance to spot them hunting


Property code: SZ372

A rare example of a 17th-century thatched longhouse, this remarkable property offers cosy and traditional accommodation for families and friends exploring the North Pennines and the Lake District.

This is a rare surviving example of a classic late 17th-century Cumbrian 'statesmen's' longhouse. Built all in one piece of squared and coursed Eden Valley sandstone and rubble, the house is Grade II*-listed and dates back to 1693. One of only a handful of thatched properties in Cumbria, inside the cottage is full of history from the cruck beams and feature inglenook fireplace to the spiral sandstone staircase and thatched roof itself. On the ground floor, you'll find the dining kitchen, a large utility room and the wonderful living room. Upstairs on the first floor are the three bedrooms and a vintage-style bathroom. As well as parking for two cars, there's also a delightful rear garden with outdoor furniture.

The property enjoys a peaceful setting in the small hamlet of High Bankhill, not far from the charming village of Kirkoswald, which has a local shop and two popular pubs, both serving hearty meals and refreshing drinks in a friendly atmosphere. There are plenty of local footpaths and bridleways to explore nearby. A trip to the nearby village of Little Salkeld where a picturesque walk along the river will bring you to Lacy's Caves and Long Meg Stone Circle is a must, you're sure to be enchanted. Enjoy a circular from Kirkoswald along Raven Beck and through wonderful woodlands, or why not bring your bikes and explore the winding country roads on two wheels instead?

Close to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with the Lake District National Park also within easy reach, there's plenty of choice for longer days out too. Spend a day at beautiful Ullswater; enjoy a walk by the magnificent Aira Force Water, try your hand at paddle boarding or hitch a ride on the popular Ullswater Steamer for a delightful cruise around the lake. The North Pennines village of Alston, reputedly the highest market settlement in England, is charming with its cobbled streets, market cross and bandstand; ambling around the village is a delightful way to spend an afternoon.

Full of rustic charm and original character features, this atmospheric cottage is one of only a handful of known Cumbrian longhouses with a thatched roof. Throughout the house the original timbers are exposed and the original flagstones have been retained and the house is full of original features - there's something new to see around every corner! Due to the age and style of the house, the ceiling are low so you may need to mind your head.

One of only a small number of genuine Cumbrian longhouses, this property is a truly rare example. An out shut at the rear contains the original dairy and a charmingly rustic spiral stone staircase which leads to the original attic. The roof is supported by two upper cruck beams in the former byre, and one in the house. Many of the timbers were reused from an earlier building and are considerably older than the 17th century. The roof was originally of turf and heather construction and the remnants survived until the early eighties when a 20th-century wavy-tin roof was replaced by the reed thatch that you see today. Surprisingly, thatch was once a common roofing material in the upper Eden Valley, but now this is one of a handful of buildings in North Cumbria that still use such a traditional material.

The house was uninhabited and derelict when the architectural historian R. W. Brunskill surveyed the house in 1965 for the Cumbrian Vernacular Building Group. Its importance both locally and nationally was recognised and, fortunately, plans to demolish the building to make way for a bungalow in the 70s never happened. The house subsequently gained statutory protection in the 80s when it was restored, and is now listed Grade II*, assuring its long term preservation for future generations.

The garden path leads to the front door with its date stone over the door way. Open the door and you come to a classic, historical cross passage - it has a door at either end and dates back to when the house was used for farming purposes as well as to live in.

To the left is the dining kitchen. With a pine table and chairs for six people, it's a lovely space for sociable mealtimes. The kitchen is well equipped with an electric oven, gas hob and another fridge. The big stainless steel sink has views over the front garden and bird table so you might not mind washing up after all! The kitchen also has a leather two-seater sofa, the perfect spot to escape to with a good book. Beyond the kitchen is the large utility room with fridge, deep freeze, oil fired central heating boiler, washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer. This has a door here leading onto the delightful garden out at the front of the house.

Back at the cross passage you enter the living room with the inglenook feature fireplace; the heck is on your right keeping the draughts away from the fireplace, which has its own traditional fire window allowing you see any visitors and cook. There's a window seat with an original sliding Yorkshire window and the spice cupboard and various alcoves for bits and pieces are all still preserved.

The spiral stone staircase is off the living room; follow the worn sandstone steps up to the first floor.

The landing takes you right to the bathroom which has a wonderful feature Victorian cast iron bath, perfect for enjoying a relaxing soak. Cast iron radiators keep you toasty and the vintage high rise cistern and an old sink take you back in time.

The front two bedrooms, one a double and the other a twin, lead on from the landing with full height exposed cruck beams and a hayloft window giving a lovely view down the road. At the other end of the house is the master bedroom with its original 18th-century window and wide cut floorboards.

To the rear of the cottage is a delightful enclosed garden. With outdoor table and chairs, it's a lovely spot for dining alfresco.

This is a fascinating cottage; if you're looking to stay somewhere with a real sense of of history, then this is the one for you.

  • 3 bedrooms – 2 doubles, 1 twin
  • 1 bathroom with bath and WC (shower head tap attachment available)
  • Electric oven, gas hob, fridge
  • Utility room with fridge, freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher
  • Oil-fired central heating
  • TV
  • Wi-Fi included
  • Enclosed garden with outdoor furniture
  • Fishing permits available locally for the River Eden
  • Off-road parking for 2 cars
  • Regret no pets
  • Pub and shop 0.5 miles, further shops, pubs and restaurants in Penrith 9 miles
  • Steep stone spiral staircase with rope handrail
  • Please note the property has low beams and low ceilings throughout
  • Regret no children under the age of 5 due to the steep spiral staircase and low windows on the first floor
  • Please note no BBQs due to the thatched roof
  • Please note the wood burner in the lounge is for decorative purposes only and is not to be used
  • Arrival: 17:00 onwards
  • Departure: before 10:00 unless otherwise stated in your arrival details
  • Sorry, no dogs allowed

Tessa McDonald

This property is personally managed by Tessa.


From guests that have stayed at the property.

Based on 1 guest rating

Overall cleanliness
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Overall equipment
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Overall comfort
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Overall location
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Reviewed by Douglas 5th May 2022

Guest rating 4.8 starsGuest rating 4.8 starsGuest rating 4.8 starsGuest rating 4.8 starsGuest rating 4.8 stars

Wow, this is a gorgeous cottage that is just stuffed full of character and very nicely furnished too. It's pretty much exactly as described and pictured on the website and we had some very happy birds singing in the garden too. We explored both the Lake District and the Pennines and it was just a great base for a few days away. Thoroughly enjoyed oRead moreur stay! Hide

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Note: As the postcode is used to identify the general area of the property, it may not always reflect its precise location, therefore please only use this map as a guide.

The Lake District National Park is situated in the north west of England in the county of Cumbria. It is famously home to England’s tallest peak, largest lake, deepest lake and some of the most beautiful views in the British Isles. It has been a major draw for holidaymakers for over 200 years and its popularity shows no signs that this will diminish anytime soon. Adding to the spectacle, there are long-distance walking trails, endless history and culture to appreciate, as well as an unbeatable array of outdoor activities to try in some exceptionally eye-catching locations.

Mountains, lakes, rocky rivers, waterfalls, and valleys lined by stone walls characterise the Lake District National Park. Add to this vision slate-roofed villages, winding country roads, arctic alpine and wildflower meadows, and beautiful birds such as skylarks, curlews, meadow pipits, and lapwings, which all provide the perfect backdrop for a holiday. The poet, William Wordsworth, who lived in Grasmere, wrote a guidebook of the area in 1810, and very little has changed in the region to tie it into the modern world. The centre of the Lake District is dominated by its craggy mountains such as Scafell Pike and its exceptional lakes like Windermere, Ullswater, Derwentwater, Coniston Water and so many more.

Each of the Lake District’s towns has a village sensibility, yet all of them offer handy amenities, cultural attractions and some of the North West’s best places to eat and drink. Top visitor attractions include The World of Beatrix Potter, Sizergh Castle, Hill Top, Go Ape Grizedale, Grizedale Forest, Fellini and Zefferelli’s Cinema/Restaurants, the Bluebird Mk II, Ravenglass Roman Bathouse alongside a world of outdoor sporting and activity providers. Natural landmarks include Aira Force, Tarn Hows, Scaffell Pike, Castlerigg Stone Circle, The Old Man of Coniston, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. Pull on your walking boots and traverse the long-distance walking trails of the Lakes like Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, and the Tour of the Lake District.

As you get to know the region better, you will find evidence of prehistoric and ancient man in the Lake District, as there are standing stones, circles, and rows to find, as well as one of the largest standing Roman buildings in the UK. Visit Ravenglass, one of the UK’s oldest settlements and the only coastal village in the Lake District; it has beautiful waterside views of the Munros of Southern Scotland. Remnants of the region’s industrial activity can be traced in the form of bobbin mills, gunpowder mills, and mines. The Lakes also have some famous literary and art associations, including Beatrix Potter, John Ruskin, Arthur Ransome, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, JMW Turner, John Constable, LS Lowry and Percy Kelly.

It could take you five lifetimes to visit each of the places mentioned here; a good way to see more of the Lake District National Park is stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages. Our range of holiday properties in the Lake District and Cumbria gives you the perfect place to stay in the north west countryside or on the coast. Our self-catering cottages in the Lake District offer lovely holiday accommodation to suit all your needs, from cottages to rent for a romantic getaway to larger properties for the whole family – we even have dog-friendly holiday homes across the Lake District too. Take a look at our full collection of self-catering cottages and begin to plan your holiday.

The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210