Nestled within the chocolate-box village of Cumrew within the foothills of the Pennines, this former hayloft is a delightful retreat for families and small groups.
A charming, cosy, characterful conversion, this property sleeps four people in two spacious bedrooms. The accommodation is all on one level but is on the first floor of the building accessed by a flight of stairs from the hallway, this gives you the advantage of lovely views over the gardens around the property with fields and fell beyond. The bedrooms are very well presented but the real centrepiece of this cottage is the stunning light, dual aspect living area. With its exposed beams, painted stone walls with sandstone round the windows and a huge wood burner, we challenge you not to say ‘wow’ when you step inside! The downside is that in the summer you could have a tricky decision to make: evening in on the sofa or watching the sun go down from the beautiful walled garden? Impossible to make the wrong decision – both will be memorable for all the right reasons.
The property is located in the small village of Cumrew in the Eden Valley and the foothills of the Pennines, a beautiful and varied landscape. The nearest pub is just a mile away in Newbiggin, an easy walk or very short drive away, and many of the other surrounding villages have excellent hostelries to explore too. Keen walkers will not be disappointed with numerous walks available from the door and even more a short drive away. Favourites include riverside walks along the Eden, fell walks up towards Geltsdale and quiet rural footpaths around Ainstable. Not much planning is required to end or break your walk at a local tea room or pub and there are plenty to choose from. Although the cottage is surrounded by quiet countryside the main roads are within easy reach giving access to the wider area.
This is a great location for quiet rural seclusion and many local walks yet also gives you a well-placed base from which to access all the local attractions on offer - the best of both worlds! The Eden Valley offers a quieter beauty away from the hustle and bustle of the Lake District National Park but that does not mean you will not find plenty of things to do within easy reach. This is a special area with miles of lovely varied walking and plenty of attractions to search out. If you want to strike off outside the Eden Valley, why not explore the World Heritage Site of Hadrian’s Wall with its associated forts and museums, whilst enjoying the rugged beauty of the landscape it passes through? Nearby Carlisle is a compact city perfect to explore on foot; visit the imposing castle or sandstone cathedral, wander through one of the parks alongside the River Eden or browse the range of shops in the city centre. Slightly further afield but still in easy reach is the Northumberland National Park with miles of quiet walking or cycling. Experience the contrasting but equally stunning wildernesses of the North Pennines and Solway Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or visit Alston, the highest market town in England for a ride on a narrow-gauge steam railway.
Located above a cart store, which now functions as a garage, this former hayloft is built of sandstone and forms part of an attractive range of buildings surrounding a central courtyard. The main part of the hayloft was converted by the current owners in 2008 into an amazing open-plan living/dining/kitchen space with feature beams and stonework. Parking is on the shared driveway to the front, just to the left of your front door. The glazed door leads you into the large tiled hallway with coat hooks and a wooden bench-cum-boot shelf, practical as well as attractive. The hallway is also the stairwell and the extra height and light, with the timber of the stairs and painted stone walls give you a good indication of the delights to be found upstairs.
Before going up, opposite the front door you will find a handy utility room with sink, washing machine, tumbler drier and countertop freezer plus a downstairs WC. Head up the stairs and you are straight into the gorgeous open-plan living space. Cleverly divided into three areas for cooking, dining and relaxing this lovely light room has windows on both sides as well as skylights and the vaulted ceilings display all the original roof timbers. To the right is the well-equipped kitchen with plenty of cupboard space, electric oven and hob, dishwasher, microwave, fridge with ice box and a one and half Belfast style sink. All the units are low level so there is nothing to block the view right down the room to the wood burner at the other end, not only does this make for an attractive outlook but it also makes it a very social space. A breakfast bar with two stools on the other side of the units is handy for a quick bite or for sitting to chat to the designated chef.
The dining table has ample room for four and you will find all the crockery stored in the sideboard dividing the dining area from the living area. If you like to listen to music while you cook or eat there is a radio/cd player with an iPod dock on a small cupboard in the dining area, a selection of cds can be found in the cupboard. There is a good selection of local tourist information leaflets in the drawers of the sideboard for planning days out.
The cosy living area is centred around the large Clearview stove; three baskets of logs plus kindling are provided so plenty of fuel for a roaring fire in the evenings to gather round. If you want more entertainment than watching the flickering flames there is a Freeview TV with DVD so relax on the comfortable 3-seat or 2-seat sofas or claim the armchair and enjoy the ambience with a glass of wine or a nice cuppa ready and waiting on the coffee table – lovely!
Through the door at the far end of the living area is a landing area with shelves full of books and games above a sofa, perfect for a bit of quiet time. The original stone stairs of the hayloft lead down to a door into the courtyard, leave your empty log basket here and it will be re-filled for an additional charge of £7.50. This area also retains more of the character of this historic building with one of the original timber louvred hayloft windows although you will be pleased to hear that this is now glazed! Off the landing is a big utility cupboard with ironing board, high chair, stairgate etc which can also double as drying space if you need it.
Alongside the corridor to the bedrooms is a curtained off hanging space (which also makes a good hiding spot for younger members of the party!). First on the right is the spacious twin bedroom, with a window overlooking the trees surrounding the drive, exposed timber beams and one of the original louvred windows; beautifully restored and installed between the bedroom and bathroom this is a pleasant, characterful room. There is plenty of space for the twin beds with bedside tables and a chest of drawers and the roof window ensures the room is light and bright. A door leads into the Jack and Jill bathroom, the other door from which leads back out onto the hallway. An array of wooden trucks, ducks and chickens on the shelf welcome you into the bathroom, which houses a large bath with shower attachment on the tap. Half wooden panelling and a laminate floor are practical and the heated towel rail is always welcome for cosy towels.
At the end of the hall is a dual aspect double bedroom; spacious and bright with a super-king-size bed, chest of drawers, bedside tables and attractive watercolour paintings on the walls. The windows look out onto a peaceful view across the front garden to the fields beyond and the trees around the drive - lovely rural scenes to enjoy with a morning cup of tea in bed. The en-suite shower room has large shower enclosure, heated towel rail and Again features one of the restored louvred windows. Both the bedrooms are carpeted, offer a selection of books on the chest of drawers and have electric radiators for additional night time heat if required.
The courtyard is private and you are not short of lovely outside space. The walled garden is yours to enjoy with seating and table provided, this fully enclosed sheltered delight is full of beautiful flowers in spring and summer and the owners also grow fruit and vegetables which you are welcome to sample. The tennis court is also available to use as and when you wish, tennis rackets and balls can be found in the cupboard under the stairs.