This custom renovated luxury cottage is the perfect Yorkshire/Durham Dales area hideaway. An easy five minute walk to charming Barnard Castle, recently listed as one of the top ten rural places to live in the UK. With its quaint pubs (read Bill Bryson on the Old Well) and intriguing antique and arts shopping, it has plenty of lively gentility whilst still clearly being a country town full of real people going about real lives. Situated between the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the North Pennines AONB (Area of Natural Beauty) and an scenic hour’s from the Lake District National Park, the cottage is an easy jumping off spot for hiking or just siteseeing. Lovely rural towns such as Richmond, Northallerton, Thirsk and Yarm are all very accessible for an afternoon jaunt; not to mention the great cathedral cities of York, Durham and Ripon. It is quite do-able to drive to the coast and scope out Whitby and Robins Hood Bay by driving over Sutton Bank: a pause at the top gives you a chance to view one of the UK's greatest views.
We are on the Teesdale Way and there are numerous shorter, but equally lovely, walks in all directions. The bluebell season is particularly spectacular in Flatts Woods, the local's favourite walk. A brisk hour walk will take you from your front door to the evocative ruins of Eggleston Abbey and back to your door, crossing two bridges over the lovely Tees River. High Force is a brief drive away and terrific in any season: England's highest waterfall. Biking is very popular in the Dales, but you do need to be ready for some challenging climbs. When you get back from your exertions, indulge in a spacious, high pressure shower or a lazy deep bath with plenty of hot water, then wrap up in a warmed towel: Heaven!
If you get a bit of rain, (remember this IS England) consider a day spent at The Bowes Museum, which is a five minute walk. The famous Sliver Swan automaton is here and deserves a look, but there are other interesting holdings too, as well as a nice cafe. The museum is particularly good at fashion history and has had YSL and shoe exhibits lately that were very engaging. A brief drive away is Staindrop and the spectacular seat of the the Lords Barnard, Raby Castle. York is, as mentioned above, at hand as is the fabulous city of Durham (see Bill Bryson on this too!). In better weather it is hard to beat a drive or bike through the fabulous Dales and the scenic villages that nestle amongst them. Don't forget Hadrian's Wall, and the stunning Lake District, both World Heritage Sites, are just an hour away.
Flyfishers will love the access to the Tees and birdwatchers need only sit still long enough to see the wonderful wealth of birds that cluster around the river.
Of course staying close to "home" is also a very welcoming option with wifi, flat screen TV, comfy seating with cozy throws and a wood burning stove----- a very spoiling atmosphere for just kicking back. And all these amenities are doubled so they are available on both floors. Also we have one of the most beautiful conservatories imaginable: putting you out over the rushing river in all weathers means there is always a dramatic view to enjoy at breakfast or cocktail hour.
For those who still need to be connected, we have wifi and a work basket of the basics to ensure you can get through a report if needed. But we recommend using the wifi to watch a great movie on our flat screen TV instead!
This is an adult getaway because of our immediate access to a very changeable and active river. The River Run Cottage sits literally upon the waterfall, as it was originally an adjunct to the Demesnes Mill which has served Barnard Castle since the 15th century. Similarly we do not allow pets for the same reason. Unfortunately, since the sitting area and bedroom are upstairs and the lane outdoors is pretty rustic, this is unlikely to be a good choice for people with special mobility needs.
A car is necessary to get out into the Moors, Dales and Lake District, but for folks who don't drive or are a bit anxious about left hand driving, it is entirely possible to get to the cottage without a car. One would take a train that goes hourly from London, York or Edinburgh to Darlington and cabs are readily available at the station to get to Barnard Castle. Taxis cost about £35; of course, for the patient, buses also run from Darlington. From the cottage one can get to grocery stores, chemists and any other services with a five minute walk.
Dining is very accessible with numerous restaurants within walking distance and many really stellar options if you are driving, including a Michelin starred restaurant just fifteen minutes away. So many inviting pubs and restaurants focus on the local bounty without pretension or fuss: good food and drink, served with wit and charm. We will provide an up to date list for guests, with our in depth recommendations. Of course, taking care of yourself is also an option and supported by plenty of easy to find, locally sourced food shops, many that have meals to go.
The Morritt Arms and Middleton Lodge have spas and are about a ten minute or twenty five minute drive respectively, though there are ample small salons where you can get a blow dry or manicure in town, including Petit Spa right at the nearest corner.