The Big House

Seven bedroom self catered house, sleeps 14

Built by the Holt family in the 1880s, this former gentlemen’s residence is full of original features.

Furnished to the highest of standards, with all the mod cons that a luxury self-catering holiday demands.

As you come into the entrance hall you’ll see original wooden panelling and coving, a perfect nook to snuggle down and read or play games.

The tiles around the fireplace are also original and took nothing more than a good scrub to bring out their stunning green colour.

Moving into the kitchen, we discovered stone flags hidden under mouldering carpet and floorboards. Original locally quarried slates, with a bit of polish they were brought back to life, providing a warm and traditional Lakeland hearth floor.

The kitchen itself though is as modern as can be, offering all the mod cons you need for a lovely self-catering stay including two dishwashers to make life easier if you’ve got a big party to entertain. Or perhaps think about hiring a private chef? We have a roster of fantastic chefs to recommend if you want a extra-special treat without the hassle of going out.

The dining room will give you plenty of space to eat, play games and enjoy time with family and friends as you savour the spectacular views down the valley. The beam above the hearth was reclaimed from our barn cottages. It will have watched over many families and friends chatting, dining and sharing time together since it was hewn from an oak tree back in the seventeenth century. The dining room cupboard contains lots of board games and the library is stocked full of books.

We knocked through from the dining room into the living room to reflect the way we live today, preferring communal, open spaces to separate, closed off rooms “saved for best”. The magnificent fireplace is an original feature, but the French windows opening onto the valley are a new addition, bringing in light and air to this wonderful space for friends and family.

Moving upstairs, we knocked around a little and had a rejig so each of the seven bedrooms has its own bathroom. We also extended out from the main first floor master bedroom to provide an extra perspective for our guests, not only down the valley towards the Howgills but also out towards the Kentmere range to the north.

When we bought the Estate, the main house ended at this first level. The back of the house, now the Small House, and the top floor had been converted into several rather soulless flats. To bring it back to its former beauty, we built a new staircase in a traditional style from the first to the second floor, reflecting how it would have originally looked and incorporating the top floor back into the main house.

The beautiful vaulted ceiling in the second level master bedroom was a big find. \nThis was covered up by no less than three false ceilings, which we removed one by one to discover this hidden gem right above our heads. It gives a tremendous sense of height, light and space to this bedroom.

Outside each bedroom you’ll find a storyboard explaining the design concepts. Every room was planned individually to reflect a certain colour and theme, including a mix of Lakeland comfort with traditional materials and fabrics alongside the clean, crisp lines of Scandi chic.

Along with the Big House’s amazing gardens including a croquet lawn and table tennis table, you also have access to The Heaning Meadow, our large field exclusive to our guests by the entrance driveway to enjoy ball games and picnics. The meadow is dotted with picnic tables and cut through with paths, as well as the Rhododendron Walk for a gentle stroll with lovely bench seats and a cracking view down the valley, to the left hand side of the driveway as you come in.

For more information or to check availability, please visit Lakeland Retreats

Check availability