Taking the 40 minute drive along the quiet, snow lined country lanes from Keswick to the Hall Hills cottages, one thing became clear; the accommodation is secluded. Located near the town of Dalston among the less visited fells of the northern Lake District it is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist towns further south.
Part of the Premier Cottages portfolio, the cottages provides various, comfortable, and spacious living options. There are several cottages available offering versatile holiday accommodation for couples, families or even larger groups.
Each self-catered cottage is named and decorated to provide an individual character. Our cottage; Methera included a lounge, dining area, open kitchen, double bedroom with en suite facilities, a second double bedroom and a separate bathroom. It was clean, well maintained and comfortable, and within several minutes of arriving we’d settled in, feeling totally at home. Tastefully decorated, with solid oak floors and the exposed wooden beams are an especially attractive feature. Wi-Fi is included, while a television and iPod compatible sound system provide entertainment. This can probably be set as an alarm, but waking to the sound of running water in the nearby River Roe seemed the perfect alarm call.
We’d been welcomed by one of the co-owners Tim, who runs the property while holding down a full-time job along with his wife Jude. A proud Cumbrian, he was very friendly, chatting amicably while showing us around, explaining the property development, providing some local knowledge and housekeeping tips to make sure our stay was a pleasant and painless one.
Tim also acts as head barman when required, opening the attached residents bar on request, which made him seem even more likeable to me.
We were also impressed with the welcome pack provided on arrival, which included a bottle of sparkling non-alcoholic fruit juice, high quality biscuits and cheeses, as well as the usual fruit options. Judging by some of the comments in the visitor book, we weren’t the only ones pleased with these choices.
Although the cottages are predominantly self-catering, groups can arrange to have some meals provided as a main kitchen. There are apparently plans to develop the kitchen further, which possibly means more catered options will be available in future. Group organisers should contact Jude for details.
The nearest town is Dalston, which is small with limited facilities, a small grocery store for essentials, and a public house. If cooking doesn’t appeal after a long day exploring the Lakes, it’s possible to get a traditional pub meal there.
The cottages are remote, Pooley Bridge is around 30 minutes away, and Keswick about 40. Therefore those wishing to explore further south should be prepared to drive, a car is essential, as even Dalston is a good walk from the cottages. A GPS system, or good navigational skills will also be required to initially find the cottages and be sure to enter Hall Hills as well as the post code or it’s likely you’ll be asking the nearby dairy farmer which shares the code for directions.
This solitude is a main appeal however, it’s ideal for a romantic escape, or for those just keen to getaway from it all. The quiet roads, with punctuated with pretty villages and surrounded by the fells of the northern lakes is great cycling territory. They are relatively flat, so suitable for easy riding, but with little traffic it’s easy to explore for any standard of cyclist. Keen, ambitious cyclists will find good roads for fast cycling keeping well away from the main roads, and fair weather cyclists can potter about between the pubs of the scattered villages.
Despite the main reason for our visit being for photography, which required driving to suitable locations, and weather which didn’t really behave for most of the time we really enjoyed our stay at Hall Hills. The driving was easily compensated for by the peace and quiet we returned to each evening.
Hall Hills is perfect for those seeking the flexibility self-catered accommodation in a peaceful location away from the crowds frequenting the busier tourist destinations of the Lakes. Stock up well before arrival, leave the car in it’s designated space, walk or cycle around, and it’s possible you might see only a handful of people throughout your stay.
Premier Cottages’ collection features almost 1,000 four and five-star self-catering cottages across the UK. Properties range from small, romantic boltholes to large family friendly country estates. The collection includes pet-friendly accommodation. It also offers the widest range of accessible properties in the UK and many properties have on site facilities like swimming pools, gyms, spas, indoor games rooms and children’s play areas. A week’s stay at Hall Hills for up to four people starts from £490 and a short break from £245. To book, go to www.premiercottages.co.uk or call the owner direct on 01697 476779.
Hall Hills page on the Premier Cottages website