Michael Edwards escapes to the Green, a luxurious rural retreat in the Cumbria/Yorkshire borders
Round these parts they drink Red Squirrel Ale. Not that Red Squirrels are an ingredient. The name of the beer is a tribute to the scurries of rare red squirrels who thrive in this remote and stunningly beautiful corner of Cumbria. It’s so far north that Manchester begins to look like the soft south.
The Green, a creatively restored Victorian stone barn, is sheltered by an embankment of hazel trees in a dell at the foot of the Howgill Fells. If shaggy fell ponies are drinking from the beck by the bridge, then Carly and Richard Duckworth, owners of The Green, know that wild Wuthering Heights weather is on its way.
Back in 2020, walking along tracks lined by drystone walls, where sheep massively outnumber humans, the Duckworths found that The Green Cumbria, set in two acres, was for sale. After a rapid refreshment, the Duckworths welcomed their first guests in the Spring of 2021. The changes they made won them Cumbria Tourism’s runner-up award for “New Tourism Business of the year” in 2022.
The previous owners had created high-end cottage-style accommodation in the former barn. The Carthouse, giving easy access with a wet room on the ground floor, sleeps six. Both The Byre and The Haystore sleep four, but a connecting door provides the opportunity for family groups and friends to gather around the Haystore’s large farm-style ash table. There is more than enough cutlery, crockery and glassware for eight guests to dine in style. If cooking for large numbers is an intimidating prospect, then the Duckworths can book a private chef.
Decor in each of the three-storey cottages reflects the rural setting with natural colours and textures. Beneath the beamed, vaulted high ceilings autumnal colours connect with the world outside. Tall flint and stone chimneys rise from the wood burners. Even the textures of logs hewn for the wood burner become part of the decor.
In the bedrooms with their exposed stone, super king-size beds dressed in ivory bedding can be reconfigured as single beds. That flexibility has encouraged groups of cyclists, walkers, and wedding parties to book the entire property. Bathrooms with their whirlpool baths, showers and local Bath House toiletries offer the chance to relax and recharge after a day on the fells. This is prime walking territory and dogs are welcome at the property.
Richard Duckworth is a qualified Mountain Leader who loves to share his passion for Northern England’s dramatic landscape. Hosting individuals, families, or corporate groups he offers gentle half-day walks through to challenging ascents of The Three Peaks. He also teaches one-day navigation courses on how to find your way around using a map and compass. Though he often leaves the beaten track for secret spots like plunge pools in the River Eden and the source of the River Lune.
If the clouds roll in, fair-weather walkers can head for the nearby market town of Kirkby Stephen. A little further south, Sedbergh is establishing itself as a book town to rival Hay-on-Wye. Westwoods alone stocks over 7,000 new and second-hand books. Once Farfield Mill was one of five Sedbergh water mills powering cloth-weaving looms. Now, as well as recording the mill’s heritage, clusters of arts and crafts studios attract visitors. They can chat with artists and craft workers who build, carve, cut, knit, sculpt, sew and weave.
Sitting pretty in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, but with a Cumbrian address, The Green Cumbria provides home-from-home comforts for exploring a quieter slice of the north, sandwiched between the busier lakes and dales.
Carly and Richard have thought of everything. On arrival, there is a welcome pack of bread, chocolates, crisps and jam from local suppliers. Admittedly the bottle of Merlot has racked up a few more miles. Butter and milk await in the fridge. From coffee for the two cafetières to pegs to hang up clothes from the washing machine, everything is provided.
Tell Me More About The Green, Cumbria
The Green Cumbria, Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen CA17 4NW
E: email@example.com T: 07483 323748
Prices begin from £550 for three nights from November through to February excluding Christmas and New Year. In peak season prices rise to £1,550 for a week.
There is a £100.00 discount off any 7-night booking placed between 17 Oct 2022 and 31 Jan 2023. Enter voucher code at checkout: GREEN100
Learn more about guided walks and navigation courses at Richard Duckworth Mountain Guide