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Wrens is a delightful Lakeland barn cottage, located in the tiny rural hamlet of Guardhouse about 1.5 miles from the village of Threlkeld and 4.5 miles east of Keswick and Derwentwater
Set in the Glenderaterra valley by the little river Glenderamackin, the hamlet is flanked by the Blencathra Mountain to the north and Clough Head and Great Dodd to the south.
Refurbished for 2010, the owners have made huge steps to make this a most welcoming cottage with a contemporary design set in a traditional Lakeland barn.
From the A66 you pull off down a winding lane into the valley, which leads to the tiny hamlet of Guardhouse.
One of a group of some half dozen houses and cottages, Wrens sits in its own grounds, surrounded by meadow and with views of the nearby fells and mountains.
From the front door you enter into a small hall. Downstairs you will find the three bedrooms. One is a double with en-suite shower room; the other two have twin beds. All are nicely decorated and comfortable. Also downstairs is the main bathroom with bath, overhead shower, basin and WC.
Stairs lead up to the open plan living area. A contemporary design sits under a pitched roof with its huge cruck beams. The sitting room area takes the main space. Here you have large comfortable sofas sitting around a log-burning stove giving a cosy atmosphere in the winter months. Picture windows open onto a raised deck with beautiful views down the valley.
The kitchen and dining area are on a low raised platform. Well equipped for all your needs you will be able to rustle up your favourite dishes. To one side is a tall oriel window with views of Blencathras peak and where there are two leather club chairs set in the bay perfect to sit and watch the many varied birds that visit the garden and valley.
Outside you have a charming garden set with shrubs and trees, where on a sunny day adults can relax, dine alfresco and children can play.
For me this is a real find. Easy to access towns and villages, yet tucked away in a beautiful valley and I am sure will please all who stay.
There is plenty of opportunity for fine walks and cycling. The valley has plenty of narrow lanes and tracks for gentle strolls and cycling, and for the keen walker the high peaks of Blencathra and Sharp Edge will both challenge and reward.
For those who like a round of golf you can visit and play at the Keswick Golf club, which lies in the valley, a short distance from the cottage.
Threlkeld has long been popular as a base for walkers as much for the two pubs, The Horse & Farrier and the Salutation, both which have been around for some 300 years.
Keswick is the main town of the north lakes, a bustling market town set between the peaks of Skiddaw and the gentle beauty of Derwentwater. An all year round town there are good shops, a host of restaurants and cafes, along with museums, a theatre, cinema and leisure center. At the lake you can take a boat trip or hire one for yourself and explore the shoreline and little bays. For more information on Keswick and its attractions see our links.
A few miles south of the cottage is Ullswater, thought by many to be the most beautiful of all the lakes in the northern Lake District. Compared by some to Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, it is a serpentine body of water snaking a nine mile course under the lea of magnificent fells, woodland and mountain. Much of the lake, its shore and surrounding fells are accessible for visitors to explore, where you will find some of the finest walks and water activities, along with the amenities of the lakeside villages.
One of the best walks in the National Park is the trail that runs along the eastern shores of Ullswater. Explored from the southern end of the lake, dominated by Place Fell, St Sunday Cragg, Fairfield and Helvellyn, you take the path from Glenridding over to the east side of the water. The route takes you all the way to Sandwick and onto Howtown. You will be able to ramble all day with a magnificent view always in your sight. For the return journey, board the steamboat from Howtown back to Glenridding, but do check boat times and last sailings.
For those who like getting up high, there are some of the best mountains and fells on your doorstep, the most famous being Helvellyn and the precipitous Striding Edge – please do take a good map and observe mountain safety guidelines.
A gentler walk is Aira Force, probably the most famous of the Lake District waterfalls. The main force falls some 70ft below a stone footbridge - so don't forget your camera.
Getting on the water is easy. You can take a boat cruise on one of the five beautiful steamers in the Ullswater Steamer fleet. They run the boats from Glenridding, with piers also at Pooley Bridge and Howtown. It’s a great way to see the lake from a different perspective and well worth taking a camera.
Boat hire is readily available, both at Glenridding and Pooley Bridge, where you have a varied selection of craft on offer including kayaks, sailing boats and little motorboats, along with hire of fishing tackle and licenses.
There are three main villages. At the far south is Patterdale with a little shop and the Lion Inn. Above this is Glenridding, offering shops, a garage and selection of cafes and inns, along with the boat terminus and boat hire at St Patrick’s Pier. At the far northern head of the lake is Pooley Bridge, again with a small but good selection of shops, cafes and inns.
On the eastern shore is one of our most famous hotels, The Sharrow Bay, with its Michelin starred restaurant. Not cheap, many people take the option of afternoon tea.
North of Keswick lies two more great attractions. The Honister Slate Mine is an adventure for all ages. Set at the summit of the Honister Pass it is the last working slate mine in England where you go deep underground on a fully guided mine tour. Honister is also home to the much talked about Via Ferrata, an amazing sky high climbing experience. Finally you might like to add to your places to visit the Whinlatter Forest, England’s only true mountain forest. Whinlatter is just west of Keswick and is a great day out for all ages. If you’re looking for adventure, try the Altura or Quercus mountain bike trails, which make full use of the stunning natural setting. The Whinlatter WildPlay trail is new for 2011, for children of all ages. Its 9 different play areas take you on a journey through the trees and include a climbing wall, water features, giant swings and a secret path. Or if you’ve got a head of heights, swing through the trees on the Go-Ape course.
Wrens was great. Really nice cottage. We were able to relax. Please thank the owners for putting in WIFI which worked fine.Would definitely stay there again.
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