If I was looking for a large holiday home for my stay in the Lake District, suitable for a family gathering or an imitate get away for smaller parties, one that offered quality, style and comfort, along with a generous sprinkling of wow factor, then Priory Close House would be one of the venues at the top of my list.
A property we have long known and converted, it is set between Cartmel’s ancient Priory and the little River Eea, which meanders through the village. One of a small huddle of fine houses in a row, Priory Close House is a Grade 2* listed building believed, in part, to date back to the 14th Century with later 17th Century Georgian additions.
Over the past few years the house has been fully refurbished to meet modern living needs yet retains the details and architecture of its medieval and Georgian past, offering a host of wonderful features including mullioned windows, original fireplaces, oak beams, panelling and hidden passages. Present owners, Mark and Ruth, both experienced practitioners in hospitality, as well as being avid collectors of art and artefact, furniture and fabric, have dressed, furnished and ornamented their holiday home with great flair and no little expense all to offer their guests somewhere very special and unique for a Lakeland holiday.
A fine house needs a fine location, where Cartmel is one of our most popular villages. Set on the peninsular, a few miles south of Lake Windermere, it has fabulous ancient architecture, a village square, little bridges crossing the river, the Norman Priory rising up like a great ship, the smallest national hunt race course in the country, all along with shops, cafes, its own micro-brewery and some fine dining, including the favourite of celebs and foodies, Simon Rogan's two Michelin Star restaurant and Good Food Guides multiple winner, L'Enclume.
So, if you are looking for a venue for a large family holiday or a place to gather for a special celebration or honeymoon, or simply just like affording some of the best in life, we think Priory Close House will deliver, offering a perfect base to both relax and to explore the National Park, enjoy the offerings of the village and give you many happy memories to take away.
As retired Hotelier/Chefs the owners of Priory Close House are able to offer their guests a wonderful extra service for those special celebratory occasions, "Chef at Home with Table Service." They will discuss menu options to suit your requirements, arranging date and dining times. Simply request the service on the online booking form when booking your stay and Mark & Ruth will contact you directly.
The Living Spaces
You approach along the west wall of the priory, down a small shared private track where you will find three dedicated parking spaces opposite the property.
There are two entrances at the front of the house, the main door opens into the hall, the other lets you directly into the kitchen, ideal for unloading your provisions.
The heart of the house is the kitchen. Well-equipped with all mod-cons, hand-built units with stone tops sit under a canopy of oak beams and, for the business of cooking, there is an AGA cooker to rustle up your favourite dishes. To the rear of the kitchen is the day room for snacks or to simply to take a break and enjoy the view out to the garden.
Your laundry requirements of washing machine and tumble dryer are off the downstairs cloakroom, a grand space in itself with hand basin, WC.
Leaving the kitchen into the meandering hall you have the main dining room with a long table perfect for setting out your culinary masterpieces and dining long into the night.
Back to hall to find the two sitting rooms. Each are quite special, where one has the most splendid Georgian panelling, the other a baby grand piano. Both rooms are beautifully furnished and ornamented with soft lighting, fabrics and art and have a cosy but quiet elegance to their presentation, where come winter months a roaring fire will add to the ambience making the perfect places to tuck up and relax.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
There are five bedrooms available to guests which are located on the first and top attic floors. There are two ways to access these upper floors. The main grand oak stairway, a beautiful feature of the house, winds up to the first floor, passing a magnificent tall window overlooking the garden and opening onto a large landing.
Here you have three bedrooms to choose from. The master is the largest and arguably the finest of these. With its huge brass framed bed and French salon style sofa, it is an elegant room with two windows allowing light to flood in and look out directly at the Priory's mullioned west window. The en-suite bathroom is spacious, with free standing bath, walk-in shower, hand basin and WC.
Bedroom two and three, though both a little smaller, are both delightfully furnished and ornamented, one also looks out to the priory and the smaller to the delightful gardens and both will offer a peaceful night’s rest after your days adventures. For bathing, there is a house bathroom with bath, overhead shower, basin and WC.
To reach the attic floor you need to access the secret stairway, which both goes up and back down to the ground floor and will no doubt be a hit with children. Up takes you to another landing and the two attic bedrooms. Both are similar in style, where the wow factor is the huge oak beams and will please both adults and young folk. One is set out as a double bedroom, the other has twin beds. Finally on this floor is a shower room with shower, basin a WC.
Rare for Cartmel, there is a good sized walled garden for you to enjoy and relax some me time. A stone patio area with garden furniture leads onto a central lawn and the whole is bordered by shrubs and mature trees.
Always a property to offer up a surprise, at the far end of the garden a little door set in the wall leads through to a small bank by the river, delightful to sit and read to the sound of a babbling brook, or to simply relax and feed the gang of mallards that patrol their home waters – perfect.
Out & About
Set on the Cartmel Peninsula and surrounded by rolling hills that tumble down to the coast Cartmel is one of Cumbria's finest and unique villages. Picture perfect with ancient buildings, an impressive medieval priory, a towering arch and a sweet clear river along with the smallest National Hunt race course and a local brewery, this lively village a friendly welcome where you can sample the many cosy inns or fine restaurants, not least Simon Rogan's L'Enclume.
There are good local walks, notable is Hampsfell and Eggerslack Wood, a limestone fell and ancient woodland where the summit gives panoramic views of the Morecambe Bay and the Lake District Mountains, and where in spring the woodland is carpeted in bluebells.
For shopping there is the Cartmel Village Store in the square, and in Unsworth Yard you have Cartmel Cheeses and The Bread Shed along with The Red Pepper & Hot Wines shop and the Cartmel Brewery where you can sample some fine local brewed ale. Once a month the village holds a food market with many local producers setting up their stalls.
To the north of the village, clustered at the foot of Windermere lake, lies Newby Bridge, Lakeside and Fell Foot, the National Trusts parkland. At the Lakeside you can hop on a steamer for a trip on the lake, which winds its way for ten miles into the central fells, passing on the way Bowness, Sawrey and finishing at the Waterhead terminus near Ambleside.
Dogs are charged at £20 each per full or part week.
Please note there is a refundable £300 security deposit for this property payable closer to the start of your holiday.