Sleeps 8 | Friday Changeover | No Pets | VE 4 Star Gold Award
See Also - Summer Hill House - Apartment 4
Summer Hill House
Dating back to the late 1700's, Summer Hill House is a grade 2 listed building, set in extensive landscaped gardens and a beautiful and perfect example of classical Georgian design,
A much loved private family home for over 200 years, the present owners of some 30 years, Brian and Rosemary, have recently carried out an exciting re-creation of the property by dividing the house into five separately owned apartments, along with extending the west wing, named simply as Summer Hill, which offers in simple terms a large 4 bed room semi detached house. With all of this restructuring they have retained the grandness of the period architecture, but added a contemporary modern twist to the project, which was short listed for a prestigious design award.
The house lies tucked away on a gentle hill above Spark Bridge, just below Coniston Water. The location gives you easy access to the lakes and mountains lying to the north, along with the Grizedale Forest. To the south is the Cartmel Peninsula, with its pretty villages and rugged coastline of the Morecambe Bay and east, at Newby Bridge, is the southern reach of Lake Windermere.
Summer Hill - The West Wing - Overview
Over the years each owner has made changes and additions to the house which, in the main, have kept to the original period style. When Brian and Rosemary wanted to extend the west wing, making it a large spacious home in its own right, their vision was to break tradition, employing a bold and exciting design of fusing modern to period, the old with the new. Glass, copper and engineered oak sit opposite ornate plasterwork and oak paneling and, with its tower and turreted bedroom along with umber coloured cladding, the final twist is a hint of a Tuscan villa.
The house is approached by a winding drive where there is plenty of parking. The private entrance to Summer Hill is a discrete door way, with copper pilasters leading into the lower ground floor level where the overall layout is as follows. The hallway rises to the top of the building, a division between the old and new part of the house. On this lower ground floor lies the first bedroom with an adjacent bathroom.
Oak stairs lead up to the middle level, opening out into the large kitchen, dining and garden room. Off this level a corridor leads back into the old part of the house to two double bedrooms and a shower room.
On up to the sitting room at the top of the house, formerly the billiard room and where a door leads to a small hall and the final bedroom a king size and with an adjacent bathroom.
The Living Spaces
The kitchen, dining area and garden room form most of the new extension. A long room with huge glass sliding doors, the light is beautiful, and you can spill out onto the raised decking or walk out into the garden from the garden room.
To one end is the kitchen with Miele kitchen units, work surfaces and appliances. There is a double oven and a 5 ring ceramic hob, along with a large larder fridge and dishwasher. Off the hall, connecting to the old part of the house is the original larder with stone shelves to keep produce cool. Should you be planning a TV supper there is no need to carry food as there is a dumb waiter lift serving all floors. For laundry there is a separate laundry room outside with washing machine and tumble dryer.
The dining area sits in the middle, opposite the huge sliding doors which open to the raised deck and, to the far end, is the garden room, again with large glass sliding doors leading directly out to more decking, a walled patio and the extensive private garden.
A further flight of stairs wind around up to the top floor and the large siting room. Originally built as the billiard room, it has fine oak paneling, timber floors and overhead a perfect example of a coffered ceiling.
To one end a door leads through to the top floor bedroom and bathroom, where at the other is a door to the tower. Here a spiral stairway leads up to the flat roof for a spectacular view through to the Morecambe Bay.
Bedrooms & Bathrooms
There are four bedrooms to choose from, all well appointed and comfortable. On the lower ground floor is the first double where opposite is its bathroom with bath, wet room shower, basin and WC.
On the middle level a corridor leads into the old part of the west wing, off which there are the two other double bedrooms along with a shower room with walk in shower, basin and WC.
The final and fourth bedroom lies off the top floor sitting room. A small corridor has a large bathroom to one side, with bath, wet room shower, basin and WC. To the other is the King Size room, with a large walk in wardrobe and doors that open onto a small balcony overlooking the private gardens.
Grounds & Gardens
For me the grounds and garden are the cherry on an already very sumptuous cake. The building sits on a small rise, set in extensive grounds surrounded by low fell, woodland and meadow, where the apartments share a communal space.
Summer Hill however has its own private gardens. The immediate outside spaces are the raised decking, perfect for dining on warm days. From the garden room you step out onto a decked, graveled and flagged patio area with garden furniture and made private by a curved wall.
From here runs a lawn area, bordered by mature trees and shrubs and a is a perfect sun trap. A path leads on down through delightful spaces shaded by trees, ending at the wild flower meadow where there is a pavilion and barbecue – Perfect.
Out & About
The landscape is the backdrop for Arthur Ransome's famous childrens novels, the Swallows and Amazon adventures, and is perfect for walking and cycling.
Spark Bridge lies west of Lake Windermere in the Crake Valley. To the north you have the Furness Fells which encompass the might Grizedale Forest with is many trails and forest art, along with Coniston Water, one of my favourite lakes, and the Coniston mountain range, dominated by the mighty Old Man overshadowing Coniston’s village at the head of the lake.
A short walk from the apartment brings you to the Farmers Arms at Spark Bridge, a great old pub with friendly staff, or the Royal Oak for local ales and food. For variety, the Red Lion Inn lies a little further away at Lowick Bridge, again serving good local ales and hearty pub food, and visitors are welcome to join in the pubs events such as the weekly quiz nights - all great fun.
South you have the Cartmel Peninsula and the Morecambe Bay. As grand as any of the lakes, the bay offers walks out along the shoreline, giving you miles of silver sands, rocky bays to explore, and the wonder of the tidal bore, which rushes in twice daily.
On the peninsular are two delightful villages. Grange over Sands overlooks the bay and offers plenty of good local shops. Over the fell lies Cartmel, one of the prettiest villages in the lakes. A huge priory sits at is centre, where little streets radiate off the village square. As well as being famed for its architecture, the village has become a haven for great cuisine, with four pubs, and Simon Rogan’s two establishments, Rogan and Company, a easy bistro style venue, and his world famous L’Enclume with its Michelin Star and voted the Good Food Guides number one restaurant for 2014.
To the west lies Ulverston, on the Furness peninsula. A pretty town with a maze of cobbled streets, alleys and ginnels it offers plenty of shops and cafes along with excellent pubs and restaurants and, on the edge of town, is Booths supermarket.
The town is most famous as the birthplace of Stan Laurel, but also for its festivals. There are festivals for walking, music, egg rolling, flag day and, perhaps most spectacular, the Lantern Festival to list but a few and it is worth checking what's on and when with the Tourist Information Centre. Along with the festivals the arts play a big part in the life of Ulverston, where there is a good cinema and the ‘Coronation Hall’, a fine theatre, offering plays, music and opera.
Just east is Newby Bridge at the foot of Windermere. Some excellent inns are to be found along with the Steamboat terminal at Lakeside offering trips up and down the lake.
Just above Newby Bridge, at Finsthwaite, is a fairly little know walk around the two waters of High and Low Dam. Easy to access they make for a perfect easy short walk, with time for a leisurely picnic by the waters edge.
North and to the Coniston fells. Bethacar Moor is crisscrossed with tracks and pathways, rewarding you with bracing walks and fine views. At the foot of Coniston you can explore the shoreline with its little bays, and running west from the lake lies the Grizedale Forest.
Coniston village sits at the head of the lake, sheltered in the lea of the Coniston mountain range. Radiating from the stone bridge, spanning Church Beck, the four main streets are a bustling community with a fine church, shops, a post office, cafes, a local brewery, and five good pubs.
This is a village with much to do, the location perfect for outdoor pursuits. Climbing, walking, cycling and water sport holidays are just some of the activities on offer. On all points of the compass there are trails, leafy forest paths, tracks and lake shores to explore, and you need travel very little to find a new and exciting landscape.
For more info on the area visit our Lake District Guide
We really want to hear what you think about Summer Hill, how you spent your time and any specilal places you found. You can leave comments in the visitirs book, email us or Face Book your comments on our Face Book page.
Lakeland Extras - You Time
Holidays are are all about relaxing and reviving along with having fun. It should also be about your time, time for yourself, a little self indulgence. Adding some of these extras will enhance your holiday experience and give you that much deserved You Time.
My Personal Sanctuary
MPS is a luxurious and truly indulgent beauty therapy service delivering 5 star quality organic treatments carried out in the comfort of your cottage. Your treatments are carried out by carefully selected therapists, who ensure you are enveloped in calmness, serenity and relaxation from the moment you embark on your treatment journey. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enhance your stay and even better, when you book one of our lake district cottages you will recieve a 5% reduction from MPS on your chosen treatment.
Home Cooked Meals
A delicious home cooked meal delivered to you door will give you even more time to yourself. We have found a few companies that offer a tasty selection. Clare Boissier, a Prue Leith-trained chef with over 20 years experience and will work throughout the county, Lucy's of Ambleside, and in the north Lakes, Choice Catering run by Debbie Bainbridge.