Over the years I have stayed in a variety of exquisite properties all over the whole, but I must admit this is one of the best. The location is absolutely stunning. Myself and my partner wanted to go somewhere with the dog and enjoy a stay somewhere truly rural. All in all the cottage hit the spit. The hosts were lovely and really went the extra mile to make us feel welcome. I can't speak highly enough of this experience and will definitely be going back
Where do you start when everything is perfect? We travelled from Brampton as we were staying in a cabin before coming to this luxurious piece of heaven and the drive through the Lake district was just beautiful. It really set the scene for the two day stay that approached us.
Firstly, you arrive through Alston which is the cutest little village. You can feel the sense of community the second you walk in, from the small independent shops, the old chippy, small cafes, to the firestation which you could mistake as a cottage. It really is like the set of Postman Pat, absolutely fantastic.
We were due to meet Eddie and Anne at 4pm, we initially struggled with the location as the texts from the host did not fully come through and I could not pin-point the map. Even though they were going through some drama, they answered and told us the way. They also let us know they were going to be a little late meeting us, I rang Eddie again around an hour or so later (as my partner spoke before and didn't get all the details), and he explained he would be around 5 minutes. They had been so kind to take the farmer all the way to Hexham as he had an accident and needed taking to hospital. This made them a little late, but we truly didn't mind - to us it showed what kind and caring people they are. Anyway, Eddie showed my partner how to use the hot tub while I was talking to Anne, we got on like a house on fire and they told us all the little tricks and shortcuts to get around the place, the history of the farm, the cottage, and some other extras such as the field next to the cottage getting a visit from Time Team! As there may be some hidden historical treasures! Anna also said people from time to time had found artefacts like coins and crockery from the settlers who lived here originally! I found that fascinating. After our chat they left us too it, but assured us if we needed anything to give them a message and they would do their best, and off they went to the farm below (quite a distance). The location was just beautiful, you look over valleys, sheep everywhere and farmers doing their daily work. The cottage inside is a pinterest dream. Seriously, you couldn't get any cuter. Its exactly what you expect when you think of a country cottage. There was ample pots and pans, a sink (not drinking water - unsure where you get water from as we already had some with us so it wasn't an issue), a fridge, plates bowels cutlery etc., a hob, a wood burning fire thing (cant remember the name but so cute), firewood, kindling and pre-lighters were provided free of charge, A BATH IN THE LIVING ROOM (SO. GOOD), a cute sofa and a tv downstairs (and in the bedroom!) with full signal and loads of channels (but they have also provided dvds, books, games). It truly is beautiful to look at and be in. Then you go upstairs, its like a show home! It looks like a converted loft with a beautiful bed, drawers, tables, chairs that fit with the décor perfectly. Anna told me that when this was built there would have been six or more people sleeping in there, which is crazy! There is two windows that have lovely views, with blackout blinds and curtains for the mornings. The only issue we had in the bedroom was the foot board at the end of the bed, this normally wouldn't be a problem for the average person but my partner happens to be 6ft6 and it was hard for him to fit on the bed with the board there (ha ha). So, that's the inside - now for the icing on the cake - the outdoors!!!!!
There is a fenced off garden next to the cottage with a big farm gate. In the garden there is a lovely swing bench facing the view of the valley (at night it has cute solar lights around it - so nice), a wild grass space with wild rhubarb! Not sure if this is available to guests as we don't eat it but I thought it was so nice to have in there. Of course, the real wow-factor is the hot tub. My goodness it is incredible. You can tell it is Eddies pride and joy, as it should be. He has built a small spa like outhouse surrounding it; this helps with temperature and privacy. It really creates a spa feel, we loved it so much. You can open the windows and close as you please, we had the window open that accesses the valley view. Out of there from the hot tub we watched a farmer train his litter of sheepdog puppies for their future of sheep herding, for a dog lover and professional like me it could not have been more perfect. At night we watched the stars, and believe it or not we saw a shooting star out of the right hand side window - incredible. On the second day we had a small issue of my partner mixing up the instructions for the hot tub (rolls eyes), in short we turned it fully off when we shouldn't have (Eddie did give clear instructions my partners just a moron). We text Eddie for advice and within 30 minutes they had dropped what they were doing to help us. Eddie told us we've turned it off and it would take around 10 hours to heat up! That would have meant by the time it was hot we would be heading home, but Eddie selflessly saved our holiday by going out of his way to get some sort of plug in that would heat it up within two hours. I was so incredibly greatful, he saved the last night in the cottage and probably a massive row with my fella for ****ing it all up hahaaaa. We couldn't thank them enough for what they did for us, they even came back up at 9pm at night to remove the booster and tell us we were welcome to go in and enjoy ourselves. There were rules printed in the hot tub which I thought were appropriate; but maybe to prevent incidents like ours, a small print out with basic instructions to operate the hot tub correctly could save both guests and owners from any hiccups.
As there are livestock around the cottage, understandably dogs must be on a lead all times, even in the garden area. We had a training lead with us which restricted our dog to the garden area and prevented her from meddling with nearby sheep and horses in the fields next to the garden. It really didn't have that much of an impact, as the long lead worked fine for us. There is also a BBQ provided (small but enough for two!), an outdoor toilet which was decorated nicely and kept clean, a place to park your car (car is essential) and beautiful outdoor lights around the cottage which you can turn on and off as you please.
Anna and Eddie left us a tray which had two glasses and a huge bottle of prosecco, a key and sprigs of lavender which I used in my bath (LOVE), such a nice touch. OH and they provided loads of candles in cute holders, I lit them all on the first night and the ambiance from the log fire and candle light was glorious. So nice. We made a couple of trips into Alston (which you can walk to through the land), which as previously stated is just a dream. Such a lovely place, the chippy was to die for, and the Cambrian sausage served in one of the small cafes was the best I've ever tasted. Plenty of small pubs, cafes and shops to visit. Plus the river and local walks. We took loads of drives around the area and it really is breath-taking. But for us the location wasn't the best part - the hosts were. They didn't have to go out of their way to help us, but they did and I wish I never had to leave! Can't wait to be back!
We stayed in crofters cottage for a last minute break. We had stayed last summer in the Shepards Hut.
It was amazing. Two nights of peace and tranquillity. We even woke to snow on the last morning so we enjoyed a dip in the hot tub.
You have everything you need here, we cooked up a full English and a lively steak meal one eve as we enjoyed a drink by the fire.
We will be back!
Eddie was welcoming as ever and provided us with extra fuel to stay toasty warm in the snow.
Can't wait to return.
Katie and Simon. (Leeds)
Can't believe it has taken us so long to write this review. Mostly because we have spent weeks plotting how we can move to Alston! Crofters cottage is wonderful. Eddie is the best host. We will be back very soon. And hopefully forever one day!