We found this B&B via a listing on the National Trust web site. Owned by the National trust, it is apparently looked after by the current owners on their behalf. Set in the hills of Cumbria, only a 5-10 minute drive south from the town of Keswick, in the hillside overlooking Derwent water. We opted to stay for one night in October 2013. (It just happened also to be the wettest, rainiest night of the year so far!)
The booking for was for 1 adult and 1 child (8 Years old). It was made on-line with no problems.
Getting there: 10 minutes drive south of Keswick. Half the drive was up a tarmac single track, mountain / hillside road. In fine weather this is no problems, however, I feel in wintertime with snow around a 4x4 may be needed. Halfway up this road is Ashness Bridge, which is narrow and anything other than an ordinary car may struggle to cross this. (However we did see a bin lorry whilst staying there so there may be another route to the B&B). The B&B was visible from the road, as was the sign, however it could be easily missed in the dark. Parking was ample, with a parking area to the side of the main house.
B&B: We were greeted by the owner. A friendly, pleasant, no-nonsense woman called Anne. The B&B has a covered entrance, so walkers are able to undress outer clothes without getting wet. This entrance leads off to 2 rooms, the kitchen off to the right and lounge (From which the rooms are accessed) off to the left. The lounge has ample comfortable sofas, and the fire was a comfort on such a rainy night. Around the lounge was plenty of information leaflets and brochures, as well as room by the fire to put wet boots to dry overnight.
Through the lounge and up the stairs you arrive a long corridor which all the rooms appear to be off. We stayed in the Maiden Moor Room. A standard double room, with on-suite bath. The room was very cosy, with just enough room to walk all around the bed. There was an airing frame, a wardrobe, 2 bedside drawers and a plastic tray to put dirty shoes in. On one of the bedside drawers was a kettle, cups and various teas & coffees. The milk (Which was fresh milk) was stored in a handy mini-flask. The kettle was black on the inside, but it didn't appear to affect the water that was being boiled in it.
The room had one wooden framed window, with a bolt locking it at the top. This was quite difficult to open and provided little soundproofing. However it did add to the character of the room, and the heating which was provided by one radiator appeared to be more than ample at keeping the room lovely and warm. The view was out onto the lower hillside and onward towards the lake into the distance.
Also on the window was more information and a basket with shower gel, shampoo and other "Usual" hotel type creams etc. In the drawer was a hair-dryer. Just outside the room was a bowl containing various things you might forget to bring on holiday - such as toothbrushes, razors etc. You were free to take from this bowel but were requested to make a donation to the local mountain rescue unit.
The bathroom had a toilet, bath (I'd say about 3/4 full size) and a shower over the bath (fed by the water from the bath taps). My daughter had a bath that night and said it was lovely. I however tried to have a shower in the morning and it was a struggle to get the water flowing at the right amount and temperature. The only other minor point was there was no shelves in the bathroom to store things, so they were balanced on the edge of the bath.
The bed had lots of warm bedding and 2 pillows each, although I feel as if the mattress might need changing soon. However, we both got a very nice nights sleep. Sound proofing from other rooms was minimal, but this is to be expected in such a place.
Breakfast / Kitchen: The breakfast can be ordered the night before by filling in a small form. We both opted for the full English, and it didn't disappoint! Obviously a "Created at home" type of full English, yummy and tasty. For those who wanted something different, there was a choice of fruit, yoghurt, toast (with home made preserves) and cereals. Breakfast is served between 8:30 - 9:00 and is prepared once you arrive. The kitchen had that "Country Farm" air about it, and it is obviously part of the families house. Other guests were able to use the families clothes drier to dry their clothes out in the main part of the kitchen.
This is a very pleasant B&B in the middle of the Lake District. It is a working farm, and also a family home. The views are lovely, the food was very nice and the room a little on the small size.
However, it made a very positive impression on us and we shall be back to stay in the future.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our family welcomes you to experience the charm of Lakeland from within a working fell farm with its origins in the 16th century. We have 5 double/twin en-suite rooms, (3 with baths), each having a spectacular view across Derwentwater. Enjoy our traditional English farmhouse breakfast and relax in the original oak-beamed lounge. A permissive footpath runs through the farm to the nearby picturesque Ashness Bridge and stunning vista of Surprise View. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ashness Farm Hotel Borrowdale
- Ashness Farm Borrowdale/Keswick