The Country House

  • Location: Countryside
    The Duke Of Cumberland - award winning pub: In walking distance
    The Lake District: 30 miles (45 mins by car)
    Talkin Tarn Country Park: 3 miles (5 mins by car)
    North Pennines (designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty): 30 miles (45 mins by car)
  • Newcastle Airport (NCL): 50 miles (1h by car)
    Car recommended
    Free parking
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An introduction to The Country House

What is the story behind The Country House, what was your inspiration to create it?

We have a long-term connection to Castle Carrock as my partner grew up a mile away. As a kid, he was obsessed with the house and used to get his dad to lift him up to look at it over the wall. We originally purchased a small cottage in the village that we restored and had for around five years. When this came up for sale, we jumped at the opportunity. 

During the inspection with the agent, we did that classic thing of walking around trying to pretend we weren’t interested. But inside, we were obsessed with it! While the timing wasn’t great financially, we went into it heart over head.

The property hadn’t been lived in for more than 10 years, so when we got it, it was very tired — we had rain running down the inside walls and the orangery was falling down. That being said, it hadn’t had many owners, so all of its original features were there, it just needed restoration.

The house had a long history as a country club and was used for local celebrations, with many people in the village getting married, having birthdays and christenings here. So even though it felt dark and gloomy at times, it still had this amazing atmosphere and a positive energy. 

During the renovations, we did loads of work — you name it, we did it! One side of the house had an issue with rot and we had to take out the joists and ceilings, then have the original cornices replicated and put back. A Channel 4 show was documenting the restoration, so we were being followed by TV cameras. That was another interesting experience!

Renovations and restorations are something we have done before. But nothing on this scale or with this amount of history. We felt we needed to treat it gently — keep all of the house’s beautiful features and enhance what was there. Some bits felt beyond repair, like the orangery that everyone said we should just rip down. But we were so passionate about keeping things that we spent a fortune restoring it and making sure it was safe. It was a real passion project.

There was always the idea to rent the house and have it as a business. We knew we’d have to generate some income to cover the costs of the restoration and running the house is expensive. We split our time between Cumbria and London, so it made sense to rent it out. The layout of the house and the formation of the rooms are also really suitable for a holiday rental. We welcomed our first guests in March 2023.

How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of The Country House?

We did all of the interior design — we are obsessors and collect furniture as a bit of a hobby. Once everything is as it should be structurally, we love creating the atmosphere and enhancing the space with furniture and decorations - that’s the best bit! 

We wanted to combine the house’s classic architecture with contemporary styling and make it really comfortable. There are lots of different styles and periods in the design but in a weird way, it doesn’t feel like any particular period. It’s not an ultra-modern house or a recreation of the 1920s or Victorian era. It just feels like a really comfortable, homely space. 

The style is quite eclectic - we mix contemporary furnishings with Art Deco pieces and the colours are loud and vibrant. Because the rooms are so vast, you can clash colours. We feel lucky to have had the opportunity to create all of the spaces, it was a really beautiful thing to do. 

To you personally, what is so special about The Country House?

The position of the house is really amazing. It’s in the middle of a working Cumbrian village but faces out, so it feels very private. We love the feeling of being in the midst of something so real. The atmosphere in the village is lovely and we are within walking distance of a really cosy pub.  

While the house might appear vast, when you’re there, it feels homely — like a big, warm hug. That’s what we were striving to create. It’s not a cold, drafty house - there’s just something so inviting and it has this amazing atmosphere.

We have a deep connection to the house and have been on such a journey with it. Now, it’s so nice for it to have life back in it and be full of people creating amazing memories. We get so many repeat bookings. 

Do you have any restrictions regarding children or pets?

The house is perfect for kids, particularly well-behaved ones! Generally speaking, we’re not dog-friendly but we have made exceptions in the past on request. 

The Country House
Lounge
Lounge
Lounge
Lounge
Kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen
Kitchen and dining area
Kitchen and dining area
Master bedroom
Master bedroom
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 2
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3
Bedroom 3 terrace
Bedroom 4
Bedroom 4
Bedroom 5
Bunk room
Bunk room
Bunk room
Hallway
Hallway
Hallway
Toilet
Work space
Games and TV room
Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden
Garden

The Country House rooms & rates

You enter through the portico into a small lobby, which leads to the main hallway with its original tiled floor. This was hidden under the carpet and discovering it was one of the best days of the restoration! Leading up to the first floor is a stone cantilever staircase. 

On one side of the main hallway is the drawing room where people have pre-dinner drinks, off that is the bar (within the old orangery). It has been created from a lot of reclaimed materials, such as repurposed tiles, panels from the front door and an old brass jam pan as a sink. It’s an amazing space. Next to the bar is the games room with a pool table and a gaming console. It’s dark and moody with an open fire. 

On the other side of the hallway is the TV room with a big orange sofa and an open fire. It’s really bright, with a huge bay window and enough seating for everyone to snuggle in and watch movies. 

At the end of the house is the big kitchen/dining space, which is our favourite room in the house. It has a huge, glazed roof and windows overlooking the garden, plus a four-metre, marble-topped island bench and a large range cooker. Chefs love it, which is always a big compliment. There’s also a massive, pine dining table reclaimed from a French chateau that seats 16.

Down the back corridor is a laundry room and the only bedroom on the ground floor, The Lawns. It has a king-size bed, a walk-in shower and a separate toilet. 

Upstairs are five additional bedrooms, all of which are ensuite and three with baths. The Watson is the master bedroom and is named after the guy who built the house, John Watson. It’s painted a mushroom-pink colour and is really grand with a super king-size bed. It also has a copper bath that feels quite romantic. 

In The Dorm, we have three sets of adult-size bunks (sleeps 6) that kids love as it’s the funnest room they’ve ever seen. There are also two more king-size bedrooms and a twin room that feels a bit like a suite as it has a separate toilet and a separate shower. At the top of the stairs is The Fellview, which has lovely views of the surrounding hills. Aside from its interior bath, it also has an outside bath on its balcony.

Outside the house is loads of parking and we have electric gates so the property is quite secure. There’s also a lovely firepit area for toasting marshmallows and a copper jacuzzi bath, plus a garden bar with little tables. It’s south-facing and very nice in the summertime. There are outdoor sofas to relax on and a long oak dining table, as well as a pizza oven and a barbecue.

In total, we have four acres, so there is plenty of space for kids to run around and explore. We also have five resident chickens that roam the property and provide fresh eggs for guests to collect.

BEDROOMS

The beautifully designed 6 ensuite bedrooms have mattresses and luxury wool toppers made by the Royal warranted brand Hypnos

Bedroom 1

The super king-size bed, with a mattress and luxury wool topper by renowned brand Hypnos, high-quality bed linen, pillows, duvet and complimentary use of our fluffy white robes, will ensure you leave fully rested. The ensuite features a rainfall shower, a large vanity sink, walnut-trimmed taps and Victorian-style handmade tiles by Minton Hollins.

Bedroom 2

A calm and peaceful space, with a romantic French feel, touched with tones of cinnamon and Egyptian greys, this suite offers the utmost luxury, with a rainfall shower and gorgeous roll-top bath but also boasts its private balcony, where you can relax with a coffee or soak under the stars, with a glass of wine, in a hot bubble bath come rain or shine, in the outdoor nickel bath tub. The king-size bed, with a mattress and luxury wool topper by renowned brand Hypnos, high-quality bed linen, pillows, duvet and complimentary use of our fluffy white robes, will ensure you leave fully rested. The ensuite features a rainfall shower and a roll-top bath to while away the time listening to your favourite tunes on the Roberts Radio.

Bedroom 3

Relax in this sultry space, cosied up in a fluffy white robe whiling away the hours listening to your favourite music on the Roberts radio. Choose to soak away your evening in the luxury roll-top bath or dive into the depths of comfort in the king-size bed with a mattress and luxury wool topper by renowned brand Hypnos and high-quality bed linen, pillows and duvet. The ensuite is a nod to the retro era with burnt orange shell shape tiles and brass bathroom fittings, a rainfall shower, and luxury sanitary ware by Burlington, warmed by the antique wood tones of a mid-century mirror.

Bedroom 4

A room with a view, take in the garden views watching the sun set over the west-facing lawns and trees beyond. The peaks of the Scottish Borders can be seen on a clear day. This suite is inspired by the sulky green tones of Soho House, London. This twin suite offers privacy, quiet and calm at the end of the house, away from the hustle and bustle. Separate ensuite and lavatory facilities make it a perfect room for sharing. The single beds with mattresses by Hypnos and with luxury wool mattress toppers, high-quality bed linen, pillows and duvet will ensure a restful night's sleep.

Bedroom 5

Three bunk beds provide 6 sleeping spaces, separated by the luxury of cascading soft linen draping dividers, each bed feels remarkably private. Our heavy-duty bunk beds are equally suitable for adults willing to share. Don’t worry, it might look like a dormitory, but this is luxury, all mattresses are by Royal Warranted brand Hypnos, with quality bed linen and perfect pillows, to ensure a perfect sleep. An ensuite bathroom is equally impressive, tiled in Minton and Hollins Victorian style tiles, with a rainfall shower and twin sinks by Burlington.

Bedroom 6

This soft pink and mahogany red bedroom looks directly onto the laurels and deep greens of the lawn, this ground floor boudoir is fit for any lords or ladies.

A king-size bed with mattress and luxury wool topper by Hypnos will tempt you to bed at the end of a long day exploring. With high-quality bed linen and perfect pillows, you will be sure to get a restful night's sleep. The ensuite features a walk-in wet room shower and is tastefully tiled in a fabulous contemporary pink, with a wide vanity sink and a separate WC.

OTHER ROOMS

  • Hand-made kitchen
  • TV lounge for movies nights
  • Drawing room with its impressive 4-metre high fireplace
  • Orangery with a bar for fun, frolics and Gin and Tonics, after a hard day out walking the fells
  • Games room with a pool table, shelves stacked with board games and puzzles, a TV and games console
  • The Country House for 10-16 people / 650 m²
    1920 / night
    • 1 Twin bedroom
    • 4 Double bedrooms
    • 1 Bunk room
    • 1 Bathroom (ensuite)
    • 5 Shower rooms (ensuite)
    • 3 Living rooms
    • 1 Dining room
    • 1 Kitchen
    • 2 Other rooms
    • Terrace
    • Balcony
    • Fireplace
Included in the rates
Rates include a welcome hamper, linen, towels and essentials, fluffy white robes, Sedbergh Soap Company bathroom products, tea and coffee supplies for arrival, unlimited wood supply, and daily housekeeping.
Optional extras
Available one request (additional cost): a fully stocked bar, private chef, transfers, grocery shopping
Children & Extra beds
Children of all ages are welcome. The bunk bedroom is great for up to 6 kids.
Minimum stay
3 - 7 nights (check calendar for dates)
Check in time
after 16:00
Check out time
before 10:00

Facilities & services

  • WiFi
  • Bar
  • Terrace
  • Children welcome
  • TV
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Washing machine
  • Music system
  • Central heating
  • BBQ area
  • Iron & Board
  • Hair dryer

Included in the price is daily housekeeping. Our cleaner, Agnes, comes early in the morning (usually before everyone is up) and does a general tidying of the living spaces downstairs. She comes back around midday and does a full bedroom service on the rooms, changes the towels and cleans the bathrooms. In the evening, she does a turndown service, removing cushions from the beds, pulling the curtains shut, setting the lighting and preparing the bedrooms for sleep. 

We also have a house manager who lives onsite in a separate property and is on hand for taxi bookings and recommendations of restaurants or things to see and do in the area. Our motto is that whatever guests want (within reason) we will try and make it happen.

Most of our guests hire private chefs for at least one night of their stay and we can recommend some amazing chefs who prepare the most phenomenal food. Additionally, we can create a professional dinner party atmosphere, complete with table linen and printed menus. In the dining area is an automated baby grand piano that can play any music you want.

On arrival, guests receive a large welcome hamper with sourdough bread, local produce and alcoholic drinks, plus a big cake. Coal and wood for the fireplaces are also provided.

COOKING & DINING

  • Luxury handmade shaker kitchen
  • Dining table seats 16 guests comfortably
  • Two Electric ovens
  • Nine burner gas hob by internationally renowned Italian brand Ilve
  • Fridge and freezer in the kitchen
  • 2 Dishwashers
  • Microwave & toaster
  • Nespresso machine – pods provided
  • Gas BBQ – gas provided

INSIDE

  • Two 65” TVs, one in the living room, one in the games room
  • Full Sky package, Amazon Prime and Netflix
  • Games room with pool table and games console
  • Orangery Bar with ice machine and drinks fridges
  • Sky Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Board games
  • Electric baby grand piano
  • Open fireplace and Log burner – logs provided
  • All bedrooms with Roberts radios

OUTSIDE

  • 3 acres of fenced gardens
  • Outside tables and chairs on terrace seating 16
  • Ample parking
  • Private drive
  • Fire pit
  • Gas Ooni Pizza Oven
  • Meadow walk
  • Flat lawn perfect for games
  • Patio with large dining table and garden sofas
  • Extra large garden roll top copper bath jacuzzi for four people
  • Own free-ranging chickens and all their eggs!

Things to do in Cumbria & Castle Carrock

  • Wildlife / Animals
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Cycling

I’d definitely recommend visiting the Lake District — it’s a lovely day out and you can see a lot on a circuit tour. It’s easy to visit two or three different lakes (including a boat trip) with a few stops for food, beers or afternoon tea. It’s always nice to visit one of the Scottish distilleries and Hadrian’s Wall is a must-see. There are also some really amazing forts and Roman settlements that are open to the public. 

I also just like walking through the hills surrounding the house and village. It’s so open and the views are amazing, plus there’s lots of wildlife.

The location of The Country House

The Country House is located in Castle Carrock, which is in the foothills of the Pennines. When you walk outside the house, you’re in the hills with eagles, hawks and deer. The village has a reservoir and nearby is a lake that’s a really nice walk.

Castle Carrock is only home to around 300 people, so it’s quite small. But the pub is such a gift. It always has a roaring fire, good food, ales and wines — it’s a nice place to go and relax. 

We are around a 30 minutes’ drive from the Lake District and 10 miles from the Scottish border and Gretna Green. The Northumberland border and Hadrian’s Wall are six or seven miles away. The market town of Brampton with its antique stores is four miles away and the beautiful Georgian city of Carlisle is 10 miles away. Also nearby is the lovely coastal drive of Solway Firth. You can be in Edinburgh or Manchester in two hours and the closest beach is half an hour away.

The Country House is in a nice position countryside-wise and everything is so accessible. Within 10 minutes, you can be at several different country pubs, as well as Indian/Italian/Chinese restaurants. In Carlisle, there are lots of restaurants and supermarkets to choose from. Guests can also have takeaways delivered. In the Lake District, there are several Michelin-star restaurants and we’re only a few minutes away from Farlam Hall, which has a Michelin-star chef, Hrishikesh Desai, who has a great reputation.

When is the best time to visit Cumbria?

In winter, it feels so warm and cosy in the house. It’s classically English when it’s cold outside and covered in snow. Summer is amazing because we have a big area in the garden that has been left as a wildflower meadow. It attracts an abundance of bees, butterflies and hedgehogs, as well as a barn owl that regularly flies over.

Outside of the summer and winter months, there are those amazing periods of change — the flowers appearing in spring and the trees turning in autumn. Each season has its charm.