I’m slightly reluctant to write this blog post as I don’t really want to share this little find with too many people. This little cottage is an absolute gem and a perfect little hideaway for a quiet family break.
The Cottage at Wilson House is a converted barn, located on a working farm in Barningham, County Durham and is just above the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The cottage has two en-suite bedrooms, a private hot tub and a 1st floor open plan living/kitchen area, equipped with freeview, microwave oven and dishwasher. Initially I was a bit apprehensive, as the cottage has a rayburn oven. Me being a hopeless cook even with a conventional oven, I didnt think I’d be able to use it, but we decided to give it a try!
We arrived at the cottage on the 7th April for a 1 week stay, and were immediately impressed with the location. The cottage is just outside a good sized town (Barnard Castle) and is within an hours travel distance of the coast and also Durham city. It is located about 10 mins drive from the busy A66, yet feels in the middle of nowhere. We opened the gates and parked the car on our own private driveway, beside the (very large) hot tub.
Helen (the owner) had told us that she would leave the cottage unlocked for us, so we closed the driveway gates to keep the kids safe and let ourselves in. A lovely cake stand of treats had been left for us by Helen, including delicious sandwiches and home made scones with jam and cream. Delicious! We had a quick look around the kitchen and found it fully equipped with all utensils, glasses etc etc. We then quickly dealt with the boring task of unpacking and found that there was ample wardrobe space for a family of 4.
Eventually we finished unpacking and got ready to head out for a quick walk.
By this time the kids had found a door to the left of our cottage which led through to a barn. They were amazed to find that their neighbours in this barn were a herd of cows! We headed off on our walk and found the fields full of sheep with their gorgeous little newborn baby lambs (brownie points to Mum and Dad for choosing a working farm cottage in lambing season)!
We headed back to the cottage and had a bite to eat (sandwiches as I was still terrified of the – admittedly beautiful – rayburn cooker). Helen, (the owner) then came round to introduce herself and was really lovely. She explained the local area, how to use the rayburn, heating etc and explain how we could get hold of her if needs be.
We then decided to change into our swimwear and try out our private hot tub.
The hot tub was by far the best I’ve used. We’ve had many hot tub holidays but none have had a hot tub as large as this one. Absolute bliss!!
We were all pretty tired from our journey up to the cottage so decided to have a shower and an early night on the first night. Unfortunately the property doesn’t have a bathtub and Bobby hates showers, but we managed just fine giving him a bath in the kitchen sink J !
The beds at the property were very comfortable, and the showers very powerful. No complaints at all.
On our first morning we had a surprise visitor at the door – a very friendly chicken who Bobby quickly named Mrs Chicken. Mrs Chicken visited every morning and the kids LOVED her!
I also finally bit the bullet and used the rayburn to cook a full English breakfast – and it was absolutely fine! Simple to use! We cooked allsorts of meals whilst we were there including lasagne, a roast pork dinner and delicious jacket potatoes with no problem whatsoever. It’s a beautiful feature and very easy to use.
The rest of our stay was just perfect. Even though the cottage is very close to Helen’s farmhouse, we still felt it was really private and secluded and Helen was absolutely lovely, even bringing easter gifts for the kids which they were over the moon about. When it came to leaving, the kids were heartbroken and we had major tantrums once Bobby realised he couldn’t put Mrs Chicken in the car with him :(.
I would have no hesitation in booking this cottage again, and would recommend it for families or couples. A perfect little bolt hole in the middle of nowhere and we cannot wait to go back.
We booked the Cottage at Wilson House directly through Helen. You can contact her in the following ways:
Email – email@example.com
Tel – 01833621218
Here’s a list of places to visit (within easy travel distance from The Cottage at Wilson house):
Staithes – a charming little seaside town (we highly recommend eating at the Cod and Lobster)
Beamish Museum – a brilliant day out – infact too much to see in one day
Berry’s Farm Shop near Leyburn – bit of a drive out but a special favourite of ours from past trips to the dales. Be sure to book onto one of the guided farm tours and to try the food in their café!
Aysgarth Falls – Gorgeous waterfalls and a lovely little café in the visitor centre
High Force Waterfall – large car park and good walks
Wetheriggs Animal Rescue – kids loved feeding the animals
Cross Lanes Organic Farm – DELICIOUS breakfast