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Enjoy a slice of the English Lakes at The Great Barn - our perfect hideaway for eight. This flawless five-star retreat is situated in 26-acres of private grounds with half-a-mile of private access to England’s ‘most beautiful’ lake. Overlooking the fells and serene waters through its walls of glass, you're living in the view.
But this exquisitely renovated 17th century barn is so much more than stunning views. With endless amenities and luxurious extras to boot, we can’t guarantee you’ll ever want to leave!
Taking advantage of its original design as a Bank Barn, The Great Barn is bolted comfortably into the landscape with a split level layout and walls of glass bringing the outside in. With the majestic landscape as the backdrop, relax on the patios, feast on the views, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Back inside, The Great Barn offers a distinctly luxurious edge. The interior design is inspiring and provides a high level of comfort, incorporating the latest state of the art technology. Living spaces include the Lake Room, its spacious reaches able to be transformed into a cinema, a dance floor, a games room, or just a place to gather with the ones you love. Four double bedooms (all highly covetable) each benefit from porcelain or stone en suites.
To complement your stay, other services include personal concierge - private butler, in-house chef, waiting staff, pre-prepared gourmet meals, flower delivery, private Pilates, cosmetic treatments, sports massage, childcare, classic car hire, flying or sailing lessons.
Two extremely well-behaved pooches can join in the fun too, and dog beds can also be provided upon request.
Surrounded by stunning Lakeland fells, which are ideal for walking, The Great Barn is set amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery you’ll find in England. It is the perfect retreat for a relaxing get away and, for those thrill seekers looking for the next adrenalin rush, the perfect playground for adventure!
Nestled on the side of Hallin Fell there is an abundance of stunning walks to enjoy direct from your front door. If you would rather embark on your own Swallows and Amazons adventure there is a lot of Ullswater to explore and kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, motor boats and RYA sailing lessons can be arranged at the Ullswater Yacht Club. Private fishing tuition from one of the local qualified instructors can be arranged too.
For a day out with a difference, board one of the Ullswater Steamers which sail all year round and experience Ullswater in a completely different light. You can hop on at Howtown (just a short walk from Waternook) and trip around the lake jumping on and off at various locations including Glenridding, Aira Force and Pooley Bridge. From Glenridding you can take on the challenging trek leading up Helvellyn to Striding and Swirral Edges. Aira Force Waterfall boasts spectacular walks through the woodlands trailing alongside the rushing rapids.
Ullswater is one of many wonderful places in the Lake District offering visitors an experience that will be truly memorable. Unspoilt, untamed and bursting with everything the Lake District has to offer, it is a place that is relatively untouched by tourism and a place that offers a complete escape from our daily lives.
However you decide to enjoy your stay, you are certainly spoilt for choice, and there is certainly no finer place to escape to than The Great Barn for a memorable experience.
"A beautiful property in a stunning area of the lake district. Very quiet and peaceful, with some great hikes nearby. The property is well equipped, well furnished, and has a really great home cinema system which is great for relaxing in the evenings. There is the Ullswater Steamers, which you can catch just 5 minutes away - which travels around Ullswater (stops at Pooley Bridge, Glenridding and Howtown). There is a lengthy drive along a single track road to access the property, which can be tricky if you are not used to country roads. Pooley Bridge, which is the nearest small village, has some lovely spots for lunch/dinner, and further afield Keswick is also a good place for food. Overall an amazing experience."
"What an amazing location. The Great Barn is very special. It is also a relaxing home with everything you need to make your stay comfortable. At a crossroads of footpaths and the ‘steamer’ jetty so that there are endless opportunities to see Ullswater from different angles- all beautiful in the August sunshine. An amazing 4 days….."
"We had an amazing week celebrating our Ruby Wedding at Waternook, Ullswater. We stayed at the Great Barn with our three sons and their families at the end of July enjoying lovely weather, peace and tranquility. The Barn exceeded our expections in every way and was the perfect property for all three generations of our party. The breathtaking setting introduced us to an area of the Lake District that we had not experienced and we loved the proximity to the steamers enabling us to venture further afield without our cars. The wonderful walks on the doorstep of Waternook were also enjoyed, with the fitter members of our party getting to the top of Hallin Fell! We also enjoyed walking to the quaint bar at the Howtown Hotel, stepping back in time into a peaceful and relaxed era. The whole property was beautifully appointed and large enough for the whole group to have their own space. Our two grandchildren loved the additional mezzanine seating area and enjoyed uninterrupted play thinking they were out of sight. The favourite spot for the adults was definitely the spacious terrace were we enjoyed breakfasts and late evening drinks. Thank you Dominic for the professional manner in which the booking was handled from initial enquiry to completion. We look forward to staying with you again in the future."
"We had a lot of fun staying at the barn house. The property was spacious and clean, equpt with everything we needed for a great family retreat. The property is right on the lake with a ferry stop, a mere minutes walk, to take you around Ullswater. Also, there are a number of trails to take for good hikes with great views."
"I cannot put into words how wonderful the Great Barn, it's facilities and location are. from the first view of the Barn and the views we were awestruck. Thanks to Dominic for allowing me and my family to spend a wonderful weekend there (Friday 16 - Sun 18th June 2017) at very short notice. He alone knows why this was so important to us and for this we will be forever grateful."
OUR TOP 12 ULLSWATER ACTIVITIES
Ullswater is much more than scenic views and tasty teas around the lake – it’s all-action! You can click here to read our blog post ’Top 12 Ullswater Activities’.
The most popular pastime whilst at Waternook Estate is simply gazing out across the lake at the stunning Lakeland scenery, as William Wordsworth may have once enjoyed while composing the famous romantic poem, Daffodils. You might also like to stroll through the beautiful Lake District countryside that inspired Beatrix Potter to write her children’s books.
Waternook estate boasts a private jetty and boathouse and there are 26 acres of gardens and grounds with half a mile of lake shore where you may wander at leisure.
Ullswater is thought by many to be the most beautiful of all the lakes in the English Lake District, a serpentine body of water snaking a nine mile course under the lea of magnificent fells, woodland and mountain. Much of the lake, its shore and surrounding fells are accessible for visitors to explore, where you will find some of the finest walks and water activities, along with the amenities of the lakeside villages.
The area is excellent for either touring or relaxing and there are many walks from Waternook including Hallin Fell, towering above and behind Waternook. One of the best walks in the National Park is the trail that runs along the eastern shores of Ullswater. Experience this inspirational walk straight from Waternook, dominated by Place Fell, St Sunday Cragg, and Fairfield. (distance 7 miles).You will be able to ramble all day with a magnificent view always in your sight. For the return journey, board the steamboat from Glenridding to Howtown.
At the southern end of the Lake you will find Glenridding, a popular little village and an excellent base to explore plentiful challenging peaks but especially Helvellyn via Striding Edge – a long ambitious walk (8 miles + elevation change).
A gentler walk is Aira Force, probably the most famous of the Lake District waterfalls. The main force falls some 70ft below a stone footbridge – so don’t forget your camera. There are many walks of varying length here, the link following the 1 mile circular route up to the waterfall and back.
Pooley Bridge is a picturesque village at the northern most point of the lake and only 4 miles from Waternook; from here you can visit the wonderful market towns of Penrith and Keswick.
Getting on the water is easy especially from Waternook, with over half a mile of your very own Lake frontage! You can take a boat cruise on one of the five beautiful steamers in the Ullswater Steamer fleet. They run the boats from Glenridding, with piers also at Pooley Bridge, Aira Force and Howtown. It’s a great way to see the lake from a different perspective and well worth taking a camera.
Boat hire is readily available, where you have a varied selection of craft on offer including kayaks, sailing boats and little motorboats, along with hire of fishing tackle and licenses.
Further afield you have Keswick, the main town of the north lakes – a bustling market town set between the peaks of Skiddaw and the gentle beauty of Derwentwater. An all year round town there are good shops, a host of restaurants and cafes, along with museums, a theatre, cinema and leisure centre. The market towns of Penrith and Alston lie to the North West on the edge of the Eden Valley and are well worth a visit.
Back south, leaving Patterdale, you take the Kirkstone Pass which winds its way through high fell and brings you down to the south lakes and Windermere.
All in all there is a much to see and do, both around the lake and nearby areas, towns and villages where to get the best from your visit it is well worth investing in a few good guides and maps.
Kirkstone Pass from Patterdale to Ambleside is justifiably famous as a driving route and the Lakeland’s highest pass open to motor traffic.
The Honister Pass is a beautiful journey linking Keswick and Derwentwater with Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater.
For the more adventurous guest there are a variety of outdoor activities to try out including pony trekking, mountain biking, sailing, paragliding and many more. Waternook’s concierge service is able to make arrangements for all of these activities.
CASTLES, HOUSES & GARDENS
Acorn Bank, National Trust Garden and Watermill (14.5 miles).
Hutton in the Forest House and gardens (15.5 miles).
Dalemain House, Gardens and Estate & Tea Room (6.5 miles).
Lowther Castle & Gardens and Lakeland Bird of Prey Centre (8.3 miles).
Appleby Castle, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland (21 miles) dates back to the 11th century with an impressive Norman Keep and earthworks. The Great Hall has some fine paintings. The walled gardens, children’s play area and tea rooms cater to a variety of interests. Open 10am – 5pm from April – October.
Levens Hall historic house and gardens (41 miles) – a bit farther afield, but definitely worth the journey.
The Rheged Centre, Penrith (8.5 miles) – indoor soft play area, pottery painting, castle themed outdoor playground, large 3D cinema screen, collection of shops featuring local crafts, produce & restaurants.
Penrith Leisure Centre & Eden Climbing Wall, Penrith Leisure Centre, Penrith (9.2 miles) – Eden Climbing wall, gym, 25 meter indoor pool, 13 meter indoor learner pool, indoor bowls. Pay by activity available (no fixed membership necessary & very reasonable prices for activities). Please call to check times and activities.
Crafty Monkeys, 3 Corney Square, Penrith (10 miles). This is a welcoming pottery and crafts studio in the middle of Penrith which has a range of great activities for kids and adults including pottery wheels, pottery painting, glass painting, mosaic making, build a bear, plant pot painting.
Langwathby railway station (13 miles) is a stop on the Settle-Carlisle Railway, which is one of the most beautiful railway journeys in Britain. The line covers 70 miles of tracks with 20 major sandstone viaducts (including one 90 feet high at Ormonside) spanning various ravines and 14 tunnels. The railway offers service throughout the day with a number of small stops enroute and has periodic steam engine trips.
The Puzzling Place, Keswick (20 miles).
The Pencil Museum, Southey Works, Keswick (21 miles), home to the world’s longest colour pencil, which is nearly eight metres tall! Learn all about the history of pencil as well as taking part in creative workshops, discovering the Secret Pencil Exhibition and escape to the Kids Art Studio while the adults relax and have a cuppa and a sticky bun at the riverside location.
The World of Beatrix Potter, Bowness on Windermere (26 miles).
Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick (25 miles). Attractions include a Go Ape! high ropes course, mountain bike rental from Cyclewise – there are some great cycle trails through the woods, walking trails and a woodland based playground which connects via the trees to nine different play areas including stream based play and a great low level climbing wall.
EATING & DRINKING
Cumbria is a region blessed with rich local produce. The county is perhaps most famous for its various meat products, such as the long, spiralling Cumberland sausage, Air Dried Cumbrian Ham, and the Penrith Pepper-pot sausage. However, the region is also home to such delicacies as rum butter; Grasmere gingerbread; the staple food found in all moutaineers’ backpacks, the Kendal mint cake; and wine, jams and chutnies made from damsons grown in the area. Find some time to visit Cranstons Butchers in Penrith (information is below) for a good selection of Cumbrian pleasures.
Within a short walk of the Howtown Hotel and its Walkers Bar which is open to non residents from April to November (20 minute walk, 0.8 miles). Tel: 01768 486514. Nestled deep in the mountains that surround the hamlet of Howtown, this pub is extremely welcoming and wonderfully old-fashioned. Lots of drinks and great food to choose from.
Queens Head Inn, Tirril, Penrith (7 miles) Originally built in 1719, this inn has many original features, with strong wooden pews, original flagstones and an inglenook fireplace that rages through winter. The pub houses well-kept local ales and serves some fantastic homemade pies and smoked trout from Ullswater lake.
Horse and Farrier Inn, Dacre (7.3 miles). Great atmosphere, cosy, surrounded by walks.
Yanwath Gate Inn, Yanwath, Penrith (8 miles). A delightful 17th century inn which has a reputation for serving delicious food and providing first-rate service. An attractive stone inglenook, low-beamed ceilings, solid oak and pine furniture and walls give an effortlessly traditional and cosy feel to the place, while an impressive array of local ales, wines, and malt whiskies has something for everyone. The menu changes regularly, but expect things like Wild Mallard Breast with dauphinoise potatoes with a roast garlic and herb jus or Pork Loin steak and cider cream sauce.
Cross Keys Inn, Carleton Village (9.7 miles). English country pub with quality food, beers and wine and excellent service.
Fell Bar, (an Independent cask ale and world beer bar) 52, King Street, Penrith (10 miles).
The Lounge Hotel and Bar, Mitre House, King Street, Penrith (10 miles).
George and Dragon, Clifton, Penrith (10 miles). A meticulously refurbished, 18th century coaching inn which has kept its Georgian flare, the George and Dragon is a fine gastropub closeby. Serving excellent seasonal food, much of the produce is sourced either from the owners’ gardens at Askham Hall, or local farmers which reside on the family’s estate. Winner Taste of Cumbria 2011, Alastair Sawday Local Produce Award.
Old Boot and Shoe Pub, Greystoke (11 miles, 30 minute drive).
Sportsman Inn, Troutbeck (11.5 miles). Near Whitbarrow, good walking nearby, great Trip Advisor reviews.
Horse and Farrier Inn, Threlkeld, Near Keswick (17 miles). Worth the drive, the owner’s favourite pub in the local area. Jilly’s recommendation.
The Drunken Duck Inn, Barngates, Ambleside (30 miles/1hr 10 drive). Widely considered the one of the best pubs in the Lake District, The Drunken Duck is as close to fine dining a pub can get. Serving up delights like pork shoulder with truffle braised celery and stocking a superb selection of local ales, it is common for tables to be booked up weeks in advance, so we advise you act soon.
RESTAURANTS (advance booking advised)
Sharrow Bay, Lake Ullswater, Penrith (2.5 miles, 9 minute drive). If you fancy a splurge, then Sharrow Bay is worth a visit - it’s widely regarded as one of the best restaurants in the Lake District. Winner of a Michelin star, it is an opulent affair that offers stunning views of Ullswater and the surrounding mountains. Head chefs Colin Akrigg and Mark Teasdale develop their lunch time and evening menus with the freshest of local ingredients, and welcome those who just want a morning coffee, or those wishing to try a wine from their 700-strong list.
Askham Hall Gardens, Café and Restaurant, Askham (8 miles). Awarded ‘Superior Quality’ by Cumbria Tourism April 2014. Restaurant open for dinner to non-residents 7pm - 9:30pm, reservations required. 01931 712 350. Café and gardens, open Sun-Fri. Excellent Pizzas from wood-fired oven served at lunch Wed – Fri and Sun only. Both the restaurant and café use locally sourced ingredients from the gardens, surrounding farms and woodlands estates.
Four & Twenty, Penrith, Cumbria (10 miles). This restaurant is a firm favourite for locals and visitors alike. Four & Twenty like to keep their menus fresh, and so regularly change them to accommodate new tastes and changing seasons. All the food is prepared and cooked on the day, and tastes exquisite. Accompanied with an excellent selection of wine or beers, you’d be hard done by to fault this place.
Grants of Castlegate Wine Bar and Restaurant, Penrith (10 miles). An intimate and welcoming bistro with friendly and attentive service. Choose from a lovely selection of wines and beers at the bar, and then move on through to the restaurant where a delicious menu awaits.
The Restaurant and Bar, Ullswater Road, Penrith (10 miles). A family-friendly restaurant with timber beams and roaring fireplaces, The Restaurant and Bar serves up mouth-watering local cuisine, from the Penrith sausage to the more exotic dried Cumbrian ham. All the fruit and vegetables are from the local green grocers, as are the meats and dairy products. The Restaurant also offers a wide range of children’s meals.
Dockray Hall, Penrith (10.5 miles) serving modern British cuisine such as roast hake and beer-braised feather blade.
Highland Drove, Great Salkeld, Penrith (16 miles). Awarded the ‘Cumbria Dining Pub of the Year’ numerous times by the Good Pub Guide, the Highland Drove is an excellent gastropub run by a father and son team. Inside are cushioned chairs, roaring fires and a splendid dining area; expect on the menu inventive repasts such as venison curry, olive mash, and pork rillettes with sage mayonnaise. Combine these elements with glorious views of the Eden Valley and the Pennines, and you might have the perfect pub.
The Bridge Café Bistro, Kirkby Thore, Penrith (17 miles). A laid-back, family-friendly bistro, serving interesting food like Vietnamese chicken sandwiches, wild Alaskan black cod, and the house favourite, the Bridge Burger served with celeriac coleslaw.
Woodstone Pizza & Flame Grill Restaurant, Keswick (21 miles/38 minute drive) is a friendly restaurant that makes traditional stone-baked pizzas from scratch with a variety of toppings and sauces.
Holbeck Ghyll Country House Hotel Windermere (25 miles/56 minute drive)www.holbeckghyll.com. Recognised as one the best restaurants in the North, Holbeck Ghyll is the epitome of fine dining. Head chef David McLaughlin has been awarded the coveted Michelin star for 13 consecutive years, and prides himself on delivering only the best dishes from the local produce which arrives daily. Holbeck Ghyll can also accommodate family celebrations and private parties; if desired, it is possible to book one of their lovely private dining rooms.
Sainsbury’s, Penrith (10.5 miles/25 minute drive).
Morrisons, Brunswick Road, Penrith (10.7 miles/30 minute drive).
Booths, Penrith (12 miles/29 minute drive).
Butchers: Cranstons, Ullswater Road, Penrith (10 miles/25 minute drive) Winners of the ‘Best Cumbrian Food Retailer 2014’ by Cumbria Life Magazine, and winners of the ‘National Butcher of the Year’ at the 2014 Deli and Farmshop Awards, its nigh on impossible to find a better butchers in the UK. Cranstons also has a food hall that stores all the best local fruit and veg, freshly baked pies, cooked meats and cheeses.
Wine Merchant: The Wine House, Penrith (10 miles/28 minute drive).
Thai Food Café, Penrith (10 miles).
Indiagate, Penrith (10 miles).
Angel Lane Chippie, Penrith (10 miles).
Royal Lake, Penrith (10 miles). Chinese takeaway.
Keswick Film Festival, Keswick (20 miles).
Words by the Water Festival of Words & Ideas, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick (21.5 miles).
World’s Original Marmalade Festival, Dalemain (6.5 miles).
Pirelli Carlisle Rally, Carlisle (29 miles).
Ullswater Daff Fest.
Ullswater Yacht Club annual Daffodil Regatta.
Melmerby May Day Festival, Melmerby (17 miles).
Langwathby May Day Festival (13 miles).
Keswick Beer Festival, Keswick (20 miles).
Appleby Horse Fair, Appleby-in-Westmorland (20 miles).
The Cumberland Show, Carlisle Racecourse (26 miles).
Ullswater Fair, Patterdale (13 miles).
Skelton Show, Old Park, Hutton-in-the Forest (15 miles).
Penrith Show, Brougham Hall Farm, Penrith (8.5 miles).
Great Musgrave Rush Bearing, Great Musgrave (28 miles).
Appleby Town Carnival, Appleby-in-Westmorland (20 miles).
Langwathby Scarecrow Festival, Langwathby (13 miles).
Derwent Water Regatta, Crow Park, Keswick (21 miles).
Kendal Calling, Lowther Deer Park (8 miles).
Fell Pony Breed Show, Dalemain (6.5 miles).
Appleby Show, near Appleby Golf Course (23 miles).
Lowther Show, Lowther Castle (8.3 miles).
Ravenstonedale Agricultural Show, Ravenstonedale (33 miles).
Crosby Ravensworth Show & Vintage Rally, Maulds Meaburn (19.4 miles).
Patterdale Dog Day, Patterdale (13 miles).
Great British Food Festival, Dalemain (6.5 miles).
Keswick Agricultural Show, Braithwaite, Keswick (22.5 miles).
Dufton Agricultural Show, Dufton (20.6 miles).
Ullswater Yacht Club annual August Regatta.
Hesket Newmarket Agricultural Show, Hesket Newmarket (19 miles).
Things you need to know about The Great Barn if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:
*Internet access is offered at this property for recreational purposes only and is not meant for business use. Speed/service may vary depending on the package obtained by the owner which is provided to guests free of charge. Should guests experience difficulties or loss of use, neither the owner nor the agent will be held responsible.