I was lucky enough to arrive for a High Borrans weekender, on one of those fantastic, early-spring, blue-sky Lake District days. The route is easy – just 3 miles or so off the busy A591, and you feel like you’ve arrived in a little piece of heaven.
The drive up has views back out to the hills beyond, and we only met two other cars. And a tractor of course.
Arriving at High Borrans, you drive through the farmyard, to a separate entrance at the back, where you’ll find 7 brand new, Nordic-style luxury lodges – and a recently-installed luxury Shepherd’s Hut!
3 Of the lodges are dog-friendly and we’d brought our pooch with us, so he was keen to explore.. Its a good idea having 2 that don’t take dogs, as I have friends who are allergic, so its good for them to know there is somewhere clear of dogs, but all the Lodges were immaculately clean and tidy..
The Shepherd’s hut is made by local craftsman and joiner, Cumbrian Shepherd’s Huts from Staveley and has fabulous attention to detail and seems a real cosy, romantic way to stay in the Lakes.
It is named ‘Percy’ after Percy Warrener, a local gentleman farmer, who lived in Hawkshead and knew Beatrix Potter. Percy introduced the Hodgson family to farming and his legacy lives on in this farm today.
‘Percy’ is a gorgeous Shepherds Hut, and I know a few people who’d love to stay there! But for this visit we had chosen to have a bit more space in one of the lodges.
We stepped out of the car to the sound of lambs bleating in the field, bird song and utter peace and tranquility just through the farmstead that is High Borrans. There’s a gate just above the lodges, and you’re straight out onto the cycle and bike trail path. Perfect, as we were planning to just go straight out walking and biking from the front door and be in the hills all day; venturing out later to the hubbub of Windermere, for a few drinks and a bite to eat.
It was lovely to be on a traditional working Lakeland Hill farm, with a flock of Swaledales, and 25 beef suckler cows.
We met Cathy, the friendly owner of the farm who showed us where everything was, then left us to it. Just how we like it…
We unpacked and went straight out for an explore. Cathy had said a great time to sit out on the deck was at dusk – with a drink of course, and listen to the birdsong, the mooing of the cattle and the baaing of the sheep, and we might get to see red and roe deer, and tawny and barn owls and bats swooping around.
Come summer, the sky is full of swifts and swallows too.
We were staying in High Borrans Dell, a one bedroomed, Nordic-style modern lodge. We loved the patio doors straight out onto the deck, where we sat chilling out and watching the sun go down. Our dog loved it, and would lie with us after a long day out in the fresh air.
If the weather turns, , there’s plenty of relaxation inside the lodges – with tv and dvd player. There’s no wi-fi and a patchy phone signal, but to be honest that was one of the attractions – and we both enjoyed leaving our phones untouched, and just checked them when we headed out into the bustling towns of Windermere or Bowness, where we could get on the wi-fi at lots of places.
We had arranged electric-bike hire for the second day of our visit – with Electreks who are based at the farm. They talked us through the bikes and how they work ready for pick up at our lodge. We wouldn’t be worrying about the steep hills around here now!
Windermere is literally a 10 minute drive away from High Borrans, and we had lunch at the Lighthouse, a lovely bar and restaurant serving delicious European style food; with nice outside space – and blankets are provided for the cooler days! Then we had another bite to eat and great coffee at Homeground.
Back to the lodge and the central heating made sure it was super cosy for a good nights sleep after a power shower, and then collapsing into a luxury King-Size bed.
The next day it was raining, so we headed over to Troutbeck Bridge (15 minutes away) to use the Leisure facilities – ‘Choices’ which was a great pool to swim and relax around.
The Pool at Choices Leisure Club, Troutbeck Bridge.
Back home in the evening and the weather had faired up again – so a chance for some more al fresco dining on the deck… We read newspapers from cover to cover, browsed through books and talked to each other!
Such a relaxing time, will be booking another High Borrans weekender for the autumn very soon.
Check out the High Borrans Farm Lodges here