The Badger Sett - a child friendly cottage in The Lakes, Cumbria
Newlands, Hesket Newmarket, Cumbria
Our independent review coming soon - meanwhile read what Dom has to tell you:
The Badger Sett is a tranquil hideaway located in the unspoilt north-eastern corner of the Lake District National Park and is our home-from-home. We use it as often as we can (with our two children and well behaved dog). In between times we invite you to come and enjoy it too. We want to make you feel at home and aim to provide the highest quality of facilities, fittings and service. As parents we know how important it is to find accommodation where your children will be as happy and relaxed as you are.
Since buying The Badger Sett in late 2010 we've completely remodeled and refurbished the cottage to make it in to the stylish, spacious and extremely relaxing place that it is today. Built around a 200 year old barn with modern extensions to either side, the cottage is all on one level (so no stairs to worry about) and the safe, enclosed garden make it ideal for families with children.
The cottage sits in its own grounds with beautiful views across the valley and is approached via a gated driveway from a very quiet country lane. There is an outside dining area with BBQ, parking for up to three cars and a tap for washing muddy bikes and boots. The nearest house is the farm across the lane and the only neighbours you're likely to meet are the inquisitive and friendly bullocks who live in the field next door.
Inside is luxuriously furnished with a harmonious blend of funky modern, retro chic and antique furniture. The L-shaped living and dining room has a lovely aspect with sliding glass doors opening on to the garden. The 42" TV has all the Freeview channels and there's a Wii, a surround-sound system and dvd player as well as an extensive collection of dvds and board games to suit all ages. If you'd rather relax with a good book (or map!) then there's a selection of those too. The three large bedrooms comfortably sleep 6. The Garden Bedroom is in the old part of the house and features exposed beams and stonework. There's a sumptuous king-size bed, French windows to the garden, a wood-burning stove and a TV/DVD player - the perfect room to retreat to when the kids get too much! The Swallows Bedroom also has a king-size double bed and has lovely rural views across fields. The Squirrels Bedroom shares the same views and has two single divans as well as a cupboard full of children's toys, books and games. Our bespoke kitchen is in the old part of the house and has all the mod cons you would expect and there are two bathrooms so you shouldn't have to queue in the morning. For families with infants we provide a cot, high-chair, nightlights and a baby monitor. There's also free wifi if you find it impossible to leave work behind or you have teenagers suffering from facebook withdrawal. Full details of all the facilities at the cottage can be found on our website.
The picturesque Lakeland village of Hesket Newmarket is just a one mile stroll down a peaceful country lane. The village boasts just one shop (who will prepare an arrival hamper on request), a tearoom and a very good pub. The Old Crown was Britain's first co-operatively owned pub and boasts its own micro-brewery. It's very child-friendly and is as close to the perfect English pub as you'll find anywhere. Across the green from the pub is a very pretty children's playground with views across the valley. The remote Caldbeck Fells are on the doorstep and provide fantastic opportunities for walking and mountain biking and The Caldew River which runs through the valley is excellent for canoeing, lazy picnics and paddling. If you prefer more hustle and bustle the popular market town of Keswick (arguably the outdoor capital of the UK) is just a 25 minute drive away whilst the beautiful Ullswater lies 15 miles to the south.
We know that sometimes children can be less enthusiastic about the prospect of a long day in the hills but there's lots to do in the area to keep them entertained - ours love Go Ape! at Whinlatter, taking the Steamer on Ullswater, riding ponies at Rookin House and kayaking on Derwent Water. On rainy days The Rheged Centre is popular with smaller children and we thoroughly recommend Tullie House Museum in Carlisle for some great interactive exhibits. The coast is less than an hour's drive and whilst The Lake District isn't know for its beaches there are some lovely spots like St Bees which are great for beachcombing and paddling.
The Badger Sett is where we go on holiday with our kids and they love it - yours will too!