Perched high in the hills of the beautiful Duddon Valley, with breathtaking views to the Coniston Fells, and Harter Fell rising majestically to the north, Grass Guards is set in an amazing location. This secluded farm dates back over 500 years and has been lovingly refurbished to create a high quality retreat for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of modern day life and to relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful corners of the Lake District.
The clear waters of the River Duddon, one of the Lake District's last remaining salmon rivers, cascade through the valley that was well known to the poet William Wordsworth who was a regular visitor to the valley and who, between 1804 and 1820, published no less than 34 sonnets that took their inspiration from the river and scenery of the valley. Buzzards, red deer and a whole host of wildlife make Dunnerdale their home and from the terraces of Grass Guards hardly a day passes without catching a glimpse of these magnificent residents along with other birds of prey and owls that frequent the area.
Set a mile and half off the road, via the old forestry track suitable for all but the lowest of sports cars, the final approach to Grass Guards is via a small ford. The secluded location, not only offers peace and quiet, with just the noise of the sheep and the birds for company; it also offers an area with no light pollution that, on clear nights, reveals the most beautiful star filled skies.
Enjoy an afternoon walk from the door along Grass Guards Ghyll, pausing at Ghyll Spout Waterfall on the Grass Guards Estate and over Fickle Steps to enjoy a beer and a chat at the Newfield Inn. Alternatively, don your walking boots and expend a little effort and the summit of Harter Fell rising behind the cottage waits to be conquered. If you have the same energy and enthusiasm for the fells as the owners' son, you could even cross the valley and follow the old miners road to the summit of Dow Crag and along the towering skyline to Coniston Old Man and back over Great Carrs. Alternatively sit, a glass of wine in hand, on the patio and gaze out at the views, watch the wildlife and enjoy this rural idyll.
Accommodation in detail
From leaving the road close to the beautiful Birks Bridge, the approach to Grass Guards is via the untarmacked forestry road and though accessible to all but the lowest sports car, care should be taken. On reaching Grass Guards the lane crosses a ford to reach the old farm yard. On one side of the yard is Grass Guards House, the old farm house, which sleeps eight and on the other side of the yard, Grass Guards Cottage which sleeps four.
Grass Guards Cottage offers the highest standard and quality of accommodation having recently been refurbished. The front door opens to the spacious open plan living area that incorporates old beams, feature stone walls and a beautiful summer room. On entering you are greeted by a cosy lounge area with a comfortable sofas and armchairs set around the coffee table, TV and the window offering views to Harter Fell. The contemporary quality kitchen is the real heart of the home and offers everything you could need during your stay and includes an electric hob and oven, microwave, fridge and dishwasher. The large family dining table is an ideal spot to enjoy a Lakeland breakfast or a beautiful home cooked family dinner. The spacious south facing summer room, with large sofa and comfortable chairs, is flooded with light with French doors that open to the patio and garden beyond. The utility room contains the freezer and leads to a cloakroom.
Heading upstairs there are two beautifully presented bedrooms; a double bedroom with south facing window and views across the valley and a luxurious ensuite bathroom with bath, basin and WC. The second bedroom is offered either as a twin room or a double room (please specify when booking) offers views to Harter Fell and is complemented by an ensuite shower room with walk in shower, basin and WC.
Outside the cottage there is a beautiful patio that catches the sun throughout the day, a lawned garden area and extending beyond that an area where the owners deliberately keep cutting to a minimum to allow the wildlife to flourish. Back to the farm yard there is parking for two cars and from here a bridleway, popular with mountain bikers and walkers, extends down The Rake to Wallowbarrow climbing crag and the River Duddon. Footpaths lead onto the fells offering much to be explored and rock pools just down from the ford are ideal for a dip in the summer.
Due to the secluded location of Grass Guards, we respectfully ask, that guests familiarise themselves with the following access notes. (SEE ACCESS NOTES)
Dunnerdale is a beautiful valley in the south west of the Lake District that sits between the Coniston Valley to the east, the Langdale Valley to the north and Eskdale and Wasdale to the west. To many who know the Lake District well, this is considered to be the most beautiful and most authentic valley in the Lake District where you could easily believe that time has simply stood still since it was immortalised in poetry by William Wordsworth.
The patchwork of small meadows, the white washed cottage, the loveable Herdwick sheep, the traditional farm, the plethora of wildlife all come together in the Duddon Valley to give the visitor the sense that they have discovered the real heart of the Lake District that most visitors fail to experience.
At the foot of the valley the old market town of Broughton is a lovely village with a local shop, family run award winning butchers, and popular local pubs. From here the road crosses the fell to Coniston and the beautiful five and half miles of Coniston Water immortalised in Arthur Ransome's 'Swallows and Amazons'. Rising high above the lake and bordering Dunnerdale the high Coniston fells are a popular destination for fell walkers, climbers and scramblers.
The River Duddon winds through the valley passing the beautiful hamlet of Ulpha and Seathwaite (don't get confused - there are two Seathwaites in the Lake District and it's the other one that is the wettest place in England!!). Whilst passing, why not call and enjoy the craic at the Newfield Inn. At the head of the valley the road meets the old Roman Road that crosses the Lake District and here you can choose to travel over the stunning Wrynose Pass and through to the Langdale Valley or north over the challenging Hardknott Pass, the steepest road in England, pausing at Hardknott Roman Fort before descending to Eskdale and Scafell Pike England's highest mountain. Head further to Wasdale and the majestic WastWater, England's deepest Lake.
With so much to be explored, scenery to be admired, wildlife to be discovered and so much space and quiet to relax, the Grass Guards Estate is your own Lake District secret just waiting for you to enjoy!
Luxurious Lakeland cottage
1 Double bedroom
1 Double or Twin bedroom
1 luxury ensuite bathroom
1 luxury ensuite shower room
Cosy Lounge area
Summer room with large feature windows and doors to patio
Dining area with family dining table
Open plan kitchen
Electric oven and hob
Cloakroom and utility area
Washer / Drier
Patio with bistro furniture
Garden and wildlife area
Parking for 2 cars
Peaceful countryside location
Beautiful pastoral views
Walks from the door with direct access to the fells