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 loving 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 house 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 House, the original farmhouse, offers the highest standard and quality of accommodation having recently been refurbished. The front door opens to an imposing hall way with high feature stone wall and plenty of space for boots and coats. The hallway links the ground floor living accommodation to the two ground floor bedrooms. The spacious south facing sitting room is beautifully furnished and incorporates the old beams, historic spice cupboard and feature fire place with its cosy log burning stove. Comfortable sofas and armchairs are set around the coffee table and Smart TV. The delightful dining room is the ideal spot to socialise with family and friends and on warmer days the patio doors open onto the patio, complete with bistro furniture that is a real sun trap on a summer's afternoon. The smart, high quality kitchen offers everything you could need during your stay and is well equipped with electric hob and oven, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, microwave and don't worry about being at the kitchen sink as it offers beautiful views to the Coniston Fells.
There are two bedrooms to choose from on the ground floor. The first, a beautiful double bedroom with views across the yard to the hills beyond and a quaint sneak-a- peak window together with a luxurious ensuite bathroom with double ended bath and WC. The second bedroom can be offered as either a king size double or two 2'6" twin beds (please specify when booking) and includes beautiful original beams, feature stone wall and a door to the garden. A smart family bathroom includes a large feature bath, spacious shower cubicle, basin and WC.
A second hallway leads to the door to the garden and there is a convenient ground floor cloakroom with WC. Stairs lead from the sitting room to the first floor bedrooms. The first is a beautiful south facing double room and the second, with vaulted ceilings, looking out to the Coniston Fells can be presented as either a king size bed or two 2'6" twin beds (please specify when booking). These bedrooms are complemented by a luxurious family bathroom with bath with shower over, basin and WC.
To the side of the farmhouse there is a large garden area with mature trees and shrubs and south facing patio however the owners deliberately keep cutting to a minimum to allow the wildlife to flourish. Back to the farm yard there is parking for four 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 Farm House
Peaceful countryside location
Beautiful pastoral views
Clear night time skies
Walks from the door with direct access to the fells and 15 minutes walk to a climbing crag
2 Double bedrooms
2 Double or twin bedrooms
1 luxury ensuite bathroom
2 luxury family bathrooms
Cosy Lounge area
Log burning stove
Dining Room with patio doors
Family dining table
Electric oven and hob
Cloakroom with WC
Washer / Drier
Patio with bistro furniture
Garden and wildlife area
Parking for 4 cars