A traditional 18th century Lakeland farmhouse, recently refurbished to offer the combination of its own enticing charms and all the advantages of its location. Today Rose Cottage is a Lakeland cottage full of character. Yes it has the low ceilings, flagstone floors and vernacular dark oak furniture that would have been familiar to Wordsworth and the Romantic poets.
What is different, two centuries on, is the comfort, warmth, convenience and cheer of contemporary lighting, heating and new applicances!
For most of the past century, Rose Cottage has been home to the Wilkinson family. William & Mary Wilkinson moved in in 1928. William was a woodcarver and cabinet maker (who had earlier set up wordcarving classes with John Ruskin in the Village Institute); his son, Henry, was a celebrated Lakeland watercolourist during the 1960s and early '70s. Both have left their legacy: the 'Maori' wardrobe and Elizabethan-style bread cupboard are the work of William; the stained glass on the stairwell and a couple of the watercolours the handiwork of Henry.
As one visitor recently remarked, each room is a world in itself. You enter Rose Cottage on the south side, into a utility room replete with settle for boot-changing, coat hanging area and a spend-a-penny downstairs wc. A large local wall map allows you to review your day or plan your next. (An outside tap provides for cleaning of bikes and boots.).
All the downstairs rooms are inviting! The living room seats six in comfort, reinforced by calm colours and warm, sumptuous fabrics. The focus of the room can be the Clearview log-burning stove in its period fireplace setting, or the 40 inch TV (and DVD). Next to this the east-facing dining room greets the day with the early morning sun and the most cheerful of colour schemes. Adorning the walls are various representations of the Langdale Pikes, one a watercolour by Henry Wilkinson's grand-daughter, Rachael Arnett. The recent renovations to the Cottage have created a 'passe-plat' between the dining room and kitchen thereby giving an enhanced feeling of spaciousness and ease of communication throughout the ground floor.
Whether for a buffet breakfast, morning coffee, preparing lunch, afternoon tea or dinner, the kitchen is a place you will want to linger in. Cheerfully lit, warm and congenial, it invites conversation. The woodwork borrows the designs of the Elizabethan court cupboard, artfully concealing the larder and dishwasher. The sizeable breakfast bar is a welcome addition from the recent refurbishment.
Three themed bedrooms, each boasting 'top-end' mattresses to ensure the soundest of sleep, provide sleeping for six persons. Two bedrooms boasting Kingsize beds and one twin-bedded room (adaptable alternatively as one Superkingsize bed) retain the original cottage style and floorplan of the 1790s. These are serviced by two bathrooms, both enjoying underfloor heating, and showers benefitting from round-the-clock heating of the pressurized water system. The temptation is to spend too long in the bathroom!
Rose Cottage enjoys an almost unparalled position in the centre of Coniston village. All of Coniston's principal amenities lie within 100 metres of its door. Pubs, restaurants, coffee shops, groceries, gift shops, the Ruskin Museum, bank, post office and doctor's surgery are all adjacent or within a couple of minutes' walk. Despite the fully refitted and enticing kitchen, the risk is to want to eat out every night given the range and quality of the cuisine now available in the village.
An equal if not greater advantage to the site of Rose Cottage is its situation. Nestling on the edge of the mountain heart of the Lake District, Coniston offers immediate ascents to all the summits of the Old Man range and the many and varied panoramic views along the way. Yet in addition to walking the higher fells to the west, the options for walking, scrambling and mountain biking include the equally-accessible but gentler gradients of the landscapes to the north, east and south. Little Langdale, Tarn Hows, Grizedale Forest and the shores of Coniston Water all offer contrasting landscapes and activities without the need to use a car.
If you or your family/group arrive by car, then there is comfortable on-site parking for two vehicles for the duration of your stay. The use of a car opens up a suite of options for cultural visits or shopping in all types of weather but as has been aptly remarked, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment!?
Rain or shine, Rose Cottage represents in microcosm the very nature of the Lake District itself: A little unsuspected paradise. Come and sample it for yourself.
A Coniston holiday cottage takes you slightly away from the hustle and bustle of Bowness and Lake Windermere, to a wilder landscape full of adventure. Coniston Water is famous for its part in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, with Peel Island being the setting for the 'Wild Cat Island' featured in the story. The lake is also known for Donald Campbell's water speed record attempt in 'Bluebird'.
But the real magic comes from the breathtaking surroundings; dramatic fells including Coniston Old Man, wild woodlands and wonderful Lake District walks. You'll have access to no end of stunning routes, from leisurely strolls to challenging ascents. You'll enjoy access to the peaceful village centre, well equipped for stocking up the kitchen with traditional butcher and supermarket.
There are lovely tea rooms, cafes and traditional Lakeland pubs in Coniston village, and the Black Bull Inn is well worth a visit for its award-winning brewery the Coniston Brewing Co.
For a cultured day out, head to Brantwood historic house - an impressive residence overlooking the lake, once home to John Ruskin the famous artist, writer and creative thinker. You'll find a range of events on offer, such as talks, concerts, craft workshops and even outdoor theatre.
Semi-detached traditional Lakeland Cottage
2 King Size bedrooms
1 Twin or Superking bedroom (please specify when booking)
1 family bathroom
1 shower room
Log burning stove
Electric heating (Rointe 'instant heat' heaters)
Electric oven & electric hob
Lounge TV & DVD
Village centre location
2 x medium dogs accepted
Private parking for two cars