I really needed last weekend after a stressful few weeks; comfortable surroundings to relax in, stunning scenery to enjoy and a group of lovely people to spend time with. Also, no kids! I spent the weekend with eight lovely ladies, many who I knew well and a couple of people I’d not met before – but by the end of the weekend, a few gins and some revealing ‘never have I ever’ games I think we’re firm friends now!
I actually arrived in Cumbria on the Wednesday before as I stayed with family for a couple of days quite close by to catch up for a couple of days. On Friday afternoon I arrived at Croft House which is one of the holiday homes rented out via Sally’s Cottages. It is absolutely perfect for a group of people (be they family or friends!) who just want to chill out and socialise. Sleeping up to 12 people over six bedrooms with a huge living room and a large dining table raised at one end. Exposed beams, ceiling chandeliers and tall windows give you lots of light and perfect views over the garden on both sides of the living room- including the little bridge over the stream. The kitchen, living room and two bedrooms are upstairs, downstairs there is a master bathroom with a delightful roll-top bath and four more rooms.
Everything was sweetly decorated, in a fairly classical style, with lovely accents like decorative cushions and throws on the beds. Bedrooms either had a sink in the room or an ensuite shower room. I shared a twin room with Laura, which had windows on two walls to let the sunlight in, plus an en-suite with a fantastic waterfall shower. There was also another bathroom with shower on the same floor, as well as the master bathroom on the ground floor, plus a separate toilet – so no queues for the loo or a shower at all! The rooms had a wardrobe, bedside tables and drawers for storage. In fact the only thing you need to worry about bringing is towels!
The kitchen, though on the small side for potentially 12 people was incredibly well equipped, with a fridge freezer and another under counter fridge plus all the crockery and cutlery you could need with a dishwasher to clean it all afterwards. As long as you only had two or three people in the kitchen was big enough to prepare a feast in with a range style oven and hob. We did a Mexican buffet on Friday night and a steak dinner on Sunday, along with a great cooked breakfast on Sunday morning too!
The grounds of Croft House are really delightful, firstly there is plenty of parking available right outside, and in the garden there is a large table under the tree, with lots of sprawling branches for shade in sunnier months. There was also a large outdoor table with sturdy chairs, to seat all 12 guests! It was too cold for us to use it but in the summer it would be wonderful for al-fresco dining!
There is a little stream that runs through the grounds, with plenty of grass and lots of fauna to enjoy too. In the ‘secret garden’ over the foot bridge I found rose-hips, blackberries and so much more- along with a gorgeous view of the peaks around us. If you had kids with you they’d be entertained for hours exploring.
Croft House is nestled just outside Lamplugh, behind another property of Sally’s Cottages (in fact, you can hire them both together, with the adjoining door unlocked to create one huge house to fit up to twenty people!) and a 15 minute drive from Cockermouth. It’ll take just under an hour to drive from the M6 motorway at Penrith. The house is the ideal location to explore both the lakes and the gorgeous coast, with views across to the Isle of Man and Scotland!
We took a stroll along one side of Loweswater on the Saturday morning, I’ll never get bored of the lakes, and although I had been to Loweswater before I’d started at the opposite end, so it was a new view to me! There are a lot of lakes just a short drive from Croft House, Buttermere, Crummock Water and Ennerdale are all very close too!
There are so many beautiful sights to behold, and this time of year is just stunning, with multicoloured leaves dropping from the trees and forming a carpet of colour. We walked for a while, chatting about all sorts, stopping to take photos (and have photos of us taking photos!)
I treated myself to a cream tea at the Kirkstile Inn, a completely adorable and utterly ancient pub, complete with low beams, open fires and plenty of walkers nursing pints of local ale with dogs wrapped around their ankles!
Most people left throughout the day on Sunday, but Mel, Laura and I stayed for another night and I spent a perfect hour (or more!) soaking in this gorgeous roll top bath! With candles and face masks (thank you Mel!) a good book and some chocolate it was the perfect way to end the weekend, and to unwind before the epic drive back down the country to the South Coast!
You can see all the homes available to rent through Sally’s Cottages here, they have stunning properties dotted all over the Lake District! Although I have family close by they don’t have space for us all the stay if I were to come up with Sam and the kids, so a ‘home away from home’ would be perfect for us to explore the area more, catch up with family and spend more time in a the most beautiful part of the country!