Finally, after long lockdowns and painful absences, family and friends may legally meet up without restriction. Big, rambling self-catering houses are back on the holiday menu.
At Wynford, amongst Lake Districts fells and sheep, families and friends can reunite – breakfasting al fresco on the terrace, at a table that seats 12, with views towards Loughrigg. Almost as soon as breakfast is done, guests can drift on to another elevated patio for coffee. There, they can continue to catch-up with the gossip, sat on rattan chairs and sofas amongst a thriving country garden: a sea of yellow lysimachia punctata, soaring asparagus and the scent of quintessential cottage-garden pink roses.
With six bedrooms and six bathrooms, Wynford is a place for families and friends to reunite. Five of the bedrooms have en-suites and the sixth has a bathroom immediately opposite. Underfloor heating is controlled by a Hive smart system. This is a house for all seasons.
Even with a full house, everyone can find a quiet corner. Upstairs, deep-pile ash grey carpets and thick pine doors create peaceful cocoons. A master bedroom with bathroom and dressing area stretches across the eves of the second floor, giving a glimpse of Lake Windermere in the distance.
A single-track road, used as much by sheep as by cars and tractors, climbing easily from busy country-town to rural retreat, rises out of Ambleside towards Wynford. Bluebells and purple campunala grow out of the mossy dry-stone wall surrounding Wynford and it’s parking spaces for 6 cars.
Yet, Wynford, with its soundtrack of complaining crows and bleating sheep is far from remote: ten minutes walk takes you to the Golden Rule pub, a few more steps to The Unicorn. Between them sits the most traditional of family butchers: FW Garside has swirls of Cumbrian sausage, local venison loins, lean lamb leg-steaks from Herdwick sheep and – possibly – the world’s best Scotch Eggs.
Wynford has a kitchen that invites cooking, featuring a range cooker with five ring gas hob, electric and gas double ovens. Add in two SMEG fridges, plus a freezer in the garage, and it could host Masterchef. Or with a Delonghi Dinamica coffee-maker that freshly grinds the beans, Wynford could be an artisan coffee-shop. Over a week or two of holiday many a cup of coffee is drunk.
You get the impression that once-upon a time Wynford’s owners had a bad self-catering experience in a minimalist kitchen where there wasn’t even a wooden spoon.
This kitchen with its innovative Joseph and Joseph utensils is high-spec, taking self-catering to another level. Shelf after shelf of glasses, complete dozen sets for beer, G&Ts, wine and even champagne. After all, everyone back together is worth celebrating.
Remember, though, that this is the Lake District where low clouds wrap themselves round the peaks and annual rainfall exceeds 55 inches. Windermere, England’s longest lake at 10.5 miles, needs constant replenishment. Outside, there is a boot-scraper and wooden store for bog-mired boots and wellies: numerous hooks in the porch for drying hooks. Bikes are can be stored safe and dry in a double garage that was a dairy in a former life.
Wynford is designed for the Great British weather. A utility room, adjoining the kitchen has a washing machine and separate tumble dryer: at the heart of the Lake District guests get muddy, sweaty and wet.
Wynford sits on the famous but demanding Fairfield Horseshoe Walk. Although it is only just over 10 miles long it takes in Wainwrights, Birketts, Nuttalls, Hewitts and even a Marilyn. Even when hill walkers have ticked that one off there are many more walks at Skelwith Bridge, Stock Ghyll Waterfall, Lougheigg Fell, The Vale of Rydal and Lake Windermere. Fortunately, up to two medium-sized dogs are welcome at the house, blankets and water bowls are provided, to enjoy those walks. A stair-gate ensures that no muddy paws sully those upstairs ash grey carpets.
The heart of the house is the zoned open-plan living area. Orla Kiely’s multi-stem design curtains bring swathes of fertile colour to a long bright and white room. It transitions from a lounge with sofas and chairs seating 12, through to a dining room with two sturdy oak tables and then to a quiet mini-lounge with a cozy wood-burner. Like the rest of the house, it is a room designed for everybody to make the most of the Lake District.
Wynford fact file
Wynford is just one of 552 properties by www.lakelovers.co.uk Check their website for availability and significant discounts on some properties over the coming months.
For more reviews of luxury UK holiday lets and short breaks visit our travel channel.Last modified: July 20, 2021