Local buttercup field in June

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Bird watcher or cyclist? History buff or rambler? These are some of the reasons why we moved to an unspoilt part of Cumbria, a peaceful and relaxed spot where, from our garden, we can see the remains of Brough Castle, a Norman castle built on the site of the Roman fort, Verterae. An aerial photograph can be viewed on the Visit Cumbria website http://www.visitcumbria.com/evnp/brough/ - we are located just below St Michael's church

If you enjoy that kind of holiday, then do consider joining us at Coach House Cottage in Church Brough, Kirkby Stephen. Located on a bridleway, this one up, one down old stone built dwelling that sleeps two adults, has been converted and renovated and offers comfort and privacy. We live in the adjoining converted stables of what was part of the old rectory estate.

Availability and pricing details either call 017683 42530 or click here: http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/accommodation/p81515

The facilities are all new. We created an open plan kitchen with a fridge/freezer, electric hob/stove, microwave, toaster, dishwasher, tv, Freeview and wi-fi. There's double glazing throughout, internal insulation and central heating, plus a centralised smoke alarm system. Upstairs, reached by a staircase from the sitting area is the light, airy double bedroom with en suite shower room. Open beams above and a truly comfortable bed. There is no passing traffic nor street lights - a recipe for a good night’s sleep!

Throughout the cottage you'll find comfortable furnishings and some period country items. There is ample parking in the courtyard. The walled garden to the side of the cottage is reserved for our guests from where you can see Blencathra and Skiddaw in the distance, some 40 miles away. You may well see our resident squirrels running around the gardens and in the beech trees on the bridleway. We are hoping to attract them with a feeding station on the window wall just outside the dining room window. 

The cottage entry door is opposite the door into our house, we share the main entry door. Your privacy is assured, however - both buildings have solid, thick stone walls!

A curious stone was discovered in the rectory garden, purported to have a connection to a knight hospitaller's pilgrimages to Jerusalem. 

Worried about the weather so far north? Most winters have given very little snow, which melted within a few hours. Of course 2018 winter has dropped more snow than in the previous ten years. Yes, it rains at times - this is Britain, after all! - but when the sun comes out the light is so beautiful it can have an emotional effect. In fact, we get enough sun throughout the year to have made installing the solar panels worthwhile.

So with Coach House Cottage as your base, what can you do around here?

For walkers, the cottage is on the 100 mile Lady Anne pathway from Skipton to Penrith and The Pennine Walk. It is close to both the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast route. An extensive footpath and bridleway network right on the doorstep into Stainmore means you can explore little known, unspoilt countryside seldom meeting other walkers, unlike the Lake District. There is a copy of Vivienne Crow's book Walking in Cumbria's Eden Valley - a highly recommended read.

For cyclists, Cycle Route 71 is about two miles away and beautiful, unspoilt countryside all around makes it a pleasure to ride.

For golfers, there's a choice of two local courses - the Appleby and the Ravenstonedale course, close to The Black Swan which was voted the pub of the year 2013. A bit further afield, there are top quality courses at Penrith, Alston Moor, Barnard Castle and Hexham.

For gardeners, we encourage your input into our ongoing development of our kitchen garden, the big lawned rear garden, a small patio and small gravel garden, as well as the courtyard. We love talking about gardening especially the demands of this northern location. Throughout the summer, there are lots of local garden open days, both in small villages and big country house gardens.

For bird watchers, there is a good range of birds in the immediate vicinity and, from our garden alone, we've seen curlew, sparrow hawk, peregrine falcons, goldcrests, oystercatchers, great spotted woodpeckers, heron, house sparrows, long tailed tits, cole tits, buzzards nuthatch, treecreeper and possibly a golden eagle! Until recently there was an RSPB golden eagle hide at Riggindale, Haweswater, https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserv... just over 20 miles away.

For nature lovers, a trip to the North Pennines, an area of outstanding natural beauty just on our border, is a must. There is a field centre at Bowlees Visitor Centre and several nature reserves and wild meadows to visit in both the North Pennines and the Eden Valley. 

For explorers, there's a wonderful mix of moors, dales, scenic villages and market towns nearby without ever going near a large town.

For country lovers, we have a string of local shows and events throughout the summer, all within 20 miles, such as the Brough Agriculture Show, the Alston Sheepdog Trials, agricultural shows at Skelton, Penrith, Appleby, Ravenstonedale, Wensleydale, Crosby Ravensworth, Dufton, Moorcock and Alston, plus Harness Racing in Appleby and Horse Trials at Hutton in the Forest.

For train enthusiasts, the Settle to Carlisle railway is close by as are other restored stretches of defunct, railway routes such as Warcop and Alston should be of interest, as would be Kirkby Stephen’s railway museum and enthusiasts’ centre.

For antique hunters, there are regular auctions at Hawes and Penrith.

For history enthusiasts, there are multiple sites of interest. Castles at Carlisle, Brougham, Brough, Raby, Barnard Castle, Middleton, Shap Abbey and Pendragon, Middleham, Richard III's home is about 41 miles away. Plus Roman fort sites and, of course, Hadrian’s Wall.

Finally, for photographers and artists there is wonderful light, views, people, markets, rivers, lakes, the list goes on.

There are numerous events organised throughout the region. Whatever your interests, we'd be happy to gather relevant leaflets and information sheets before your arrival to make sure your stay gets off to a flying start!

A practical note: There are two hospitals within 35 miles away and major supermarkets within about 20 miles - Sainsburys, Tesco and ASDA deliver on-line orders. Our local market town, Kirkby Stephen, just three miles away has a small supermarket, post office, tea and antique shops, butchers, fish supper shops and more. You'll find it unspoilt and undeveloped.

Bring a torch or two. If you venture out at night you will need a torch when you walk back from the local pubs! When it's dark, it's very dark indeed!

You may find these websites useful:

Here is some recent feedback from our guests:

Steve & Alison, Stirling Very pleasant few days with weather much better than forecast. Pleasant walk from Bowles to His Force vis the magnificent Winch Bridge. Also a beautiful wander from Frank's Bridge to Wharton Hall by the Eden. Thank you.

David & Charlotte Broadstone, Dorset  We have loved staying in Coach House Cottage which has been a lovely, cost nest 'to return to' each day after we have been out exploring. It is perfect and Val and John the most friendly, lovely, hosts. Thank you.

Pete & Marie Bradford on Avon Loved the cottage, so nicely furnished. Great location and very peaceful, even with the army practising at Warcop!

John & Marlene Northants Lovely cottage in beautiful area. Thank you.

Andrew & Marion London Wonderful break and fantastic area to explore. Thank you.

August 2018 Paul & Janice, Stirling Lovely cottage, very clean and well laid out. Had a great three days touring the Lake District.

August 2018 Jon & Sarah, Lincoln 
Thanks for a lovely stay. We enjoyed the cottage.

August 2018 Heather & Paul, Cheshire Val and John made us feel very welcome and they provided us with lots of information, such as where to eat and what to do, before we arrived so that we could plan ahead for our stay. The accommodation was excellent, providing everything we needed for our 3 night stay. Lovely place to stay, we would certainly go back if we visit the area again.

July 2018 Nivi & Paul, London Thanks so much Val & John. We had a wonderful stay and will be back!

June 2018 Ray & Corinne, Scarborough We had an excellent stay in comfortable well appointed accommodation. This location is an excellent base for exploring the Lake and Dales. Thanks Val & John for your hospitality. Just like Arnold - we'll be back!

May 2018 Karel & Nell, Holland We had a wonderful stay in the Coach House in Church Brough. We certainly will recommend it to other people from Holland! Greetings from Karel and Nell. Thank you for your hospitality

October 2017 Jack & Heather Rugby, Warwickshire  Beautiful cottage with beautiful furnishings! It's nice to stay somewhere with character that isn't tediously decked out with IKEA stuff. Lovely quiet location too but close enough to all the stunning sights around. Thank you for being duo accommodating and even helping when we had to get a new tyre on the day we were driving home. We shall definitely recommend this cottage to friends and family. Thank you both!

September 2017 Kelly & Mark Ashbourne, Derbyshire Thank you Val and John for letting us stay in your lovely coach house. We have had some lovely walks in the beautiful countryside. The coach house had everything we needed, was very comfortable and peaceful. Thank you for your great hospitality. Such lovely, warm welcoming people. Thank you again.

July 2017 Monique & Paul, Holland The environment has everything we like, nature, history and culture. The cottage has this same atmosphere. At the same time it is very comfortable. Thanks for your hospitality Valerie & John

June 2017 Margaret & John, Rockingham, Perth, Western Australia     Coach House Cottage met all our expectations and more with its lovely presentation, comfort plus the peaceful and historic location. We took many drives far and wide enjoying the beautiful countryside. Plus also enjoyed quiet time in this lovely cottage. Everything has been thought of. Thank you Valerie & John

May 2017 Holly and Brian, Toorak, Melbourne Australia Thanks to Val and John for a lovely stay in your Coach House! So helpful with the Eubank graves and great inspiration to any gardener. Have fun future travellers!

September 2016 Keith and Diane, South Wales Val and John lovely people. Had a wonderful stay. Accommodation 5*, everything you could need! During our stay went to Derwent Waters, Ingleton Falls and Buttermere, also Aysgarth Falls and walk to Castle Bolton. Fab.

September 2016 Graham and Mary, Sale, Cheshire The Coach House is a great place to stay and relax after being out and about in the local and not so local countryside. We used this as a base to visited the Lakes and Yorkshire Dales and it was great to get back and chill out there. The kitchen is well appointed, the wall mounted tv easy to watch from the couch (and the chairs comfortable to read in !) and the super kingsize bed made sleeping soooo easy. We received loads of info before arrival and this was supported by more maps and leaflets in the 'house'. We were greeted by Val who showed us around when we got there and she and John are very welcoming and hospitable hosts. We wished we could have stayed longer !

September 2016 Isobel and David, Kent We had such a lovely stay here; so peaceful and relaxing. We visited High Force waterfall and Derwent Waters - such beautiful places to see. Thanks to John and Val for being such lovely hosts. We had a truly wonderful stay.

September 2016 Martin and Anna Exquisitely appointed accommodation! Warm and welcoming hosts. We will be back.

August 2016 Robe and Michelle, Isle of Man Well done to John and Val for creating a beautiful 5* accommodation. We had everything we needed for a comfortable, peaceful, relaxing rest. We used the kitchen to the full and only ate out once. We had lunch at No.15 Coffee House and Deli, Market Place, Barnard Castle. It's tiny and rustic but serves the best coffee and great food. We look forward to returning to Coach House Cottage. Many thanks.

August 2016 Dave and Jackie Sandridge, Cheshire What a lovely place, so peaceful, so relaxed. Thank you so much.

July 2016 Tiff and Arif, Ewell, Surrey We have seen some amazing sights and scenery. A lovey welcome from Val and the duck family and hedgehogs that live down the lane. Would recommend the Smardale Gill Viaduct walk and walk from Muker to Stondale and back. Stunning drive across Birkdale Common and the grouse moors to Swaledale. Excellent pub and village at Langthwaite in Arkengartendale (CB Inn).

July 2016 Helen and Jo, California and Manchester A wonderful stay in your lovely cottage. So comfortable. A great time getting together with my best friend Jo! Great walks and love the area. Thanks! 

June 2016 Jan and Steve, Lowestoft, Suffolk Val and John very helpful, friendly, giving lots of local information. Plenty of walks close by to go on or places to visit when wet. Cottage was so comfortable and relaxing. Definite 5*

June 2016 Lynne and Dennis, Liphook, Hampshire Our first visit to this area - lovely place to stay and from to explore. Many thanks.

May 2016 Josh and Jo, Durham We had a lovely restful stay. The cottage is very comfortable, well equipped and well finished. Val and John are lovely hosts and it was nice to spend some time with them. Thank you!

May 2016 Hilary, Lancashire A pleasant and enjoyable week with mostly good weather. Good to find an OS map and walking guides. The wooden birds and the tall trees on the edge of the churchyard are lovely. A very interesting selection of books.

April 2016 Mike and Jade Didcot, Oxfordshire A lovely short break. Great accommodation with the extra touches Superb location to visit lakes, Pennines or Dale! Thank you Val

March 2016 Ian and Vanora, London Great place to stay. We had a very comfortable time and felt very lucky to be here. Many thanks.

March 2016 Kim and Paul, South Shields Once again had a great weekend in a fantastic cottage x.

December/January 2016 Colin and Donna, Edinburgh Fantastic cottage, lovely and cosy. Great location for walking. Thank you.

October 2015 Robert and Wendy Chester le Street, Durham. Val and John are beautiful, friendly and down to earth people. A beautiful, well presented cottage with all the personal touches that one would expect from a 5 star accommodation. Very relaxin, wonderfully comfortable and cosy. High recommended and will come again in the future. Thank you so much xx.

October 2015 Lynne and Charlie, Sevenoaks, Kent What a fabulous cottage. Home from home and wonderful welcome too. Really have enjoyed our stay. We will return. Thank you so much. xx

September 2015 Jonny and Ellie Stamford, Lincolnshire We have had a wonderful stay in the Coach House. Beautiful weather and lovely hosts. Thank you.

August 2015 Julie and Steve Well appointed and very comfortable accommodation. A most restful retreat and greatly appreciated.

August 2015 Fran and Ben, Newcastle upon Tyne  Lovely cottage with lots of local walking opportunities. Thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Thank you.

August 2015 Helen and Peter, North Wales Gorgeous cottage - just what we both wanted! Lovely location, feel completely recharged after this break. Thank you Val and John x.

July 2015 Nicky and Chris A wonderful get away. Cottage is perfect: the bed is so comfortable and everything is luxurious. Thank you for everything.

July 2015 Jill and Ron, Newcastle upon Tyne Gorgeous cottage, beautifully appointed. Welcoming. Lovely area. Thank you.

July 2015 Jane and Howard, Staines Middlesex Wonderfully relaxing stay in this beautiful part of the country. Cottage excellent in very way and both Val and John made us feel very welcome. Thank you!

June 2015 Merle, Cheshire  Thank you so much for your hospitality. Commodation perfect. Calm and peaceful.

May 2015  Sarah and Phil, Oklahoma, USA Very peaceful and beautiful surroundings. Val and John were friendly and helpful. Cumbria has beautiful countryside. Thanks again!

May 2015 Chris and Dor, Kent Wonderful time! Outstanding cottage, thank you so much John and Val for your warm friendship, see you soon!

May 2015 Kim and Paul South Shields Our second stay this year and was as fantastic as the first. Looking forward to the next visit.

May 2015 Daniele and Philip, Thame, Oxfordshire Very relaxing stay in well-appointed cottage. Local walks, including viaduct close to Kirkby Stephen and visits to Sizergh Castle, Kendal, Penrith and Sedburgh. Ate at Inn in Brough and Swanson House, both recommended. Thanks to Val and John.

April 2015: Nicola and Mark, Glasgow  We loved our stay at the Coach House Cottage. Val and John were lovely, welcoming hosts and the accommodation was perfect. We loved the ducklings too - very sweet. Thank you very much!

April 2015: Kim & Paul, South Shields UK We had a lovely weekend in the cottage, very quiet and relaxing. It had everything you could possibly need. Val & John are very friendly, making you feel very welcome. The best cottage we have stayed in 5*.

March 2015: K&K, Kuching, Sarawak What can we say that has not already been said in favour of this lovely cottage and its owners. We had a wonderful time here. It's spotlessly clean, comfortable and the owners Val & John are so helpful without being intrusive. We actually felt like we had made two new friends by the end of our stay. The best review I could give would be to say Look no further, you've found it!!! to anyone looking for a wonderful place to stay in a lovely area with fantastic owners. 

May 2014: Dave & Sophia, London, UK We had a wonderful time at the cottage. First impression on walking in is that everything is clean, neat and looks new. I have not slept so well in years, the bed is so incredibly comfortable and large. We found the whole place very welcoming and well appointed. We both like walking and it was so great to be able to leave the front door and walk in stunning scenery without having to use the car. The pubs we went to for lunch provided really good food, people were friendly and helpful. At the end of each meal we had out I never once thought "I could do better than that at home" as so often happens on our walks at home when we try a new place. On the days we did use the car it was great to drive and find a parking place. I am so used to the overcrowded road conditions and parking wardens keen to fill their quotas of Greater London. So we had a great holiday.  

July 2014: Jeannette & Ken, London, UK Very comfortable retreat in the North Pennines. All mod cons and very attractive, stylish decor. Ideal location for people who love peace and quiet, within easy reach of wonderful walking areas. 

June 2014: Lee & Patricia, Brittany France  A quirky, comfortable holiday retreat for two. The Coach House Cottage is very well equipped and beautifully furnished. The peaceful location in a wonderful area for walking and exploring. 

May 2014: Mary & Steve, Doncaster, UK We had a fantastic time at the Coach House Cottage. The local area has plenty of things to do, walking being our favourite. We loved the fact that the cottage was so well equipped, everything we needed was provided. 

April 2014: Bethan & Thomas, Preston Enjoyed our stay very much, very tranquil and quiet. Cottage is very homely and a nice size. Thanks for everything.