Windy Hall really is somewhere special. High on the steep side of the South Tyne Valley it offers one of the most magnificent views in England. You may just want to stay and savour the location, but Windy Hall is also ideally placed for day trips west to the Lake District National Park, east to the magnificent cathedral city of Durham or the cultural sights of Newcastle, and north to Hadrian's Wall. And when you return you can unwind in the sumptuously restored interiors of a 300 year old home.
We recently finished the renovation of the self contained west wing of our 18th century farmhouse to create a unique and luxurious hideaway, a very special place with one of the most spectacular views in the Cumbrian/Northumberland Pennines. This is a retreat for those who not only love the peace and quiet of remote fells, but can also find inspiration when the weather turns more elemental. We invite you to make yourself at home amongst original art, exposed beams and fabulous furnishings.
The unique elevated location of Windy Hall is one of its attractions. However this means it's only by a short walk up the 200m track from the public road and parking. But don't panic we'll always help with a ride up for you and your luggage in our 4WD when you arrive.
Guests can enjoy their own self contained dwelling in the West Wing with 2 upstairs Bedrooms, a Drawing Room, Kitchen, an upstairs Bathroom with bath & shower, a separate Toilet, and a downstairs Shower Room. There is a large Entrance and utility area, as well as a long Upper Landing.
We have given much thought and craft to the tasteful interiors, however we suspect that most guests will consider spectacular views over the South Tyne valley as being the real visual feast of a stay at Windy Hall. The Master Bedroom and the Drawing Room both have large floor to ceiling gothic stone mullioned windows looking west to Cross Fell and other Pennine summits.
We have named the bedrooms after the fell tops they look onto. The Master Bedroom is the "Grey Nag" and has a king size double bed and windows on three sides. The second bedroom is "Kitten Tom" and has genuine Victorian iron double bedstead (with a new mattress!). This is slightly narrower than a modern double so we advertise it as a single. All our bedding is luxurious 500 thread cotton with non-allergenic down duvets.
There is an upstairs bathroom with a free standing copper bateau bath, as well as a copper basin and walk in shower. There's a low beam over the bath so watch yourself as you stand up!
The toilet is also on the first floor.
The Drawing Room is small but cosy with stunning views. There is a writing desk and 2 exceptionally comfortable sofas finished in authentic Harris Tweed. There is no conventional TV reception but we have TV with a Roku streaming dongle for BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, etc, as well as a DVD/BluRay player and a selection of movies. Original paintings from local artists and an extensive if eclectic book collection complete the room.
The Kitchen is also compact with a small dining table. However it has all that is needed for a self catering stay such as fridge freezer, dishwasher, electric oven, microwave and an induction hob. There is also a Bluetooth speaker for use with guest smartphones as well as a Tassimo coffee maker. We'll leave you enough Tassimo pods for several cuppas per day but you may want to bring more of your own favourite brand.
Also on the ground floor is another Shower Room that will also eventually house a small sauna cabin.
The Entrance Hall provides ample space for taking off wet coats and shoes, as well as having a utility area with washing machine, tumble drier and sink.
Being an old house the stairs are narrow and steep and offer the only access to the first floor. The approach to the Front Door is via an uneven and stone path with steps. Access to the Back Door is via a partly cobbled uneven track and a high step up.
There are several exposed oak beams and trusses around the house which look wonderful but are below head height in some places so please take care!
The West Wing is self contained and has it's own garden gate and front door. A back door from the kitchen opens out onto a small wooded garden area which is for the use of guests. This area contains our log shed and chicken house so we may occasionally have to be there ourselves. There is a picnic table outside the front gable for the sole use of our guests. If we are out, guests are welcome to sit at the table on our own terrace.
We look forward to spending as much or as little time in conversation with our guest as you want. We'll always try to be available to collect guests from local public transport and can make suggestions on local attractions and walks. However if you want to be left alone to enjoy the peaceful solitude and tranquility of Windy Hall then we'll leave you in peace.
We have our own website which you may find but booking is still always through Airbnb.
Our guests have the full run of the self contained West Wing. There is a discreet and locked connecting door into our family home behind a curtain on the landing but essentially the whole of the West Wing is yours.
Windy Hall is surrounded by traditionally farmed and privately owned fields and open fells. We ask our guests to respect the livelihoods of our farming neighbours by following the Country Code and only walking on marked Public Footpaths or Open Access areas.
The fields around the house are normally occupied by sheep and occasionally cattle. Please keep all the garden gates closed at all times, and leave the gate at the top of the track how you found it whether open or closed.
Interaction with guests
We can't guarantee to be around all the time but will always give our guests contact numbers if we are out. If we are in, we'll always do our best to give local lifts to guests without cars or cycles.
Other things to note
The North Pennines can be wet, and Windy Hall often lives up to its name. So although we've made inside as warm and cozy as possible, be prepared for a range of weather outside. Windy Hall is definitely a place to bring waterproofs and wellies.
Mobile phone reception is very poor and sometimes impossible inside. But there is WiFi so we suggest you have a WiFi phone app such as TuGo if you need to be connected. Otherwise Windy Hall is a good place for a digital detox.
We provide the basics for your first breakfasts, including milk, cereal, orange juice, bread, butter & marmalade etc, as well as various teas, coffees and biscuits. If we have a surplus of eggs from our hens we'll leave those in your fridge as well. Guests are also welcome to take any eegs they find in the hen house.
Our cat may try to sneak in as he's a bit partial to the electric underfloor heating. Please feel free to put him out if he's unwanted and definitely each night.
Windy Hall is 240 metres from the public road on a steep track only passable with a 4WD. Guests are therefore asked to park on the ample space just off the public road and we are nearly always around to give you and your luggage a ride up in our 4WD.
Being away from the nearest paved road means that that shoes may get muddy, so we kindly ask that guests don't wear outdoor footwear in the house. We provide slippers.
We don't charge a cleaning fee as so far we've found all our guests have been wonderful at leaving Windy Hall as they found it. We hope future guests will continue to help in this way.
For insurance reasons we can't allow real candles but there are many realistic LED candles around the house which can still be very romantic!
The fields around Windy Hall are owned and farmed by our neighbours so it is not possible to wander freely through them. However you can walk from Windy Hall to a number of local public footpaths.
Sandra works in renewable energy across a range of consenting and planning roles. Sandra's mother is French so she is bilingual. She has qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician to help staff the Alston volunteer ambulance service. Dave is a writer, director & film cameraman who has worked in over 90 countries worldwide including on several of David Attenborough's series such as Planet Earth. He's previously worked as a social worker, artist, teacher and environmental campaigner. He holds a private pilot's licence and flies both fixed wing and microlights. Our daughter Amelie is 14 and loves dance, riding and most other contemporary teenage preoccupations, while our elder son Greg is in the Navy. We also have a border collie called Helm and a cat called Sox, both of whom are very friendly.