Since becoming Fornside’s most recent custodians, we have lovingly and eco-consciously refurbished its holiday cottages to provide a haven and possibly a base from which to explore. Our dream is to enable our guests to feel refreshed and rejuvenated by reconnecting with nature, and perhaps having enjoyed being adventurous during their stay. Guests love the distinctive nature of the farm and cottages, in particular that we are independent (and on hand with helpful friendliness if desired).
All four self-catering holiday homes are “Four Star Gold” standard and retain original barn features as well as picture-postcard views. They are well-equipped, warm, and set up to help you unwind, with eco-friendly ground-source underfloor heating, partially powered by our solar panels, as well as many other environmentally-conscious touches. Depending on which window you open, you’ll see the dramatic waterfalls on the steep sides of the high fells leading up towards Calfhow Pike and Great Dodd, the lumpy bumpy intake fields which are great fun for exploring, rock-hopping and stream-jumping, the meadow fields which might contain lambs or calves depending on the time of year, our vegetable and fruit gardens, cutting-flower beds, or the craggy slopes of High Rigg fell.
We are on hand to offer advice on walks, activities and places to eat, or you may simply want to enjoy a relaxing holiday here at the farm. Fornside’s farmhouse and cottages are set back a couple of hundred metres from the road, with direct private access to the fells. We have 60 acres of beautiful countryside, and a private farm trail should you wish to explore it, with spectacular views. The fields surrounding the farm are home to livestock; sheep, free range hens, ducks and geese plus the recent addition of pigs and bees. Our hens are free-range and we can usually provide you with the freshest eggs possible, laid by hens with probably the best views in the country. We usually have our own honey and pork available for guests to savour.
- Peace and Quiet. The setting is truly idyllic; a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The farmhouse and cottages are surrounded by fields and fells (which our guests are welcome to explore). Listen to the sounds of nature; woodpeckers, Spring lambs bleating, hens clucking as they lay eggs, trees rustling in the wind and streams tumbling over rocks. Look closely at the beauty of the range of wildflowers nestling between rocks and amongst the grasses. You might even spot a red squirrel!
- Excellent and convenient location: despite being just 20 minutes from the M6, we are nestled deeply into the fells of Cumbria. Our location is within very handy reach of Keswick, Grasmere, Ambleside and all the other attractions of the English Lake District National Park. For the hill-walkers, Wainwright-baggers and fell-runners amongst you, St. John’s-in-the-Vale divides the Eastern, Central and Northern Fells and is tucked right underneath the Helvellyn range (we even named our dog after it).
- You’ll have the Great Outdoors on your doorstep: The mountains directly behind the farm and the valley with all its animals and meandering river in front will keep you captivated for hours, truly beautiful. You can start exploring the hills from your doorstep; start by taking Wainwright’s route from Fornside to Great Dodd. There are many trails to be enjoyed directly from the farm. A short drive will take you to Whinlatter Forest, where adrenaline junkies of all ages can test their mountain biking skills, hunt Gruffalos, or even if they are lucky spot an Osprey. If you fancy messing about on the water, the nearby shores of Derwentwater offer kayaking, paddleboarding and all sorts of other wild wet fun! Check out our adventure page if you’d like recommendations for activities guides, especially if you are trying something for the first time.
- We have created a private farm trail to help you enjoy our woods, fields, streams, wildlife and fantastic views … not to mention plenty of picnic opportunities! We will leave a hand-drawn map of the trail and the farm in your cottage for your arrival.
- All of the cottages offer spectacular views; simply look out of any window and you get a picture-postcard view. Each cottage has its own outdoor eating area and BBQ offering views across the vale or up the fell, and there are more picnic tables further from the cottage, should a sun-downer somewhere different take your fancy during your stay.
- Warm and friendly hosts, Joanna & Matt Butler, will be on hand to offer advice on activities and places to eat, should you wish. Equally, having welcomed you to your cottage, you can enjoy your break undisturbed if that is your preference.
- Ample parking right outside the holiday cottages. A PodPoint electric car charging point for our cottage guests who are already embracing the electric vehicle future. And not forgetting the locked barn, set aside specifically to store guests’ bicycles.
- Fresh farm free range eggs: The ducks, geese and hens all lay delicious eggs and you will be given a box of fresh eggs as part of your welcome. More fresh eggs are usually available to buy.
- Farm life. Visitors are welcome to meet our animals and roam the whole farm. We keep a supply of hen treats, if you want to encourage them to come up close to you!
- Possibly most importantly, our cottages are simply great! You will have your own wood-burning stove (and plenty of wood), and every cottage has been beautifully decorated and equipped with eco-friendly ground-source underfloor heating. The cottages are all spotlessly clean and well equipped.