Tottergill Farm is a cluster of award winning cottages nestled in the Cumbrian hillside.

The living room, dining and kitchen area of Oak Cottage

The living room, dining and kitchen area of Oak Cottage

Each luxury cottage is self-catering, with a wood burning stove, private garden and beautiful views of the reservoir and rolling hills of the Lake District and Scotland.

We were lucky enough to be invited over the weekend to sample one of the cottages for ourselves.

We arrived at about 8pm on Friday night, so it was dark by the time we got there.

Tottergill is easy to find with a sat nav and signposted from the main road but it’s when you get to the track leading up to the farm that things get trickier.

The signs are a little faded, so you have to be very vigilant once you leave the main road.

The first part of the track is fine- but the latter part is very bumpy due to all the potholes. If you have a 4X4 you will be fine- but just take it easy if you don’t.

The website advises you to call the mobile or house phone of the owners on arrival. I did this and as the owners were away on holiday, we were greeted by their friend Andrea who came out very promptly once she knew we had arrived.

She showed us to our cottage and ran through all the information we needed for a comfortable and safe stay.

The fire was already lit and there were fresh flowers and a huge slab of chocolate cake waiting for us, which was a lovely touch.

Oak Cottage boasts private parking to the rear and a hot tub which is the perfect way to unwind beneath the stars on a cold January night. But if you prefer stretching your legs in the water- all Tottergill guests have access to the private pool called Quarry Beck in Brampton too.

The cottage had a living room area, dining room and fully equipped kitchen in the first room and the bedroom had a super king bed, dressing table and robes hanging in the wardrobe as well as a tv and radio. The bathroom was spotless and had a generous shower and plenty of room to get ready.

The high ceilings of the converted barn had exposed beams, so it did take a while to heat up but once the fire was licking at the glass of the burner- it didn’t take long to heat the room. The exposed stone walls and old hingers left from the old barn doors gave it extra character and authenticity.

The walls were decorated in neutral colours with splashes of pattern in the curtains and cushions which all added to its country style and charm.

We were right next to the barn too, so we could replenish the logs for our wood burner with ease.

There was plenty to entertain us had we forgotten our books and notepads as the cupboard was full of books and games and the TV stand had a large selection of DVDs inside. We had our first game of draughts as a couple which was a lovely way to unwind after the long drive- but no so lovely when I lost!

Our first night was very peaceful except for the wind- being on a hillside- it does get whistly during the night!

The cottages are ideal for walkers, writers, readers and people just looking for a good rest. There are dog friendly cottages too for anyone looking to bring their furry friend.

But if you do want to go farther afield- as we did- Carlisle is only a 10-mile dive away.

The local village of Castle Carrock is mainly residential so if you need any supplies, the best place to go is Brampton.

After a day of shopping- we made our way back to the cottage and set out to the local pub which was a mere 1 mile walk down the road. The reservoir path was very boggy, so I suggest if you are going to stay at this time of year- bring your wellies and a good torch! We were very muddy by the time we reached the pub!

The Duke of Cumberland is everything you want from a pub- a friendly atmosphere, a roaring open fire, friendly staff, dogs wandering around at their leisure and of course- good grub. Although the pub was very busy- the owner kindly found us a table, so we didn’t have to walk back with empty stomachs.

To give you a snapshot of the food- for starters we had the scotch egg and tempura vegetables and for our mains we had the roasted leg of lamb and vegetable lasagne (which I can’t recommend highly enough), followed by an Eton mess to share and a couple of drinks before we braved the outside again.  

After a long lie in on the Sunday we reluctantly headed back home.

Tottergill is a very peaceful place to stay if you’re not looking to bump into many others on your holiday or weekend away. There is access to the hills just behind Oak Cottage and there is a path right around the reservoir if your idea of heaven is walking but you’re not to far away from civilisation if you want to be more sociable too.

I read the guest book during our stay and there were no complaints- just friendly suggestions on how to improve comfort. A couple of people mentioned that it would be nice to have a footstool in the cottage and I would have to agree that this would make watching TV more comfortable for guests. Other than that, I could not fault the cottage and all that it provided- which included a bottle of milk in the fridge (it’s the little things that count to make people feel welcome).

Thank you to Tracey and Barnaby for putting us up for the weekend and to Andrea for showing us the ropes!

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