Fine and Country Windermere
Fine & Country
Howe Top, White Moss, Grasmere, Ambleside, The Lake District, LA22 9SF
- Lakeland farmhouse
- Grade II listed
- 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms and 3 reception rooms
- Elevated position overlooking the picturesque vale of Grasmere
- Characterful features with exposed ceiling beams
- Open plan kitchen/living area
- Full of Lakeland character
- Underfloor heating
- Low maintenance garden
- Gated driveway
Welcome to Howe Top, White Moss, Grasmere, LA22 9S
Believed to date back to the 1600s this old and charismatic farmhouse has benefited from a renovation that focused on retaining the unique integrity of the historic property whilst creating modern and sociable living spaces with quality appointments. The impressive result brings a successful and tasteful collaboration of old and new with a relaxed and welcoming feel. With an open plan kitchen living area, converted barn housing a stunning sitting room and between them a flexible
space suitable as either a separate dining room, snug or home office. A utility room and cloakroom complete the ground floor picture. To the first floor are three double bedrooms (one being ensuite) and a family bathroom.
The gardens and grounds offer space to park easily (there’s also a car port), store garden furniture and kit for outdoor pursuits in the generous outhouse and sit and admire the views with three flagged seating terraces, carefully positioned to allow you to sit and revel in the views. The garden is the perfect size, enough to enjoy without it being a liability to look after and with a stunning backdrop of Lakeland fells all around.
The farmhouse will suit a family or couple looking for a well-earned holiday retreat away from the stresses and strains of everyday life or those seeking their forever home in the unrivalled Lake District.
"We get to enjoy the wildlife first-hand here; deer visit and there are so many garden birds. We can watch the sheep in the adjoining field which is lovely at lambing time. Whilst we haven’t had any in the garden, there are red squirrels nearby which we’ve spotted when we’ve been out walking."
"There’s a great view from every window. It’s an incredibly peaceful and tranquil place to live, very therapeutic and restorative after a busy day. We used to live in Grasmere and know how busy it can be, but up here, it’s a different story. We get walkers on the lane but it’s all very relaxed, very quiet."
Howe Top is beautifully located in an enviable and gently elevated setting above the village of Grasmere fronting what is locally known as the ‘Wishing Gate Road’. It’s possible to walk down into Grasmere from here and embrace the buzz of village life
and then return home to the stillness of the fell views, unchanged over centuries. It feels like a world away.
Grasmere is at the very heart of the Lake District, offering great access to the fells, lakes, tarns and villages and has much to offer the Lakeland resident and visitor alike with a collection of independent shops to browse and a great choice of places for refreshments from quick bites to fine dining. There’s also the famous Grasmere Gingerbread, just the waft of this freshly baked delicacy as you pass by the historic shop is enough to tempt you to join the end of the queue.
The Lake District National Park is a truly beautiful and inspirational corner of north west England, it was established in 1951 and covers an area of 912 square miles, furthermore, to reinforce its importance in 2017 it was designated a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. The area is famous for its lakes, mountains, forests and literary associations with former residents, William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin to name but a few. So whether you’re seeking out the Lakes for rest and
relaxation, for quiet contemplation and inspiration or for exertion and exhilaration there is something in Grasmere and in the wider park for everyone. Striding out on the fells, cycling the lanes, wild swimming or simply pottering around the shops, for generations that have been, for generations that currently are and no doubt for generations to come, the Lake District has a certain magic that they can’t find anywhere else.
Historic England’s schedule of Listed Buildings describes the property as “C17. White-washed stone rubble, slate roof, two storeys. Gabled porch off- centre, with open front and inner slate benches. Two irregularly spaced casement windows on each floor in old openings with slate sills, and dripstone over ground floor. Low rear wing of home extends into barn.”
The farmhouse doesn’t disappoint in delivering full on Lakeland character, both original and sympathetically added along the way to bring modern comforts without any compromise on authentic architectural details. Unusual for many rural properties, there is the convenience and comfort of all mains services along with central heating which is underfloor on the ground floor. There is plentiful use of exposed old oak in the ceiling beams, roof trusses and purlins as well as lintels over windows. The lighter tones of modern oak sit harmoniously alongside and can be seen in the main reception room and staircase balustrade amongst other places. Woodwork and internal windows and doors are painted a classic crisp white with brass doorknobs. For added convenience there are lighting points throughout. Windows are wooden double glazed and have attractive black wrought iron ‘monkey tail’ handles and stays.
There are two entrances, the first is central to the double fronted elevation and is through a traditional slated porch straight into the living kitchen, it’s probably the entrance any visitors arriving on foot will take (the porch benches either side being the ideal perch as muddy boots are taken off), whereas for every day family use there is a second side entrance; slated for shelter and offering space for storing logs, the door opens into a combined utility and boot room. Both outer doors are reassuringly substantial and heavy weight. The utility and boot room is an immensely useful space and has a practical stone flagged floor, just the thing if you’re returning home after a wet walk, well, this IS the Lake District after all! Attractive fitted cabinets with wood block worktops offers super storage space including a wine rack. A door opens to a small room housing the boiler with plumbing for a washing machine and space for a condenser drier. The flagged floor continues into the cloakroom with a twopiece suite. Next on our tour is a versatile room central to the layout, over the years it’s been a formal dining room, a snug and is presently seeing life as an office. Cocoon like, this is a cosy and charismatic room with a stone flagged floor, ceiling beams and an open fireplace.
The heart of any home, the open plan dining kitchen and living area has been created from two rooms, this sizeable space is full of charm with exposed ceilings beams, oak lintels and deep window sills. Balancing the period features, the room is well equipped for modern requirements with fitted units having timeless cream panel fronted doors, chrome cup handles and granite worktops and handles. An island unit creates a natural division and as it extends into a breakfast bar with room for four stools it provides a lovely setting for pre-dinner drinks and nibbles as the cook of the household chats and stirs or for an informal bite to eat. Set into a mantlepiece type surround is a Miele induction hob and CDA double oven. There’s a NEFF fridge, Miele dishwasher and a traditional pot sink. The room has ample space for both dining furniture and soft seats set around the cosy wood burning stove, as well as access to a useful understairs storage cupboard with an oak tongue and bead door. Cook, eat, sit and relax, this living kitchen is a great family room and an inviting and sociable space.
Since Historic England’s schedule was written, the farmhouse’s accommodation has been extended into the attached barn to create an impressive single additional sitting room – and what a room it is! Double height with exposed roof trusses, triple aspect (including two sets of bi-folding doors), fabulous Lakeland views including over towards the famous ‘Lion and the lamb’, a substantial stone fireplace housing a wood burning stove and an engineered oak floor. There’s a real wow factor as you enter this incredibly atmospheric room – whether it’s just the two of you for a cosy night in, you’ve got the family round or perhaps a houseful for a bigger gathering, this room packs a mighty punch. A room for all seasons, whether it’s in the warmer months with both sets of bi-folds open to the garden or with the fire lit in winter, it is an absolute cracker. We can only imagine how wonderful it must look adorned with festive lights and decorations at Christmas.
Onwards with our tour and the staircase with oak balustrade and carpet runner leads up from the dining room to the first floor, even the landing delivers in the character stakes with exposed old oak trusses on display. Lighting here has been fitted on a sensor so there’s no need to fumble for a light switch in the middle of the night or as you make your way back to bed with a loaded breakfast tray.
There are three double bedrooms, along with an ensuite shower room and family bathroom. The principal bedroom has fitted wardrobes and a dressing table. There’s the added luxury of an ensuite shower room; the large shower unit has both rainfall and handheld heads along with a heritage style wash basin and loo. The second double bedroom has wardrobes and open shelving built in to either side of the chimney breast. The third bedroom is more modest in size but comfortably accommodate a double bed with an airing cupboard offering shelved storage. The house bathroom is fitted with a bath with rainfall shower over, wash basin and loo. Both bath and shower rooms have heritage style sanitaryware, chrome dual heated towel rails and illuminated mirrors. Each bedroom and the bathroom offer a unique fell views and as one would hope in the house of this age, plenty of characterful features with exposed ceiling beams.
"The kitchen and front bedrooms get the morning sun, lovely when we’re sat around the island having breakfast or with a pot of coffee at the weekends. The sun then moves round the house to the south facing terrace off the main sitting room, flooding the room with natural light. The terrace on the lawn gets sun virtually all day. We can sit here well into a summer’s evening to enjoy the last slithers of sunshine, the sunsets are absolutely stunning; it’s the perfect spot for a glass of wine after a long day, there’s nowhere better."
The gardens surrounding the main house have been designed to be relatively low maintenance, so it is perfect for those looking for a lock up and leave or when you’d rather be relaxing or out and about rather than weeding and pruning. However, if
you do enjoy gardening then think of it as a blank canvas, there is plenty of scope for introducing planted beds and borders. The garden offers plenty of vantage points to arrange outdoor furniture to make the most of the beautiful views of the surrounding fells and lake, indeed, the majesty of the fells will become the backdrop to your everyday life living here at How Top Farm.
Facing almost due north and due south, there are a pair of flagged terraces on opposite elevations of the large sitting room, accessed from two sets of bi-folding doors both of which are partially sheltered by open porches, just the thing for opening right up in the warmer months and creating not just a sociable flow of space but bringing the outside in to enable full appreciation of the setting whether you are outside or in the comfort of your sitting room. The third seating area is away from the house and out in the front garden. Set in the lawn, it offers a fabulous 360-degree Lakeland vista. The various terraces are just the right size for tables and chairs, perfect for barbecuing, eating outside, or just enjoying a drink and a spot of R&R. Whether it’s morning coffee, an afternoon pot of tea or a glass of something chilled as you admire the sunsets, these terraces really hit the mark.
The driveway is gated and laid with chippings; it extends around the westerly elevation of the house to the carport positioned at the south.
In the adjacent converted barn there is a garden store for the farmhouse as well as a car port. The store has double doors and is the full height of the barn bringing scope for a first floor to be added to increase usable space (please note that there is pedestrian access only to the store). Open on two sides the car port is adjoining and also forms part of the neighbouring barn.
"We can park three or four cars on the drive without blocking any of the views which is great when the family is staying, or friends are visiting."
On the road
Ambleside - 3.5 miles
Windermere - 8 miles
Keswick - 13.5 miles
M6 J36 - 23 miles
Oxenholme (railway station) - 20 miles
Kendal - 16.5 miles
Manchester - 90 miles
Manchester airport - 96.5 miles
The above journey distances are for approximate guidance only and have been sourced from the fastest route on the AA website from the property postcode.
Ambleside CoE Primary School
Windermere School (Independent)
The Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge (11 – 18 years)
Windermere School (Independent)
University of Cumbria (Ambleside, Carlisle and Lancaster campuses)
Lancaster - 13 minutes
Manchester (Piccadilly) - 1 hour 14 minutes
London (Euston) - 2 hours 47 minutes
Edinburgh - 2 hours 4 minutes
There is also a mainline station at Penrith (25 miles distant) and branch line connecting station at Windermere.
Based on approximate direct train journey times from Oxenholme train station on the main West Coast line. Train service durations vary, please check nationalrail.co.uk for further details.
Things to do in the area
Local leisure activities
Soak up the history at Dove Cottage and Wordsworth Museum as well as at the many other National Trust properties locally
Wild swimming and paddle boarding in the lakes and tarns
Boat hire at Faeryland, Grasmere as well as sailing and boating on Lake Windermere with yacht and motor boat clubs
Theatre at Keswick (Theatre by the Lake), Bowness on Windermere (The Old Laundry) and Kendal (The Brewery)
Zeffirellis and Fellinis cinemas at Ambleside
Golf courses at Windermere, Keswick and Kendal
Places to eat
A food lovers paradise, we were spoilt for choice and if you’re already local or a frequent visitor then you will no doubt already have your own favourites, but here is a local selection that get our vote:
Informal dining, cafes and pubs
The Yan Bistro at Broadrayne
The Jumble Room
Fine dining restaurants
Forest Side Hotel (Grasmere)
The Old Stamp House Restaurant (Ambleside)
Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, Linthwaite House, The Samling (all in Windermere)
Great walks nearby
This is the very heart of great walking country, so whether you like to tootle, stride out or hike there’s a path just for you. For a starter there are 214 Wainwrights fells to conquer as well as lots of lovely routes right from the door including Silver Howe, Helm Crag (there’s a great view from the house and seating terrace to inspire you, it’s often referred to as ‘The Lion and the Lamb' due to the distinctive shape of its summit) or over to Elterwater.
Mains electricity, gas, water and drainage. Gas fired central heating and hot water from a Vaillant boiler. Underfloor heating throughout the ground floor. Security alarm.
Superfast speed of 26 Mbps download and for uploading 3 Mbps.
Local Authority charges
Westmorland and Furness Council – Council Tax band F
Included in the sale
Fitted carpets, curtains, curtain poles, blinds, light fittings and integral kitchen appliances as described. Samsung fridge freezer and many items of furniture would be additionally available by way of further negotiation.
There is no occupancy condition on the farmhouse. The two adjacent barns are being converted and are subject to local occupancy conditions so will be permanent homes.
Use Sat Nav LA22 9SF with reference to the directions below:
Heading from Ambleside on the A591, drive past Rydal Water on your left and after the National Trust car parks turn right onto White Moss. Continue for approximately ¾ mile and How Top Farm is on the left. Alternatively, approaching from Grasmere, cross over the small roundabout at the head of Stock Lane continuing past Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Trust properties. Continue up the lane and How Top Farm is a further ½ mile on the right.