Fine and Country Windermere
Fine & Country
Skelcies Cottage, Crosthwaite, Kendal, LA8 8HX
- A captivating cottage of contrasts
- Largely rebuilt Grade II Listed cottage
- Breathtaking contemporary addition
- Exceptional quality and attention to detail
- Fabulous open plan living kitchen space
- Wonderfully characterful sitting room
- Three double bedrooms, two bathrooms
- Detached one bedroom annex
- Wildlife friendly private garden, c 0.75 acres
- A true one off; prepared to be impressed!
Welcome to Skelcies Cottage, Crosthwaite, Kendal,
No design detail has been too small to warrant maximum attention in this enlightening transformation; high quality fittings and creative interior choices meld together to create a unique country home that is both cosy and welcoming on the one hand and big, open and airy on the other. Clean lines and a uniting palette of colours reflected in the surrounding countryside marry to make Skelcies Cottages an absolute winner.
Designed to give the option of single level living, there is a porch, sitting room, open plan living kitchen, rear hall, utility room and cloakroom, principal bedroom with ensuite bathroom all to be found on the ground floor. Alighting to the first floor and there are two double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Outside is an annex, a versatile addition to the cottage and perfect for a dependent relative, guests or home working. The accommodation offers a living kitchen, double bedroom and shower room.
Passionate about wildlife and nature, the owners created an informal and natural garden which blends seamlessly with the wider surroundings to give an extended rural outlook and at the same time offers immense privacy. The instantly relaxing effect is harmonious, peaceful and tranquil. The kitchen garden with potting shed and orchard is perfect if you fancy a spot of self sufficiency. There’s a large seating terrace and generous parking provision. In total, the plot measures c 0.75 acres.
When designing the property the owners were keen to maximise the green credentials of their new home and installed a ground source heat pump; this is a more renewable, eco-friendly option for home heating as the pump gathers natural heat from the ground surrounding the cottage (even when it’s as low as -20 ? outside) and uses it to provide heating and hot water at the same time helping to cutting the carbon footprint and reducing the energy bills. For those unfamiliar with this style of heating the pumps are easy to run and don’t rely on any fuel deliveries. Given these advantages, it’s not hard to understand why this technology continues to grow in popularity across the UK.
Not at all what it first seems, Skelcies Cottage delivers far more than expected.
Crosthwaite is a small village in the Lyth Valley, a hidden corner of Cumbria within the Lake District National Park. The valley is known for its damson orchards, sheltered by limestone hills it enjoys a relatively mild micro-climate. In early spring, frothy clouds of white blossom grace the undulating fields, by autumn, the trees are laden with purple fruits and the harvest begins.
Along with Crosthwaite, at the heart of the valley are the villages of Winster, Crook, Brigsteer, Underbarrow and Witherslack, all connected by a network of lanes, bridleways and footpaths. Collectively it is a sought after place to live. Easy to reach off the A590, you are soon on the country lanes, surrounded by nature; unspoilt pasture land, hedgerows, gently rolling fells, grazing sheep and cattle.
A far cry away from the hustle and bustle of the Lakeland villages of Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, Grasmere and Hawkshead; holidaymakers rarely venture this far but the hot spots are close enough to dip into for day trips should the fancy take you. Here, the valley and village are more about community and quiet country living.
Crosthwaite has a well regarded and award winning pub (The Punch Bowl), a church (St Mary’s) and a primary school with recently awarded outstanding status by OFSTED. The Argles Memorial Hall is currently used by The Exchange, children's playgroups and hosts a variety of village events. The Crosthwaite Exchange was set up in 2007 as a place for residents to buy and sell local produce and home baked goods and meet up with neighbours.
The juxtaposition of old and new is the defining aspect of this fabulous country retreat. Offering the character and charm of a fully refurbished and period cottage with sash windows, deep window cills, exposed lintels and beams as well as the contrasting airiness of a contemporary and entirely on-trend recently built open plan living kitchen. Both are equally atmospheric in their own right, each bringing something of immense merit to the table, this is a property where the total is far more than the sum of its parts. The addition of the two is a winning combination which succeeds on every level.
Externally, the quintessential Lakeland cottage has white roughcast elevations under a slated roof, the extension is largely glass and where there are elevations they are clad either in local stone or cedar, all under a fabulous living sedum roof.
Come with us…
Step through the porch, logs are stacked either side so as to be within easy reach for the multifuel stove which creates a great focal point in the charming cottage sitting room the first room upon entry. Although this is the ‘older’ part of the property it has been totally refurbished, virtually rebuilt and the crisp contemporary finish that is at play in the extension is evident here too. New oak lintels and ceiling beams are square cut, the hearth is a dark slate, there is a Havwoods engineered oak floor, sockets and switches (many are dimmers) are brushed chrome and paintwork is in harmonious shades of greys and neutrals from Farrow & Ball. These design elements flow through the property uniting the aesthetic and ensure that the different styles of the property work as one. The sitting room is warm, welcoming and cosy, perfect for hunkering down in the colder months, lighting the stove and enjoying a film on a rainy afternoon.
Go through a wide, square opening and you are walking into the light. Our instant reaction? WOW! What an absolutely fabulous space. Designed by local company Ben Cunliffe Architects Ltd the design provides not just an amazing living space, a sociable and energizing room, but it offers an extraordinary connection with the garden and wider view. To have this room as the backdrop of your life must be a very special experience. Not just a super environment for day to day family life but also the most wonderful space in which to host family and friends, whether it’s a weekend brunch, an informal kitchen supper, a special occasion dinner or a bit of a do with music and dancing, the room lends itself. Each season will bring something new – whether the rain is lashing down outside, snow is blanketing the garden or the doors are all open to the deck providing that inside outside flow that everyone craves, this room delivers. And then some! Cook, eat, relax, live. It’s all here.
Let’s talk specifics. The kitchen is a SieMatic from local company Mark Leigh Kitchens. It’s sleek, streamlined and unfussy with colours that reflect nature. Handleless slab cabinet doors are either painted taupe or have a wood grain effect finish, the anticheo granite worktop is black. Central is an island unit which has shelves along the seating side of the room, composite stone pendant shades illuminate the island and also the dining table. Joy of joys, there is a breakfast station concealed behind fold back pocket doors. Appliance wise, it’s high specification with a wide Gaggenau fridge and freezer, Gaggenau four plate induction hob with a flush centrally positioned extractor unit, two Miele ovens (one is a combination microwave) and warming drawer, Miele dishwasher and a Quooker instant hot water tap. For a seamless look, the engineered oak flooring from the sitting room continues and the windows are all fitted with remote control electric blinds as whilst the room isn’t at all overlooked, sometimes a degree of shade is needed.
Off the dining area is the rear hall, there’s a slate floor that’s not just beautiful but hardwearing and practical too befitting of a room where you’ll come straight in from the garden and so there’s plenty of room for coat and boot storage here too. Follow through to a cloakroom with wash basin and loo and a utility room with granite topped cabinets, sink unit, Samsung washing machine, Logik vented tumble drier and a handy shelved recess.
Off the sitting room is the principal bedroom suite; an inner hall is fitted with wardrobes and the bedroom has sliding doors out to a seating terrace. We can only imagine that sitting in bed with a cup of tea and watching the birds in the garden first thing in the morning must be a lovely way to start the day. The bathroom will bring a touch of luxury to your day, there is an Ashley Bentley elliptical bath, a floating Infinity slab effect square cut wash basin and a loo. Incredibly subtle night lights add to the atmospheric lighting.
Rising to the first floor and there’s a roomy landing that is flooded with natural light from a pair of Velux skylights. There are two double bedrooms on this floor and a house bathroom. The bedrooms are both at the front of the cottage and have a look that is both modern and cottagey at the same time – sash windows, deep cills, oak beams with ceilings rising to the roof apex to give them both airiness. The staircase is fitted with a carpet runner which then extends to the landing and into both bedrooms for textural warmth. The bathroom has a great view from the large Velux, not least of the exceptionally beautiful sedum roof that grows above the extension. Light and bright, there is a Bagnodesign elliptical bath, a large shower with rainfall and second hand held head, a floating Infinity slab effect square cut wash basin and a loo.
From the back door, slate stepping stones are set into the lawn and cross to the annex.
Perfect for a dependent relative, an older teen, guests or as a home office, this detached suite of rooms offer enormous flexibility.
The stepping stones reach the front door where there is a slated seating area. Step inside to the open plan living kitchen, there’s a great view of the garden, a Havwoods engineered oak floor and as the ceiling rises to the apex it has an airy feel. At one end is a fitted kitchen with pale green slab fronted cabinets emphasizing the connection with the garden, there’s an electric hob and oven, integral fridge, dishwasher and sink unit. Off the double bedroom is a walk in wardrobe/store and an attractively fitted shower room.
Skelcies Cottage revels in absolutely delightful gardens that have been designed around the cottage to create a visual and sensory haven for owners, guests and wildlife alike. Whilst physically enclosed, and so safe for children and dogs, they are visually far from it and enjoy lovely views of the wider area and offer a great degree of privacy despite having neighbouring properties.
Parking is to the side, there’s probably space for eight cars if you were having a houseful and don’t mind a little shuffling. Walking to the front door we were greeted by the wonderful nostalgic scent of small mauve flowering heritage roses (from specialist grower David Austin), together with swaying clusters of pale pink Japanese anemones, it’s a sensory treat and welcome to this lovely property.
There are various elements of the garden, starting closest to the house is a hardwearing composite deck that wraps around the living kitchen offering plenty of room and options for a variety of garden furniture. It incorporates a pond and strategically placed herb garden (right by the back door, for ease of gathering).
With their distinctive bark, eight Himalayan silver birch trees are planted around and in the deck. An elegant choice, they keep on giving throughout the year; in summer the leaves filter sunlight into the living space, in winter when the leaves are down they allow as much light as possible to flood in and at Christmas they are festooned with lights.
Set against the sounds from the passing Gilpin River (beyond the garden, along the lane), each season brings a new joy to this delightfully informal and endlessly interesting garden. Ever encouraging of wildlife it is an absolute haven.
Spring starts with a carpet of snowdrops, then daffodils, followed by bluebells. After the blue comes white with a profusion of cheerful ox-eye daisies and then red campions. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the wild flowers bloom, first those planted for spring and then for summer. In June and July the lawn is a carpet of clover, it is left to grow longer so that the flowers can be appreciated and cut just twice in this period, the cuttings enrichening the cottage’s compost.
If you are keen to continue growing your own, or curious to try then the delightful kitchen garden is a must see. Straight off the pages of a Beatrix Potter book, there are whicker gates to gain entry, seven raised beds and a living roof topped potting shed. We’re told it’s a little suntrap, sheltered too. No wonder everything seems to do so well here!
A variety of fruit trees have been planted; cooking and eating apples, pear, plum and local specialty, damson, together with a colourful selection of crab apples.
Tucked away in the corner is a wildlife pond, stone edged there are white flowering lilies; residents include newts, frogs, dragon and damselflies. Set under a rose, clematis and honeysuckle clad pergola is a bench to enable a moment of quiet as you monitor the action.
Central heating and hot water (to both the main property and the annex) is from a NIBE ground source heat pump; on the ground floor it’s all underfloor with radiators on the first floor and in the annex. The control unit is in a walk in store room off the utility room.
Mains electricity and water.
Private drainage to a tank located in the garden.
Connection is hardwired into the house.
16 Mbps download and for uploading 1 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 kitchen appliances as listed.
The drive is owned by The Nook Barn at the top of the lane, there is formal right of way and a 1/5th maintenance liability.
Use Sat Nav LA8 8HX with reference to the directions below:
Leaving the M6 at Junction 36, take the A590 towards the Lake District. Leave the dual carriageway at the first exit on the left signposted Barrow/Milnthorpe and proceed down the slip-road to the roundabout, take the first exit onto the A590. Proceed and as the road becomes a dual carriageway turn right signposted A5074 Bowness, Windermere. Passing the Gilpin Bridge Inn, turn left to stay on the A5074. Continue along the Lyth Valley road and as the A5074 bears sharply round to the left, turn right onto Totter Bank (a black and white signpost directs you to Crosthwaite, Kendal) and proceed into the village. Keep an eye out on the left for a second black and white signpost, this time for Crook, Starnthwaite and turn left here. On the single track lane turn third right, there is a name sign for The Nook. Proceed up the drive and Skelcies Cottage is first on the left, with parking immediately after the cottage.