It was a VERY long drive from Abergavenny to Hartsop in the Lake District – I did about half an hour of the driving before deciding I was more than a little likely to actually doze off at the wheel – so Mr B took over again – that’s what husband’s are for!
It was some gorgeous scenery along the border of Wales and England, though we could have lived without the whole motorway bit round Ellesmere port – but eventually we arrived in the absolute middle of nowhere at Hart Barn and were greeted in the most excellent style by a beautifully designed, homely and welcoming barn, complete with home-made shortbread, fresh strawberries, jersey cream, a bottle of champagne and a wedding card. There were even roses and petals on our bed!
Hart Barn’s accommodation is spread over three floors with a wonderful kitchen, with all the mod cons, on the lower floor, a large lounge complete with massive TV and log burner and a bathroom with a huge double ended bath are on the second floor and then the top floor has a king size bed and views up the valley behind the house. It’s an amazing conversion, using beautiful local materials and showcasing local artists work in every nook and cranny. With so many of these places you end up with a bit of ‘style over substance’ but everything was really, truly perfect – and not just because we had our rose-tinted honeymoon glasses on! We really felt special, like Helen had made super effort to make it extra perfect for us – though I suspect she makes just as much effort for everyone – I can tell the work of a perfectionist!
Only 10 minutes drive from Glenridding (on the southern shores of Ullswater lake) and about 15-20 minutes from Windermere/Bowness on Windermere, Hart Barn is also well located and we really enjoyed the windy, winding lanes leading from the barn to the surrounding towns/villages. There’s an amazing drive which links Hartsop to Ambleside through the most crazy, narrow roads I’ve ever been down – so glad I had a local in front of me who knew the road!
We visited some gorgeous places including Ambleside, Bowness on Windermere and Grasmere – all really beautiful places with loads of shops to browse around for art, locally made jams and chutneys, handmade chocolates, luxury toiletries and cakes – lots of cakes! Ambleside was my favourite, although the views around Grasmere were so beautiful! One of the best things we did though was take the Ullswater Steamer up and down Ullwater lake – from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge.
We also took a drive out to Cartmel for lunch at L’Enclume which was more than amazing, but more on that later…
- “The Struggle” descent from Kirkstone pass to Ambleside, The English Lake District. (cyclistsemporium.wordpress.com)
- Honeymoon in My Hometown: The Lake District, England (weddingbee.com)
- Lake Windermere (raisingharrymason.com)