The sort of country B&B that most people dream about.
Hidden away in a remote corner of the Howgill Fells, in the lesser-known, Cumbrian slice of the Yorkshire Dales, Brownber Hall is the sort of country B&B that most people dream about. Set up by London refugees Peter Jaques and Amanda Walker in 2016, it's about as comfortable a country retreat as you could wish for – a thoroughly up-to-date version of a traditional guesthouse, run by a welcoming couple who are in love with this beautiful region and everything it has to offer – from the gorgeous walks on their doorstep to the stunning countryside views.
Hidden away in the Lune Valley, the Grade-II-listed Victorian mansion dates from 1860 and is designed to be the ultimate home-from-home for its guests. It retains original features galore – tiled fireplaces, wooden floors, stained glass windows, and William Morris wallpaper, which combine beautifully with the couple's artfully eclectic rugs and kilims, shabby chic sofas and other furniture rescued from local antique shops and bric-a-brac markets. Artist Peter's contemporary art collection lines the walls and would be the envy of many a gallery, but otherwise the feel is very deliberately that of the home of your luckiest countryside friend, with a homely yet contemporary feel. Bedrooms have large windows and beautiful country views yet are very cosy indeed, individually decorated with antique furnishings, more Moroccan rugs and soft throws, and inspired contemporary metal work created by a local blacksmith. Bathrooms in the master bedrooms are spacious, sleek affairs with underfloor heating and powerful rainfall showers and 100 Acres Apothecary products.
Peter and Amanda are full of advice on the best local walks, pubs and other activities but if you want to just loaf about indoors there's an honesty bar stocked with local craft beers and excellent wines; bookcases are filled to overflowing and there are plenty of board games for rainy days. There is one more thing, that makes Brownber Hall even more different from your average B&B and that's the restaurant, which serves homemade pizzas and other Italian goodies (Peter used to have a mobile pizza van in London in his previous life). Decorated in the same comfy style as the rest of the house, with mismatched furniture, more art on the walls and wild flowers on the tables, it's a welcoming place to eat dinner – and for breakfast they serve good local produce and make their own granola, sourdough bread and marmalade. Er, they also bake a cake every day for tea. Let's face it, it's unlikely that even your most talented country friend would be able to manage all that, so what are you waiting for? This is the perfect rural retreat in every sense – situated in a scenic and rather underrated part of the country, which also happens to be handy for both the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.