Pele Tower - Killington Hall
Do you fancy staying in a castle within easy reach of not one but two of the UK's most visited national parks? Situated on the eastern fringes of Cumbria, close to the Howgill Fells in the Yorkshire Dales, Killington Hall is a lovely old manor house with its own 14th-century fortified extension that has been beautifully restored as a sumptuous country retreat for 2–4 people.
Pele Towers (it's pronounced like the DJ, not the footballer!) were built before the reformation to repel raiders from the border country to the north. This one was a shell until a few year ago, since when it has been restored as a high-end holiday let. It's expertly done – contemporary yet retaining the intrinsic look and feel of the property, with space for up to four adults in two bedrooms. It has an open-plan ground-floor sitting room, diner and kitchen in one, equipped with a fridge/freezer, dishwasher, hob, oven and microwave. There is a downstairs wc/utility room housing a belfast sink, wall mounted drying rack and washer/dryer, ultra-fast wifi throughout and internet-connected smart TVs. The ground floor has flagstone floors with underfloor heating, while carpeted stairs lead up to two bedrooms: All Saints, which as the master bedroom has a super-king-size bed and a freestanding bath in the fireplace and an en-suite loo; and Springs Ghyll, which is equally spacious and can be either a super-king or twin bed, with an en-suite shower room. The views from both rooms, but particularly All Saints – across the lane to Killington's church (hence the name) and the Lune Valley beyond – are gorgeous, and binoculars are helpfully provided to make them even more so.
It's a special spot, without question; owners Ann and Andy Newbold (who live next door) have done a superb job in renovating the property, sparing no expense and overlooking not a single detail, it seems. It's well located for yomping out into the hills and even taking the car to explore the countryside around – the 'book town' of Sedbergh is close by, the Dales are on your doorstep and the Lakes only half an hour away. But consult Ann and Andy and they'll advise you to stay put, at least for a while, watching the world go quietly by and perhaps settling down with a book and only the soft babble of the Hall Beck as accompaniment. Once you get here, we think you'll probably agree.
AccommodationSleeps to 4 people comfortably in two double en-suite bedrooms; also a lovely romantic bolthole for two.
PriceThree-night short breaks from £825 for 4 people, 4 nights from £1237, 5 nights from £1485, 6 nights from £1650, 7 nights £1650–£2100. Two-person occupancy about 5% cheaper in each case.
Opening TimesAvailable all year.
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