Clift Hill, Mansion For 21+4, Optional Hot Tub, Chef, Nr Lakes
Country house with 9 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms in Arthuret, England
Booking cost: £0.00
From £6,458 per week
Clift Hill - for Lake District & Hadrian's Wall. Easy motorway & train access A Landmark House for that special celebration. The experience you want for your friends and family.
First of all I recognise that planning a gathering involves lots of work, including research, and is not without stress. To that end, although you can book instantly, you might want to click on the 'contact host' button to ask questions when you've finished reading....
Welcome to my family home and principal residence which I will hand over entirely to you for your holiday or celebration. I move out and you have the whole place to yourself. It is different to most holiday lets in that you will see and benefit from the fact it is lived in. As such, you will quickly feel relaxed in your new home! - important if you are hosting an event.
With majestic views over the Solway Plain, this grand building provides a captivating base from which to explore the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and Southern Scotland
Clift Hill is a generously proportioned Edwardian mansion, designed for the last days of servants and built during the first years of the Great War. Long-defunct bell pushes can be found in most rooms, including some bathrooms; a reminder of a bygone era. Relive a time when enormous bath tubs and dressing for dinner were de rigeur.
The house is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with children and grandchildren who’ll be delighted to see hares in the garden in the mornings and startled deer in the overgrown orchard…my children say the house is perfect for hide and seek.
Younger parties may enjoy darts in the stable, table football in the cloakroom and watching movies on the big screen or the possibility of a hot tub after a barbecue at the fire-pit on the terrace.
HOUSE & GARDENS
The building was conceived in 1913 and finished in 1915, designed by the Chance family, who were wealthy merchants involved in the local textile mills (worth a visit). They started building the house on the small hillock opposite but changed their mind and opted for the more solid rock that permits substantial cellars.
During my work on the house, I have learnt how much the Edwardians loved fresh air. There is an elaborate venting system that resembles in parts one of those pneumatic tube transport devices. Nowadays I try to keep the cold air from coming into the house but the eleven fireplaces and forty-four doors often conspire against me.
However, the illusion of being outside when indoors extends beyond the air vents. In the handsome dining room, William Morris wallpaper meets wisteria creeping in at the windows, creating an impression of a real and an imagined garden intertwining.
The enormous family portrait on the dining room wall was painted by John Walton in 1957. Sharp eyes will notice that he is in the picture, holding a paintbrush. The wonderful fireplace and decor make this a room that can be as formal as you wish, or the perfect size for long board games or late-night poker sessions.
In the ground floor cloakroom there is a magnificent thunder box lavatory and large double sinks. Pride in plumbing is a leitmotif of this mini mansion.
From the master bedroom with its interesting en-suite bathroom, there is a view on all sides over miles of wide, open landscape, with both the North Pennines and Lake District omnipresent. Today you can enjoy these views just as the original owner, Mr Chance once did. Nothing but nothing has changed!
The house once had its own grounds, river, farm, greenhouse, stables and garaging for a multitude of vehicles. The river is approached by deeply sunken steps that are almost tunnels through the undergrowth and after a short hop past the cows you may find the eels and sea trout that my children loved. The cliffs here are particularly dramatic and totally unexpected, formed from an outcrop of very fine-grained, orange-red “Kirklinton” sandstone. Kingfishers live here and, if you are lucky, you might catch a flash of blue as you wade to the mini island at low flow.
For large parties, Clift Hill swallows children – you will get just occasional sightings. An old school bell sits on the front porch for you to summon them to supper.
Houses like this are familiar to anyone who has ever watched a period drama and being here, in the spacious, elegant rooms, the Edwardian period comes alive. The original teak sink for washing your crystal is still there as are so many other features. If you can work out why there are sliding locks on the outside of so many doors or why there are arches in the interconnecting bedroom, please let me know!
For walkers, Hadrian’s Wall, a world UNESCO site, crosses 10 minutes from the house and of course, we are a short drive from the Lake District National Park and also the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An abundance of maps is available.
Nearby is the Great Border city of Carlisle, an ancient settlement with Roman discoveries still emerging. The cathedral alone is worth making the journey for, with stunning misericords and a magical ceiling depicting the heavens in midnight blue silk studded with gold stars.
In the nearby countryside there are some enigmatic stone circles - including Castlerigg, dating from 3000 BC, which has bracing views of Helvellyn in the background – and Long Meg and Her Daughters, a Bronze Age stone circle near Penrith.
For rail enthusiasts, remnants of the days of railway glory are all around, with the old Waverley Line route still available for unofficial exploration just up the road at Kirkandrews-on-Esk, where incidentally is the most beautiful, quite long and scary suspension bridge (max. 5 people).
1915 context - the year of the house was also the same year the British ran out of Artillery Shells and a huge factory was built around the corner at Gretna for women manufacturing Cordite - Known as the Devil’s Porridge (see museum devilsporridge org uk)
The area is also rich in other recent and ancient history, lack of redevelopment means that there is much to see and imagine.
With maps you can cross and recross the river Lyne at all the historic fording points - we have found old cart wheels.
Clift Hill stands apart, literally and metaphorically, from the other buildings in this area – the house appears on the horizon long before you reach it. All around are the so-called “Debatable Lands” – neither Scottish nor English for many centuries, families simply picked a side. You were either with the Grahams or the Armstrongs, battling for cattle, land and loyalty.
Clift Hill is a great landmark, sleeping up to 21 people in beds and more by special arrangement (camp beds and tents are an option).
The grounds contain a stable, fruit bushes and orchard. There is a fun area adjacent to the driveway with trampoline, zip wire and often a slackwire. The views are of the unspoilt Cumbria countryside loved by Wainwright, and the Rivers Esk, Eden and Lyne are nearby.
The local linear settlement of Longtown is unrepentantly stuck in a time warp and not at all twee. You will find the basics here. The hardware shop - John Graham - has those bygone parts you need and is worth a visit.
MORE ON THE HOUSE HISTORY
From auction records at Sotheby’s it is evident that Mr Chance liked his art and no doubt appreciated Ruskin. We have returned most of the house to an appearance that he, William Morris or Burne-Jones might have appreciated if alive in 1915: still lots of oak and proud metal work together with a smattering of stained glass. Many of the artworks on the walls of Clift Hill today are by family members, from portraits through to abstracts.
Today, the house is slowly regaining the glowing vitality it enjoyed in the lifetime of its enigmatic original owner. It offers a unique chance to step into the world where servants were on the way out and central heating was on the way in.
The original floorplan is retained and the numerous doors and two staircases often make you feel as if you’re participating in a West End farce. Visitors often find themselves congregating in the large kitchen with its Aga, two sofas, and old bell system for the servants still visible. Or playing the piano and singing!
For Outlander enthusiasts, film and story sites nearby.
I recommend booking the Sunday which is normally available at a good rate ..please ask. Even if you can't all stay the night it gives you a chance for a hearty walk and lunch by the fire and still time for a quiet, if long, drive or train journey.
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Updated 20 November 2018
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Changeover days and minimum stays
- 17 October 2021 - 17 October 2022: the minimum stay is 2 nights.
Long stay discounts
- Arrive between 20 July - 7 September and receive 20% off if the booking is for 5 days or more.
- Arrive between 21 December - 2 January and receive 5% off if the booking is for 5 days or more.
If more than one discount matches your arrival date, please be aware that only one discount of the highest amount will be applied to your booking.
9 bedrooms, Sleeps 20:
- 1 king size bed
- 1 single bed
- 1 king size bed, 1 bunk bed (sleeps 2)
- 1 double bed, 1 single bed
- 1 king size bed and en suite
- 1 king size bed, 1 single bed
- 1 king size bed
- 2 single beds
- 1 double bed
There is also 1 double sofa bed in Sitting room
3 bathrooms including 1 en suite, 1 Separate WC
CD player, Computer, DVD/Blu-ray player, WiFi, Radio, TV Languages in Local
Living area seats 14, Dining area seats 20, Central heating, Open fire, Clothes drier, Hair dryer, Iron / board, Towels / linen, Washing machine, High chair, Car hire essential
Cooker, Crockery, Cutlery, Dishwasher, Fridge, Freezer, Glassware, Kettle, Microwave, Oven, Pots / pans, Toaster
Balcony or terrace, Barbecue, Outside lighting, Parking, Private garden
Children, Hen or stag groups, Infants, Single gender groups, Restricted mobility , Pets
Private Owner From Carlisle, United Kingdom Member since Nov 2018
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within 3 hours
Last logged in: 9 months ago
Number of properties: 1