The Bothy At High Barn Review
If you’ve been craving wide-open spaces and fresh air this year (and haven’t we all?), I can think of no better bolthole to escape to than Canopy and Stars‘ The Bothy at High Barn. Sandwiched between the Lake District National Park and the Peak District, this thoughtfully converted cottage sits in a wide, lush valley with mountains soaring on either side – the perfect base for hiking, biking and drinking in the great outdoors.
Inside, this cosy one-up, one-down cottage is tiny but perfectly sized for two people, with big views from every window. Outside, rolling meadows and woodland lead away to distant peaks everywhere you look. And best of all, at The Bothy you’re a 20 minute walk away from the nearest dwelling, so you really feel like you have the mountains all to yourself. The cottage is part of the sprawling Edenhall Estate, but you’d never know it – this is the perfect bolthole if you want to escape the crowds and find some breathing space.
The Bothy is the very definition of snug. It’s a simple layout – downstairs there’s a sitting room and kitchen space complete with wood stove, upstairs is one huge bedroom with a claw-footed bath in pride of place. The walls are all jewel colours and bright, irreverent artwork, cheering up the beams and exposed brick walls. We stayed on a summery weekend, but it was still chilly enough for us to be glad to light the wood stove in the bedroom – is there anything cosier than tucking up in bed with a fire warming your toes after a day hiking in the mountains?
Inside may be cosy, but The Bothy is a place where you’ll be tempted to spend as much time out-of-doors as possible. In the yard you’ll find a hot outdoor shower (washing my hair with views of the clouds rolling over Blencathra was pretty special), a wood-fired hot tub to soak in and, down at the bottom of the garden, a big fire pit surrounded by tree stumps and topped with a tripod, so you can cook over an open fire. Sausages and toasted marshmallows for tea?
It’s impossible not to be tempted to climb one of the mountains you can see from the cottage – and one of the big advantages to the Bothy’s airy location is that you’re close to both the Lakes and the Peak District without having to stay in any crowded villages in order to access them. On one day we climbed Cross Fell, and on another Helvellyn’s iconic ridge – once back at the Bothy, we could look out of either side of the valley and recognise the peaks we’d conquered.