Cumbrian escape at Brownber Hall
Last weekend, Oliver and I headed up to Cumbria for a weekend at Brownber Hall. The historic property is a restored Victorian house, with incredible views over the Howgill Fells, a slice of Cumbrian countryside that is sandwiched between the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.
Owners Peter and Amanda bought and lovingly restored the house after leaving behind their corporate careers in London. In pursuit of a quieter lifestyle, they now run the boutique hotel themselves, which is home to eight stylish and individually decorated bedrooms.
We arrived at Oxenholme train station on Friday evening, fairly exhausted from the three hour train ride, where Peter very kindly picked us up (a taxi from the station usually costs a hefty £45 or so). The hotel is located a half hour drive or so away, and Amanda was ready to greet us and show us to our room upon arrival: the Master Double Suite.
Our room was incredibly spacious, and located at the front of the house, with impressive views over the Cumbrian landscape. An iron-wrought bed, and plush chaise lounge are among the features that give the room a sense of character. It’s easy to see why Brownber is self-described as ‘Hackney meets the Howgills,’ and the rest of the property strikes the balance between being similarly stylish and cosy: sofas gathered around the fireplace, and a sleek honesty bar where guests can help themselves to a drink whenever they want are both features in the drawing room.
Breakfast the next morning was served in the spacious dining room. Along with a spread of cereals, fruit, toasted sourdough and homemade marmalade, Amanda serves up a range of cooked dishes: I went for the veggie full English, whilst Oliver opted for scrambled eggs and spinach on toast, both of which were delicious and washed down with multiple cups of tea.
We hadn’t planned our itinerary for the day, but Peter helpfully provided us with maps and a route towards the famous Smardalegill Old Viaduct, looping back down through the village of Ravenstonedale towards Brownber. The weather was beautifully sunny, and we set off on a long and leisurely hike. The area is very remote, and it was so refreshing to be able to switch off and enjoy one another’s company outdoors for several hours, with only a map for guidance. After passing over the viaduct, we walked down towards Ravenstonedale, where we rewarded ourselves with a cosy pub lunch at The Black Swan. We’d dined here on our last visit to Cumbria, and the food was delicious: Oliver went for a hearty portion of fish and chips, whilst I had one of their homemade sandwiches.
The afternoon was spent relaxing back at Brownber, where homemade cake is brought out at teatime. In the evenings, the dinner menu offers a selection of pizzas (all made using Peter’s homemade sourdough) with unique toppings, as well as some side salads (fennel and blood orange, anyone?) and puddings. We were really impressed with the pizzas, which could easily rival some of the best on offer in London.
After collapsing in bed that evening, we woke on Sunday morning wishing that our stay at Brownber could have been a little longer. Breakfast was another tasty affair (I opted for the waffles with berries and maple syrup this time), before it was time for Peter to give us a lift back to the station. I’d definitely recommend Brownber Hall as an idyllic countryside getaway to anyone wanting some fresh air in a part of the UK that is blissfully remote, whilst still enjoying the luxury of a stylish boutique hotel…hopefully, we’ll be back very soon.
This stay was gifted, but all opinions are my own. I do not accept and write about gifted stays unless I truly enjoy them.