out of 10
A well equipped and homely family cottage in a beautiful spot. This cottage has proven ideal for a 2 week stay in the Lakes and we're discussing when we would like to return. The amenities are excellent, with a well equipped kitchen, a bijoux dinning room for 6, recently refurbished master bedroom with excellent en-suite facilities and a large living room. The living room includes a Blu-Ray player and Sky. Sky is also available in the master bedroom. There is Wi-Fi, but presently the speeds are sufficient for web browsing only (~1.5 Mbps download), so no streaming video on demand services. We found the Internet essential for trip planning, and also for voice calls given the lack of mobile phone signal around here. There is a BT telephone in the cottage which will cover emergency calls so no need to worry about the lack of mobile phones. There's a utility room with a really modern and decent washing machine, full height freezer, and a small football looking BBQ which we enjoyed using several times in the garden to the rear. The rear looks out onto Cat Bells over a field of sheep, and we did several walks from home with the children (except one...).
Between booking and arriving, our eldest broke his leg rather spectacularly. Having decided we were still able to go on holiday, we had to phone ahead to ask about the amenities. Sylvia could not be more helpful with us checking how we could accommodate a now zimmer frame or wheel chair bound child. Being non-load bearing on one leg, our son did have to hop up the steps leading to the front door. There's a strong sturdy hand rail that enabled him to hop up the steps. Access proved easier via the back door after we moved the grating. BTW The back door is a good entrance for removing boots and racking them up in the utility room. Inside there's a single step up into the kitchen and separately into the hall leading to the bedrooms, both negotiated on a zimmer frame. Getting said child to the dinning room was made easier by being a family of 5 rather than 6, so we could shorten the table and remove two chairs from the dining room to make room for a wheel chair at the head of the table. In short, we coped with the facilities. One of our mitigations for a less mobile teenager afraid of what might happen to his leg in the outdoors was to bring the games console. The TV had a spare HDMI socket and whilst the Internet did not support Rocket League, he was kept amused by plenty of less Internet demanding games.
The really awkward moment came after a thunder and lightning storm. Imagine the worry Sylvia must have had being in receipt of messages to stay we had been struck! We were woken in the night by the loudest thunder we had ever heard. In the morning I discovered the Internet down, and on investigating a fuse (RCD) for the utility room had tripped. The Utility room was a bit of a mess with four electrical points "blown", and plastic scattered. On the outside, some rendering had been propelled off leaving a circular cavity. Inside, the telephone was no longer working, the micro filter for the broadband had been "blown" apart and the BT Internet router no longer functioned. A few light bulbs came off the worse too. Sylvia was out of town some considerable distance away. We were able to relay pictures of the damage by WhatsApp from a location near Derwent Water that had just enough 4G. Within 24 hours the essentials had been made safe or restored! That's amazing. She had a network of people she could rely on to get things put right. A concerned neighbour called to check in with us. The electrician duly called twice and fixed the problems, and a new broadband router was ordered and appeared the next day. Communications restored. I'm still impressed by the speed of recovery.
Some of the local attractions we tried include messing about on Derwent Water with kayaks and paddle boards from Derwent Marina, The Lake District Wildlife Park, Whinlatter Forest (and parkrun), Maryport Aquarium, and the Derwent Pencil Museum in Keswick was a favourite of our daughter. We enjoyed our meal at the Swinside Inn about 1.6 miles down the road. It is worth pointing out that the roads leading to Littletown are narrow with passing places. Most cars are cooperative and the routes are similar to driving the back roads in Cornwall. Croft Cottage is opposite a farm where we were able to watch the lambs being sheared just in time for day of record breaking temperatures.