REVIEW: Lawn House, Swaledale | Gorgeous Cottages
by Karen Shaw
With my mum’s 70th birthday rapidly approaching I was wrestling with a gaggle of ideas on how to celebrate this milestone, with thoughts ranging from a spa break through to a surprise party I was stuck, well and truly stuck. The prospect of spending an afternoon blowing up helium balloons and making egg and cress sandwiches while balancing on a ladder
attempting to hang Happy Birthday banners in a village hall filled me with dread, but after saying that my mum’s birthday wasn’t about what I wanted; what would she enjoy? What would make her smile?
She enjoys travelling, walking, eating and spending time with her family, although a walk in the country finished off with a jam butty and a flask of tea didn’t seem appropriate. Seventy is a time for celebration, a time to indulge and more importantly a time to relax. Nowadays, our lives are so chaotic, and family time is a precious commodity, so with this mind an escape to the country seemed ideal, and there is nowhere more beautiful than the Yorkshire Dales. So when offered the opportunity of spending it in a house set in its own private grounds along with its very own waterfall, the birthday banners and egg mayonnaise sandwiches were binned and the helium balloons left deflated. My mum was going to be Lady of the Manor…
Snugly situated on the banks of the River Swale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Lawn House is a stunning, secluded Grade II listed Georgian manor house steeped in history and grandeur. After being lovingly restored by its new owner Cherrie McCarron, it’s a house that reflects Cherrie’s persona, stylish and welcoming. On entering you are transported into a world not dis-similar to a scene from Downton Abbey. Its hallway and huge, sweeping wooden stairway draws you in and the window seat on the landing offers a perfect opportunity to enjoy the captivating views of the grounds.
Cherrie is a lady of impeccable taste and has managed to strike a perfect design balance in the house, managing to beautifully restore its heritage whilst introducing a modern ambiance with diverse art to flawless design classics. This is something dreams and film sets are made of, a rare opportunity to experience how the ‘other half ’ lives; an even rarer opportunity to spend time with your family.
Having three children, for us, a self-catering holiday generally means the car struggles to make it to our destination after being weighed down by a plethora of gadgets, games, necessities and on occasion a coffee machine, leaving no space even for the kitchen sink, but not this time, Cherrie has thought of everything. There are toiletries and jars of sweets labelled in an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ style, games and all the mod-cons. And for those of you who enjoy a good read there’s a library that Jane Austin would be proud of, everything has been carefully considered providing the perfect place to baton the hatches if the weather decides to grant you with a downpour.
However, for us, the sun shone which enabled the kids to enjoy ‘messing around on the river’ with fishing nets and a rubber dingy. After a BBQ the evening was rounded off watching the sun go down with a glass or two of fizz by the Indian Kadai fire-pit to celebrate the birthday girl’s special day.
Situated a few miles from the picture box village of Low Row which hosts one of the best Gastro Pubs in Yorkshire, The Punch Bowl and with nearby Reeth awash with a wealth of eateries set around the village green within a short travelling distance there’s plenty of choice if you don’t fancy picking up a saucepan.
A short drive away the handsome Georgian town of Richmond is the perfect destination for a varied day out, with its castle, restaurants and wealth of unique, independent shops scattered round its town square, it certainly won’t disappoint.
If like my parents, you have legs like mountain goats and like nothing more than donning hiking boots to explore the beauty that is literally on your doorstep then this place is definitely for you. Famed for its stunning and inviting countryside, Swaledale is awash with its extravagant flower meadows and ancient dry stone barns.
Thje disappointing part of our time at Lawn House was saying goodbye, and as we packed our luggage, we also packed our memories of a tremendous time away celebrating my mum’s 70th birthday, and that for my mum was the best gift of all.
This place was the perfect escape with plenty of luxuries and no distractions, a place where the hallways are alive with the sound of laughter and the air is scented with the abundance of wild garlic. A home which is yours whilst there, and after all, home is where the heart is and we left ours at Lawn House.
To book your stay at Lawn House go to www.gorgeouscottages.co.uk