Historic and idyllic with views for miles. Waitby School is a luxury self catering cottage that entices people throughout every season. On a Cumbrian hill with nothing but miles of nature and discovery around, even though it is situated within half an hour of my abode I class coming here an escape even still. The hiking area around it I often return to too, it is a remarkable location for any outdoor lover. On a hill all of its own with Smardale one way and Kirkby Stephen another. Inside amongst the history there is modern luxury as we shall see
The name Waitby School gives a nod to the building’s history, in fact it is a Grade II listed buiding. In 1680 it was built to be Waitby and Smardale School and it remained a school until the 1920s and after a use in the 20th Century as the Smardale Village Hall it was bought in the 70s and recently renovated to the high quality of today. I found that enormous care had been taken to keep the building and architecture in keeping with the original school and the protected status, and by using local materials from local traditional suppliers whenever possible. To make something so comfortable, so luxurious with the old school in mind really makes you think of the years of hard work and thought. From slate tops to kitchen to stone and wood floors, every inch seems to have been thought out meticulously.
If it rains (it does sometimes in Cumbria) or you want a lazy day with the family or as a couple in front of the big lovely ‘original’ hearth and wood stove, then a lot is catered for you. Oh and underfloor heating if that wasn’t enough. I found hundreds of DVDs and books of all genres to keep you or the little ones entertained. comfy leather seating, beanbags and sheepskin rug.. lovely I tell ya
One thing I adored was how they have kept the vestibule as the school had it Complete with coat pegs and original basin… plus a little old desk. Loads of room for the muddy boots too.
The luxury continues to the bedrooms, incidentally it accommodates couples to families or groups of 7. Silk adorns the windows, mattresses you want at home immediately and if you don’t fancy lazing in bed why not laze in the whirlpool bath. The views from the bedroom will remind you as you awake that you are far away from it all, without care for busy life.
For adventure and more escapism, in the Cumbrian fresh air, all you need to do is step outside the front door! Any direction will take you on a breathtaking walk. Smardale with the great glorious viaduct one way for instance. You can see the other way over to the Howgills and around to a panoramic towards the Lake District. It is no surprise that the Coast to Coast walk passes nearby. Little lanes off in many directions appeal to many a cyclist holidayer each year. Wildlife loves the area too, I have seen many a Red Squirrels in these parts amongst a whole plethora of birds and mammals.
Whenever you want to head to Cumbria, be it for walking, fresh air, scenes, historical trips or even winter reclusing. I recommend this as a tip top tip! There is a link up in the first paragraph if you would like to learn more.