Buyers in search of adventure will be hard-pressed to find another property just as off the beaten track as Skiddaw House, in the heart of Cumbria near Keswick.
And by 'near', we mean still quite a long way away. This is remote rural living to the extreme. Lydia Stangroom takes a look.
‘More and more people are turning to the hills; they find something in these wild places that can be found nowhere else,’ wrote Alfred Wainwright. ‘It may be solace for some, satisfaction for others: the joy of exercising muscles that modern ways of living have cramped.’
Well, prepare to exercise those muscles: today’s property is only accessible on foot through miles of hiking, or else with a true 4×4 vehicle.
It’s undeniably an exciting prospect. The lure of adventure and getting off the beaten track is always great, but has never been more appealing in our post-pandemic reality, when so many of us are searching for a sense of escapism and wide, open space.
If the above makes you sigh romantically rather than fret about where you’d buy milk and bread, then Skiddaw House will not disappoint, which is currently on the market via Mitchells Land Agency for offers in the region of £1.5 million.
For that price you’ll get 3.45 acres of land which include a 19th century shooting lodge that was built in 1829 by the Earl of Egremont of Cockermouth Castle, a building which is located slap-bang in the middle of nowhere — or more accurately, in the middle of Skiddaw Forest, near Skiddaw mountain, the sixth-highest mountain in England and a true landmark in the northern Lake District.
The Lakes have been written about for centuries, with Romantic poet William Wordsworth and author Beatrix Potter amongst the many said to be heavily influenced by the landscape. It was Wordsworth’s own A guide to the Lakes which is thought to have ignited tourism in the area.
Describing the area as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath found,’ it’s not hard to see why a property like Skiddaw House would be appealing.
Over the years the property — which undeniably needs some attention, as well as a healthy lick of paint — has been used as a shepherd’s dwelling, shooting cabin and gamekeeper’s lodge, and is currently run as a youth hostel.
The house provides a blank canvas for any potential new owners to really put their mark on the property, and the added element of land will no doubt add to the excitement and possibilities it brings.
Skiddaw House is currently on the market via Mitchells Land Agency for offers in the region of £1.5 million — see more pictures, or enquire with the agent for further details.
Bassenthwaite: What you need to know
Location: In Cumbria, in the Lake District National Park. The property is located approximately 5.7 miles from the village, however don’t be fooled by the seemingly short distance— for a spot of off-road driving is needed to reach it.
Atmosphere: The small village is formed of a largely agricultural community, with a single pub in the centre, several holiday homes, a church and primary school. The Lake is home to fantastic wildlife and provides excellent bird-watching opportunities.
Things to do: It seems a little obvious to say, but get out and explore the glorious surrounding landscape! The area is famed for its fantastic walking and climbing which caters to varying levels of difficulty — just remember your waterproofs! Sail and open swim on Bassenthwaite Lake (one of the largest at four miles long) or visit The Lakes Distillery to test its artisan Gin, Vodka and Whisky.
Schools: Bassenthwaite Primary School is the local primary, with secondary at Keswick School.
Catch up on the best country houses for sale this week that have come to the market via Country Life.