Beacon Hill Farm is an eco-friendly retreat that possibly boasts some of the best views in Northumberland. A part of the Premier Cottages collection, it not only hosts a delightful array of cottage holiday homes, but a spa, semi-ancient woodland and its very own lake.
We embarked on our journey to Beacon Hill Farm late in the afternoon, arriving in darkness to a more than welcomed roaring fire and complimentary bottle of wine. Oak Cottage is full of charm, with a true English Country feel. With two bedrooms; a twin and double with an en suite, there is ample room for a family of four to reside here for the week. Based on one level, families don’t need to worry about stair gates and Isabella enjoyed running through the spacious hallway to the living room or bedrooms. The decor is delightful with the log burning stove and duck print curtains in the living room.
Once our toddler was tucked up in bed (travel cot provided free of charge), we cooked up our dinner in one of the most well equipped self catering kitchens we have ever stayed at – owner Alun hasn’t missed a utensil you would expect to have at home – a fine attention to detail. Once relaxed with wine in hand, we opened up the patio doors to enjoy the sight of a star filled sky, reminding us that we really are out in rural Northumberland, blessed with truly dark skies.
Just after sunrise on a crisp Saturday, we wrapped up in our winter wollens for a short walk to Beacon Hill’s very own spa. Luckily for us, it opens bright and breezy at 7am. The spa is open to guests as well as to individual day guests who have booked pamper days or treatments. As we were bright and early, we were the only family in the pool. The views from the spa span across the Beacon Hill estate, adding to the relaxing feel of the break. The spa is equipped with not only a pool, but sauna and steam room, hot tub as well as a relaxation area with beautiful south-facing views. I was treated to a session of reflexology during my stay, which was a first for me. I was warmly welcomed for my treatment, and given the background to reflexology. I lay back for a little short of an hour, having what I would describe as a very relaxing foot massage. Afterwards I felt refreshed and revived and would recommend the treatment to anyone who hasn’t experienced it before!
Beacon Hill Farm holds ‘gold’ status from Green Tourism, and owner Alun Moore and son Christopher have been making a number of sustainable changes to Beacon Hill over the last few years to contribute to this. The introduction of Biomass now heats all of 15 of the cottages as well as the spa, games room and the Farmhouse. Nestled in a field out of sight from the road and from the views from your cottage, are 130 solar photovoltaic panels, another source of renewable energy. What we particularly loved was the homemade adventure playground that’s even undercover for those rainy days. Built using an array of natural wood, Isabella had a great time climbing and sliding. It’s attached to a games room which is yet another means of entertainment for children of all ages. Of course, what is best about Beacon Hill is the vast amount of woodland that can be explored during your stay. There’s an adventure around every corner for guests young and old; just grab your welllies and start to explore.
Should you want to take yourself away from your cottage, you are very well positioned for an array of day trips across stunning Northumberland. A short drive away is the market town of Morpeth where all of your needs will be met, from a wonderful cheese shop to independent cafes (Cafe des Amis is a firm favourite of ours with delightful homemade cakes!), as well as big name brands such as M&S and White Stuff. If you’re looking for the coast, another short drive away you are blessed with near on deserted beaches that stretch for miles. We recommend a visit to Cresswell beach and the Drift Cafe. If it’s countryside you’re after then head North to Ingrim Valley for some beautiful scenery, but don’t forget that from Beacon Hill Farm there are many delightful walks straight from your cottage. Also don’t forget to read Alun’s guide when you arrive – it’s not only an entertaining read, it has a number of recommendations for restaurants and other essentials during your stay. In advance of your stay, take a look at Food Heaven which supports local producers in the area. This is something that really stands out during our stay; Alun and his family heavily support local producers and businesses and we were lucky enough to bump into the owner of the Chain Bridge Honey Farm who was delivering their supply of honey that awaits each guest in their cottage; it’s delicious – be sure to buy some to take home with you.
Our stay at Beacon Hill Farm was delightful and we hope to be back soon to experience the luxury Shepherd’s Huts that are currently being built using the finest natural materials.
Premier Cottages’ collection features almost 1,000 four and five-star self-catering cottages across the UK. Properties range from small, romantic boltholes to large family-friendly country estates. The collection includes pet-friendly accommodation. It also offers the widest range of accessible properties in the UK and many properties have onsite facilities like swimming pools, gyms, spas, indoor games rooms and children’s play areas.
A week’s stay in Oak Cottage at Beacon Hill Farm for up to four people starts from £525 and a short break starts from £395. To book, go to www.premiercottages.co.uk
Laura heads up our editorial team here at Hello Eco Living. She's the youngest member of her WI, loves the great outdoors and new adventures!