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Reviewed 2 August 2011

My wife has taken painting classes for years in Chicago. Her teacher was offered a one week guest instructor gig at Higham Hall. As luck would have it, her birthday was also going to fall during this week so we flew into Manchester, took a train to Penrith, took a bus to Cockermouth and were picked up in a van by the director of Higham Hall and arrived just in time for dinner. Extraordinary!

The classes came with 3 meals plus tea service throughout the day. At dinner, you could order wine or bring your own (for a fee of five pounds sterling.) I always hit the cheese board hard after dessert.

It is not necessary to sign up for a class. Rooms are also available on a B&B basis. Rooms run from 60 to 85 pounds for two people. A car would be desirable, as Higham Hall is in the middle of the country. Since we did not have a car, we walked half a mile to the nearest bus stop, bought a ticket from the bus driver (who will make change) and strolled through Cockermouth and Keswick, delightful towns in the Lake District.

At night, we would retire to Higham Hall's full service bar

Room tip: Make sure you order a room en suite. This simply means that the bathroom is in your room and not down the hall.
Date of stay: June 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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2  Thank mrandersen0501
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Higham H, Manager at Higham Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2013

Thank you for your feedback. We know we are a little bit different to your regular hotel or guest house (we are a residential college), and have been and are continually trying to take notice of the things people say about us when they stay here.
Glad you noticed the efforts the staff made to help you, we are very lucky with who we have on the team. Yes, Bassenthwaite Lake is one of the lesser-known in the Lake District but this means this particular northwest corner is never too overun with tourists. Thank you for coming all that distance to enjoy what we had to offer and we hope to see you again!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2011

I'd been here a few times with generally good experiences (especially the food!) but when I took my husband for a weekend's course we were really disappointed with the content and with the room we were allocated. However when we wrote to the Principal he didn't address any of our concerns but just told us we "were unlucky". We'd have been quite happy if he'd acknowledged the validity of what we were saying but this cavalier attitude really grated. We won't be wasting time and money on another weekend!

Room tip: Always ask for single occupancy
Date of stay: February 2011
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JaneSoames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Higham H, Manager at Higham Hall, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2013

As the new Principal of Higham I wish to apologise to this guest for the apparent lack of interest in their complaint. As you imply, lack of validation of your concern was something that could have been easily remedied. I assure you that we have learnt from our mistakes and are striving to improve standards. Thank you for taking the time to post your review.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC