We spent a fantastic week staying at the Byres on Knoppingholme farm. Right from the freshly baked chocolate cake on the dining room table, alongside the handwritten welcome note, Nigel, Rachel and both of their Mums went out of their way to make us feel at home.
Half an hour after we arrived, Nigel popped over to make sure we were settling in, quickly followed by his Mum, who provided us with a parking permit for Kielder forest car park and an invitation to visit the ruins of Tarset castle just behind her farm and just a few hundred yards from Knoppingholme.
The cottage itself is beautifully furnished throughout and provides everything you need for a relaxing break in the heart of Northumberland. It’s close to Kielder reservoir, forest and observatory and the Roman archaeological sites of Vindolanda, Housteads and Hadrian’s Wall. A trip to the coast to visit the Farne Islands and Bamburgh castle is easily doable in a day. You will likely find that a week isn’t long enough as there is so much to see in this lovely area.
Tarset cottage and the Byres provide the perfect base for exploring the beautiful Northumberland countryside.
We stopped and picked up some groceries at Hexham on the journey up. This proved to be a good strategy. The cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, so we were able to cook for ourselves on most evenings. If you don’t want to cook, the farm is just a few miles’ drive from the wonderful Pheasant Inn with its impressive menu, real ales and super friendly staff. For essentials, the nearest Co-Op, bakery and takeaways are in Bellingham.
We were blessed with beautiful weather for the entire week, which allowed us to explore the mountain biking trails at Kielder and Glentress, just across the Scottish border. Having the luxury of the slipper bath and wonderfully comfy bed in the master bedroom allowed us to ease our aching muscles and get some much-needed rest.
The way that the bedrooms are separated by the central living area makes the Byres ideal for sharing with friends, or older children, and the snug upstairs would provide a perfect TV room for teenagers while the adults relax downstairs.
The mobile phone signal is none existent, but the WiFi in the Byres was strong enough to allow us to keep up with family and friends, look up weather forecasts for the following day and even hire a good film to curl up and watch to round off the day.
The huge arched windows treat you to some spectacular sunsets over Birks Moor and also heat up the cottage on sunny days, while the picnic table on the front terrace is a lovely touch for enjoying al fresco breakfasts or sundowners.
We would highly recommend the Byres to anyone looking for a relaxing holiday, with a touch of luxury, in a convenient and beautiful location and run by the friendliest people.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautiful self catering holiday cottage situated in the Northumberland International Dark Sky Reserve. Pets and children welcome. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tarset Holiday Cottages Hexham, Northumberland, England