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Edwardian Era Splendour for 23+3 optional hot tub* & chef* near the Lakes

2 reviews
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Overview
9 bedrooms
4 bathrooms
23 guests
Minimum stay varies
Holiday Rental House
CLIFT HILL With majestic views over the Solway Plain, this grand building provides a captivating base from which to explore the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and Southern Scotland Clift Hill is a generously proportioned Edwardian mansion, designed for the last days of servants and built during the first years of the Great War. Long-defunct bell pushes can be found in most rooms, including some bathrooms; a reminder of a bygone era. Relive a time when enormous bath tubs and dressing for dinner were de rigeur. The house is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with children and grandchildren who’ll be delighted to see hares in the garden in the mornings and buzzards and owls in the overgrown orchard…my children say the house is perfect for hide and seek. Youngsters may enjoy darts,...CLIFT HILL With majestic views over the Solway Plain, this grand building provides a captivating base from which to explore the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and Southern Scotland Clift Hill is a generously proportioned Edwardian mansion, designed for the last days of servants and built during the first years of the Great War. Long-defunct bell pushes can be found in most rooms, including some bathrooms; a reminder of a bygone era. Relive a time when enormous bath tubs and dressing for dinner were de rigeur. The house is the perfect place to celebrate a birthday with children and grandchildren who’ll be delighted to see hares in the garden in the mornings and buzzards and owls in the overgrown orchard…my children say the house is perfect for hide and seek. Youngsters may enjoy darts, table football in the cloakroom and movies on the big screen after a bbq at the fire-pit on the terrace. Others will roll up carpets and notch up the bang & olufsen hifi to max for a dance. HOUSE & GARDENS The building was conceived in 1913 and finished in 1915, designed by the Chance family, who were wealthy merchants from Manchester. They started building the house on the small hillock opposite but changed their mind and opted for the more solid rock that permits substantial cellars. During my work on the house, I have learnt how much the Edwardians loved fresh air. There is an elaborate venting system that resembles in parts one of those pneumatic tube transport devices. Nowadays I try to keep the cold air from coming into the house but the eleven fireplaces and forty-four doors often conspire against me. However, the illusion of being outside when indoors extends beyond the air vents. In the handsome dining room, William Morris wallpaper meets wisteria creeping in at the windows, creating an impression of a real and an imagined garden intertwining. The enormous family portrait on the dining room wall was painted by John Walton in 1957. Sharp eyes will notice that he is in the picture, holding a paintbrush. The wonderful fireplace and decor make this a room that can be as formal as you wish, or the perfect size for long board games or late-night poker sessions. In the ground floor cloakroom there is a magnificent thunder box lavatory and large double sinks. Pride in plumbing is a leitmotif of this mini mansion. From the master bedroom with its interesting en-suite bathroom, there is a view on all sides over miles of wide, open landscape, with both the North Pennines and Lake District omnipresent. Today you can enjoy these views just as the original owner, Mr Chance once did. Nothing but nothing has changed! The river is approached by deeply sunken steps that are almost tunnels through the undergrowth and after a short hop past the cows you may find the eels and sea trout that my children loved. The cliffs here are particularly dramatic and totally unexpected, formed from an outcrop of very fine-grained, orange-red “Kirklinton” sandstone. Kingfishers live here and, if you are lucky, you might catch a flash of blue as you wade to the mini island at low flow. For large parties, Clift Hill swallows children – you will get just occasional sightings. An old school bell sits on the front porch for you to summon them to supper. Houses like this are familiar to anyone who has ever watched a period drama and being here, in the spacious, elegant rooms, the Edwardian period comes alive. The original teak sink for washing your crystal is still there as are so many other features. If you can work out why there are sliding locks on the outside of so many doors or why there are arches in the interconnecting bedroom, please let me know! PRACTICALITIES Clift Hill is a great landmark, sleeping up to 21 people in beds and more by special arrangement (camp beds and tents are an option). The grounds contain a stable, fruit bushes and orchard. There is a fun area adjacent to the driveway with trampoline, zip wire and often a slack wire. MORE ON THE HOUSE HISTORY From auction records it is evident that Mr Chance liked his art and no doubt appreciated Ruskin. We have returned most of the house to an appearance that he, William Morris or Burn Jones might have appreciated if alive in 1915: still lots of oak and proud metal work together with a smattering of stained glass. Many of the artworks on the walls of Clift Hill today are by family members, from portraits through to abstracts. Today, the house is slowly regaining the glowing vitality it enjoyed in the lifetime of its enigmatic original owner. It offers a unique chance to step into the world where servants were on the way out and central heating was on the way in. The original floor plan is retained and the numerous doors often make you feel as if you’re participating in a West End farce. Visitors often find themselves congregating in the large kitchen with its two sofas, and old bell system for the servants. More
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About the Owner
roland w
Languages spoken:English, French
Response Rate:100%
Response Time:Within a few hours
Listed Since:June 2017
Interaction with guests
I will tell you about my favourite tried and tested tourist sites for rain and shine.
Write a reviewReviews (2)
Reviewed 30 October 2018

We booked Clift Hill on a self catering basis for our yearly get together with old school friends and their families. From the moment we stepped into the property, we were impressed by the homely atmosphere and the lovely warm temperature. Many large houses feel...More

Date of stay: October 2018
Thank Departure66000109988
Reviewed 25 September 2018

This house is fantastic. It is beautiful and full of character. It feels like a home - because it is... We were a group of 6 families. We get together for a weekend each year - and this location was the best yet. Loads of...More

Date of stay: September 2018
Thank PHILLLLLIP
Amenities
Pets Allowed: Yes
Smoking Allowed: No
Kid Friendly: Yes
DVD Player
Suitable For Children Under 5
Refrigerator
Washer
Highchair
Housekeeping Included
Towels Provided
There Is A Golf Course Within 30 Mins Drive
Private Garden
Cycling Trips
Parking
Rural/Countryside Retreats
Linens Provided
There Are Tennis Courts Nearby
Playground
Horse Riding Nearby
Trampoline
Internet Access
Swingset
Toaster
Cooker
Grill
Fishing Nearby
Game Room
Hot Tub
Central Heating
Dryer
Dishwasher
Freezer
Cable/satellite TV
Iron
Stereo System
Hiking Trips
Microwave
Balcony
Mountain Views
Wi-Fi
Kettle
Watersports Nearby
Terrace
Patio
Fireplace
Deck
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Does this holiday rental have a dining room?YesNoUnsure
Availability
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Map
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About the neighbourhood
THE AREA For walkers, Hadrian’s Wall, a world UNESCO site, crosses 10 minutes from the house and of course, we are a short drive from the Lake District National Park and also the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. An abundance of maps is available. Nearby is the Great Border city of Carlisle, an ancient settlement with Roman discoveries still emerging. The cathedral alone is worth making the journey for, with stunning misericords and a magical ceiling depicting the heavens in midnight blue silk studded with gold stars. In the nearby countryside there are some enigmatic stone circles - including Castlerigg, dating from 3000 BC, which has bracing views of Helvellyn in the background – and Long Meg and Her Daughters.
Getting around
You will need a car. There is a bus stop 1 mile away, taking you into Scotland or Carlisle
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