A quaint and charming exterior and a thoroughly modern interior make James Court Cottage an attractive Lake District getaway for four.
A bio-fuel pellet wood burning stove and flat screen TV with Freeview and DVD highlight the bright and open living area. The ground floor features oak flooring throughout, and the cottage’s two bedrooms include a king-size double and a twin. The kitchen is equipped with an electric cooker, microwave, and fridge/freezer.
Outdoors, a patio offers an opportunity to enjoy morning coffee or an evening cocktail. The surrounding area is wooded and features many paths for walking or cycling. A welcoming local pub, featuring excellent food, is less than a mile away, and fine dining is available at Irton Hall Estate.
The cottage’s location the Lake District makes it easy to enjoy many wonderful attractions. Wastwater, the deepest lake in England, is only a few miles away. The historic Muncaster Castle ground, featuring the Hawk and Owl Centre and gorgeous Himalayan Gardens, is in nearby Eskdale, along with a golf course and numerous arts and crafts shops. The beaches of West Cumbria are also within easy reach.
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James Court Cottage
comfy cottage in stunning location
This is a small (but more than spacious enough for a family of four) cottage which has been very recently renovated to a high standard. The owner was very friendy and left a much appreciated "welcome pack" of wine, milk and chocolates. There are several cottages all in the grounds of Irton Hall, a country house now small hotel. There isn't a private garden with the cottage but all can use the extensive attractive grounds which was great for children; we also appreciated the outdoor games (swingball, tennis rackets etc) left for our use. The hotel runs a very friendly bar in the evening and we spent some lovely sunny evenings on the benches outside (us with local beers, the children happy with frui-shoots and crisps). The local lake "Wast Water" is stunning, completely undeveloped and beautiful in a bleak way. There are plenty of walks to do around here, which even our 6 year old managed. Further afield (a good hours drive from this far point of the lakes, be warned) we loved Keswick, a really pretty town and a great place to spend a wet day. The kids loved the Pencil Museum there, which had a great drawing room conveniently next to the cafe so the children could sit and doodle while we relaxed with a coffee. Be warned the nearest decent sized supermarket is a good 30-40 minutes away so it may pay to shop on the way or order in from the local Tesco. A bargain of a holiday though, great for families or those wanting some peace and quiet and extensive walking!
Nice stay in tranquil surroundings
Lovely estate, very tranquil. Purposely stayed somewhere that had a bar, sadly it had no atmosphere and was just too quiet. The property was nice but a new 3 piece suite is required as after a fun packed day it would have been nice to have relaxed on a comfortable sofa instead of a rock hard one.
James Court Cottage, Irton Hall
Lovely property well presented, warm and cosy. The settee is a bit low for older people so any easy chairs would be ideal. Irton Hall has a bar and restaurant and if we'd known that would not have taken so much food and drink. Nice walk to Santon Bridge over the fields. The grounds are peaceful and walking brilliant
Only problem with the entry system, the key number had been changed so the agent had to come out.
Good location, but consider these comments first
Irton Hall stands in very pleasant surroundings, with hotel accommodation and self-catering cottages available on site. Some of these cottages are owned and managed by the Hall, whilst others are privately owned and just managed by the hotel.
James Court cottage falls into the latter category, which may be why items such as the child safety gate and clothes airer were unusable because they had fixings missing, or were simply broken.
Whilst we did report these, with the owner being abroad, there was no way to have either fixed or replaced in time for us to make use of them. Consequently, we spent the week with the risk that our two-year-old could injure themselves on the stairs. Had we known that the stair gate wasn't available as advertised, then we would have had the option to take our own.
The water boiler is strangely located in the loft and comes on between 11pm and 2am, the noise of which will keep lighter sleepers awake. There is no way for renters to alter the settings, so be advised you are stuck with it!
In the bedrooms, there is no chest of drawers or dressing table so flat surfaces are virtually nil and storage space is limited to the built-in wardrobes. Whilst another item of furniture might not fit into the smaller bedroom, there is more than enough space for one in the master bedroom.
Although James Court cottage is clean, the decor is quite sterile, and the absence of a couple of additional pieces of practical furniture doesn't help. Larger blinds or curtains which more thoroughly overlap the whole window frame would ensure you are not awoken by the blinding rays of light in the morning too!
The "welcome tray" consisted of a cheap box of chocolates. Having stayed at many rental cottages over the years, all have provided bread, milk, tea, coffee and a vase of flowers for new arrivals, which goes a long way to making you feel instantly at home. Simple stuff, but effective.
Another point worth considering is that Irton Hall hosts quite a lot of functions, such as weddings and receptions, with the consequential disruption to the peace these can cause. A large marquee stands on the lawn to the front of the building, which is apparently there throughout the spring and summer months in order to accommodate the guests at these aforementioned events.
Despite the rental cottages being located to the rear of the main building, the party guests obviously rent some of the cottages, and stay in the hotel itself, so inevitably some will stray around the grounds and can shatter the tranquility for others. For example, a number of drunken revellers decided to set up camp at the table right outside our cottage until 5am. I can only deduce that the party must have been either too much or too boring for them!
The point here is that it would show consideration to advise prospective renters of any scheduled events like this at the time of booking. For those looking for a quiet stay and those who have young children, having noisy drunks roaming around outside your door in the early hours is not acceptable. If we wanted this, we could have booked into a cheap B&B in any seaside town.
However, it should be noted that Irton Hall hotel does provide excellent food and service, and is extremely convenient for when you don't fancy cooking for yourself, or just want a snack and a drink. The grounds are very nice too (if you can ignore the marquee), and great for a stroll or playing with the kids.
Staying at Irton Hall wasn't an unpleasant experience (despite these comments!), but we would not return as it wasn't quite what we envisaged, and have rented better-proportioned cottages in quieter environments for a comparable rate.
James Court Cottage
A well equipped, clean cottage ideally placed for easy access to Wasdale Head. The cottage is situated within the grounds of Irton Hall Hotel where one can enjoy the excellent bar meals and real ale, they also had free wi-fi. James Court Cottage is surrounded by other cottages, some privately owned. The Santon Bridge Inn is within walking distance, but we preferred the food in the hotel bar. The only problem during our stay was a lack of towels which was quickly rectified by contacting the owner.
A great place from which to explore this remote corner of the Lake District.
Great location. Some specific comments.
Lovely spot for visiting the Western Fells. Nice house which had just been carefully and nicely redecorated, with a welcoming bottle of wine, good wifi and nice (muddy) woods for the kids to run around in.
However, there were a lot of niggling things:
Kitchen - no oven gloves, scales, measuring jug. Limited space to put own food.
Bedrooms: the only clothes space was wardrobes - nothing to just put stuff on/in & no plug next to the mirror (made hair drying/hairstyles more interesting).
Downstairs: No coat rack in hallway. There was an airer but limited space for drying wet walking gear.
Heating: The front room wood pellet burner (not to be confused with a wood burning stove) was very noisy as it has a permanent electric fan running although we may just have not got the settings right. Storage heaters throughout the house.
General: Only one bin in house.
There were no functions at the next door Irton Hall while we were there, although this appears to be a significant bit of their business. Would imagine this would significantly disrupt the peace.
A newly-renovated, splendidly-equipped cottage with an entertainment system well beyond expectation and which made a great difference on rainy days. A very helpful and pleasant owner.
The location was good for the West Cumbria coast, well placed for walking in the Western Lakes. Local pub was fantastic for food and beer!
Property was tastefully renovated to a high standard. Quiet location with a handy local pub serving good meals. A great location to walk high fells of this area.
Stunningly beautiful area - good pubs in vicinity! Warm, spotlessly clean. Very impressed with everything.
Lovely location, nice & quiet. Cottage very well equipped with good kitchen facilities, refreshing change for self catering to have some decent pots & pans! Bedrooms lovely, well decorated and very handy for local pub etc.
A great location, cottage was perfect with everything you could wish for and more to keep everyone happy.
James Court Cottage is comfortable, well furnished and very clean. A peaceful and beautiful part of The Lake District. The Woodlands tea room serves lovely cakes and The Bridge Inn serves excellent meals at a reasonable price.
Lovely cottage that was well maintained and in a nice, quiet location. Wine and chocolates awaiting our arrival was welcomed. Lovely little tearoom just short walk from cottage was a popular daily haunt for us as the food and cakes were very nice indeed. Very relaxing holiday was had by all!
The surroundings were beautiful. The cottage was simply decorated but in a tasteful luxurious way. We also appreciated little touches like the ball games and the welcome pack.
Great time taking children around the lakes and passes.
An excellent cottage with high quality furnishing and fittings. Comfortable and clean it provided everything needed for an enjoyable stay. The adjacent Irton Hall Hotel bar also provided excellent good value meals.
Me and my partner absolutely loved the location and how quiet it was. The views were outstanding and I'd recommend this cottage to anyone looking for a romantic quiet getaway.
The cottage was very comfortable and was beutifully situated in the grounds of Irton Hall. The location is ideal for Wasdale and Eskdale.
Well equipped and clean cottage set in the grounds of Irton Hall Hotel. An excellent location for ease of access to Wasdale Head for keen hill walkers. Particularly enjoyed the food at the hotel bar, 2 minutes from the door of the cottage.
Excellent location in quieter area of Lakes. All major walks in Wainwright's Southern Fells accessible with minimal driving.
Location of Cottage was very peaceful despite it being very close to other cottages/accommodation and the hotel. It was convenient for travelling around the Western Lake District. The proximity of the hotel was very useful and can be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as using the bar. All the staff were very friendly and we were always made welcome even when just going in to use the wifi. The immediate response from the owner when contacted regarding extra bin bags was impressive.
The location. The scenery in the area was spectacular. Good area for walking and plenty to do e.g. the Ratty Railway
The cottage was in a lovely setting and was very reasonably priced. We loved the sound and sight of the peacocks in the grounds.
A gorgeous cottage in a fabulous location. Being on site at the hotel was such an advantage as the staff there were so friendly and the restaurant food, breakfasts and dinner, were great. Lovely, we will go back.