Situated in the village of Low Row in Swaledale, Hazel Brow – seen here in the centre of the photograph – is a beautiful property with period features and lots of character. It was built by a local landowner in 1860 and today sleeps up to 15 people on a self-catering basis, making it perfect for family re-unions, birthday celebrations, special anniversaries and trips away with friends, whether it be for a short break or something longer.
Perched halfway up the north-western side of the valley, the property enjoys fabulous views across picture-postcard Yorkshire Dales scenery.
Inside, on the ground floor, there is a lounge to the right with comfy sofas, a TV and an open fire (kindling and firewood is provided)…
…and an elegant dining room to the left. Both of these rooms enjoy the same great view across Swaledale.
Also on the ground floor is a well-equipped kitchen with an Aga, stove, coffee maker and more…
…and, just off from that, is a small pantry where we found a thoughtful welcome basket with a variety of complimentary local goodies, from Yorkshire tea and Taylors of Harrogate coffee to Swaledale cheese and homemade loganberry and rhubarb jam.
Downstairs there is also a snug with a piano, fireplace and another TV, and beyond it a boot room (equipped with a washing machine and tumble dryer) and shower which is perfect for hosing down your dog after a muddy walk. Pets are welcome at Hazel Brow but are kindly asked to stay on the east side of the ground floor.
Upstairs there are two further floors where a variety of bedrooms and bathrooms can be found, including one four poster…
…and a bath with a view!
A great deal of thought has clearly been put into the décor and all the bedrooms are furnished in keeping with the various period details of the property.
There are 8 bedrooms in total – there is just one single room on the top floor but all the others are doubles or twins.
Outside, a lockable garage is available should you wish to store anything such as bicycles securely.
The owner, Cath Calvert, has clearly put a lot of work into ensuring the property is kept beautifully presented and, despite its various nooks and crannies, meticulously cleaned. Not only is it inviting, but Cath also lives locally which can be re-assuring should you find you ever need anything. She also keeps three alpacas (Larch, Apollo and Aramis) in the field overlooked by the property - for a walk with a difference, we recommend that you ask her if you can go on an alpaca trek… you will not regret the experience with these lovely creatures!
A patio and barbecue area offers an ideal space to contemplate and take in the local area.
On top of the other side of the valley are three trees known locally as ‘The Three Sisters’.
The River Swale – England’s fastest flowing river – is on the vallely bottom a short stroll away, and our boys enjoyed trying out their remote-controlled boat in gentler-flowing eddies.
There are lots of walks you can enjoy directly from the property or from the villages nearby. On one occasion we headed up Gunnerside Gill which would have been frequented by hundreds of workers from the lead mines in years gone by.
For those who prefer to get around on two wheels rather than by foot, the Dales Bike Centre at Reeth is worth a visit (if only for the cake!). And for local pubs, we’d recommend the Punchbowl Inn at Low Row, within walking distance of the accommodation, for its food.
It is excellent by pub grub standards - the specials at the time of our visit included braised beef tenderloin with herb dumpling, celeriac and kale; cornfed chicken with butternut squash, spinach and chorizo (pictured); and local shank of lamb with dauphinoise potato, kale and lamb jus.
Other – perhaps more traditional – pubs can be found at Gunnerside (The Kings Head) and Reeth (various). We found the Kings Arms in Reeth to be particularly dog friendly, with our Springer enjoying all manner of treats, including biscuits and even some left-over ham from the kitchen.
For those wishing to go further afield, the likes of Leyburn and Hawes are both less than 15 miles away. Also within easy reach is England’s highest pub (Tan Hill Inn), highest railway station (Dent) and highest waterfall (Hawdraw). In short, there is no shortage of things to do but, at the same time, this is also a place where it is very easy to simply relax and do very little. The charm of the landscape and location is such that it has probably changed very little over the years and will probably remain much the same for many years to come. If you are getting away to unwind and do nothing, just bring a good book, curl up by the fire and enjoy the fact that you are out of mobile signal!
Disclosure: Our stay was courtesy of Hazel Brow.