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Special feature: Hazel Brow, Swaledale, Yorkshire Dales, UK

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. Hazel Brow Perched halfway up the north-western side of the valley, the property enjoys fabulous views across picture-postcard Yorkshire Dales scenery. Hazel Brow close-up 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)… Hazel Brow lounge …and an elegant dining room to the left. Both of these rooms enjoy the same great view across Swaledale. Hazel Brow dining room Also on the ground floor is a well-equipped kitchen with an Aga, stove, coffee maker and more… Hazel Brow kitchen …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. Hazel Brow hamper 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. Hazel Brow snug Upstairs there are two further floors where a variety of bedrooms and bathrooms can be found, including one four poster… Hazel Brow four poster …and a bath with a view! Hazel Brow bath 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. Hazel Brow second floor twin Hazel Brow first bedroom   Hazel Brow first floor end double There are 8 bedrooms in total – there is just one single room on the top floor but all the others are doubles or twins. Hazel Brow second floor single Hazel Brow first floor twin 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! Hazel Brow alpaca trek Hazel Brow alpaca   Hazel Brow alpaca trekking A patio and barbecue area offers an ideal space to contemplate and take in the local area. Hazel Brow view On top of the other side of the valley are three trees known locally as ‘The Three Sisters’. Hazel Brow 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. Hazel Brow playing in the river 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. Hazel Brow Gunnerside 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. Hazel Brow Punchbowl Inn 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. Hazel Brow corn-fed chicken 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! Hazel Brow Swaledale Disclosure: Our stay was courtesy of Hazel Brow.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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