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The Old Paper Mill

Burnopfield, County Durham

A chocolate box cottage for two surrounded by nature and hiking trails.

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A chocolate box cottage for two surrounded by nature and hiking trails.

Snuggle up around the wood burner in this romantic, 250-year-old hideaway

Rustic, cosy and contemporary all at once, The Old Paper Mill makes a perfect bolthole for two — with fans of history, walking or wildlife especially well catered for.

As its name suggests, this cute stone cottage was once a petite paper mill in the mid-18th century, probably supplying bookmakers or newspaper printers in Newcastle and powered by a stream which still babbles by towards the nearby Derwent River. The current owners have opened it up, however, adding in space and style while retaining the sense of a secluded retreat.

One of their additions is a conservatory from which guests may well spot deer — look out for a three-legged doe and her young family — badgers or red kites. A door leads through to the open-plan sitting room and kitchen, where a log-burning stove and exposed beams help to inspire a lovely, chocolate-box atmosphere.

The hand-painted kitchen area here features a large, butler-style ceramic sink, a small moveable island and a bread maker with ingredients and instructions so that you can easily whip up a fresh, warm loaf in an hour or so. In another nice touch, the two-part stable door means you can admit gentle breezes while cooking.

Upstairs, the cosy bedroom is brightened by dual-aspect windows and white-painted furniture. With a king-sized bed, overhanging eaves, a window seat and a TV and DVD player, it’ll be tempting to linger here, especially as the home’s biomass heating system means you’ll be perfectly snug. Ditto in the adjacent bathroom’s romantically double-ended, deep tub.

Double doors connected the conservatory to a patio complete with barbecue and potted herb garden, which guests are welcome to use. A gate leads on to a pretty patch of stream-side woodland direct from the courtyard and driveway that guests can exclusively enjoy. Though the owners reside next door, that’s 50 metres away behind the cottage and you’re assured of complete privacy.

The Old Paper Mill is found along a quiet farm lane near Burnopfield, a cricket-loving village and Dipton, whose various pubs include the food-serving Owl & Otter.

With storage space for bikes and a picnic bag provided, it’s easy to explore locally, too. Among numerous hikes in the area, you’re just half a mile from the scenic Derwent Walk Railway Path.

Close by too is the National Trust-run Georgian pleasure gardens, chapel and estate of Gibside, with links to Stanley Kubrick and the late Queen Mother. On the border of Northumberland and County Durham, you’re also within a short drive of Hadrian’s Wall, plus the market town of Hexham, vibrant Newcastle itself and Durham’s castle and cathedral.

Property details


Enter into the conservatory with two armchairs, coffee table, foot stools, bench with storage for jigsaws and local maps, umbrella stand and coat rack. Views from the patio doors of the courtyard garden and the surrounding woodland. 

From the conservatory a door leads to the open-plan sitting room and kitchen. 

Sitting room contains three seater sofa and a loveseat armchair, coffee table, log burner, wall mounted Smart TV and a DVD player,  Bluetooth speaker/ CD player/ DAB Radio with a selection of CDs provided alongside books and local tourist information.

Dining area with dining table seating up to four guests. Two chairs are always at the table with a further two located on the first floor which guests can bring down if they have day visitors. 

Kitchen with free-standing fridge/ freezer, electric ceramic hob, electric fan oven, butchers block prep island, integrated slimline dishwasher, as well as a bread maker with ingredients and instructions for guests to use There is also a built-in cupboard containing a microwave and a washer/dryer combi. A stable door from the kitchen opens out to the front garden.

Handy under-stairs cupboard with outdoor cushions, iron and ironing board, airer, hoover, picnic bag, padlock and cover for bikes if guests wish to use the outdoor storage space.


Bedroom with king size bed, bedside tables and lamps, shelf storage with more books, and three built-in wardrobes with hanging space. Comfortable armchair, chest of drawers with a Smart TV on top and a built-in DVD player with a selection of DVDs provided. There is also a dressing table, stool, lamp and mirror. Window seat and a small south-facing window looking up the country lane, and a north-facing window looking onto woodland.

En-suite with large deep bath, corner shower, WC, basin with mirror above, shaver point, heated towel rail, hanging hooks on the back of the door. 


At the front of the property, there is a seating area outside the kitchen door with a table and two chairs which can easily be moved from one side of the cottage to the other to follow the sun.

There is a barbecue with an initial supply of coal available to be used and cleaned by guests, housekeeping is unable to ensure this is done during changeovers.

Bike storage is provided behind the cottage. This is external storage so not undercover but a padlock and cover are provided.


There is private off-road parking for one car in the courtyard driveway.


For safety reasons, we do not permit electric vehicle or hybrid car charging at this property. If you’re travelling by EV, discover your nearest electric vehicle charging point here.

A financial penalty will be incurred should guests charge their vehicles at this property.


A high chair and travel cot are available upon request.


Sorry, dogs are not allowed.


High-quality bed linen and towels are provided for each guest alongside complimentary toiletries and towel robes. 

There are also two pairs of wellies provided (size 6 and 9) for guests to borrow for muddy winter walks.


Wi-Fi is available. Mobile reception and 4G connection is good at the property on most networks.


The property has biomass heating and benefits from a log burner in the sitting room with an initial supply of logs provided.


The cottage is located on a quiet no-through road next to the owner's own property with a small farm further down the road.


The peaceful and tranquil location of the cottage gives the impression that it is deep in the depth of rural countryside, however, The Old Paper Mill is in fact within easy driving distance of a number of bustling villages and towns as well as two cities.

The village of Burnopfield is only 1 mile away and offers a small Co-op store, pharmacy and post office, alongside The Joinery tearoom and a couple of pubs offering traditional pub lunches. In Dipton, just outside of Burnopfield, you will find the popular Gastropub, The Owl & Otter. Ideal for evening dining being only 3 miles from the cottage.

Crossing the border into Northumberland, you will come across the popular tourist village of Corbridge (15.4miles) which offers a variety of shops, a delicatessen, and one or two restaurants and cafes.

A little further afield sits the pretty market town of Hexham (18.5 miles) characterised by cobbled streets and historic architecture which offers quirky coffee shops, award-winning restaurants and excellent independent shops. Hexham offers more extensive shopping and amenities. It also boasts its own racecourse, theatre, cinema, golf course and leisure centre, including a pool and a ten-pin bowling alley.

If you are looking to do some city shopping, you have the choice between Newcastle (10.2 miles) or Durham (14.8 miles), both cities offer a wide range of restaurants, high street names and delightful independent shops.

For large supermarkets, head to the nearby town of Consett (6.1 miles) which has a large Morrisons and Tesco Extra store.


Located to the north of County Durham, The Old Paper Mill is perfectly located to explore the Vale of Durham and the North Pennines. The southern border of Northumberland is also within easy driving distance, allowing you to experience both counties.

You will find plenty of walks in the nearby countryside, Pontburn woods is right on the doorstep with a great number of trails running through it, you may even be lucky enough to spot one of the number of Red Kites that have been released in the Valley. Nearby Chopwell wood is just a short drive away, which also has a great number of walks as well as woodland cycle trails. Keen cyclists will be interested to know that the Sea to Sea cycle route runs just half a mile away from the property.

Golfing enthusiasts can enjoy a day's golf at one of the numerous golf courses in the area. Hobson Golf Club is the closest to The Old Paper Mill, with a further six courses including the picturesque Whickham Golf Club and the popular Garesfield Club.

For days out and a slice of history, take a trip to Gibside, a spectacular Georgian landscape with the Column to Liberty towering above it all. Or why not take a ride on a vintage steam train at Tanfield, the World’s oldest railway?  Families will enjoy stepping back in time at Beamish, the living museum of the North providing a taste of life in the North East from the 1820s to the 1940s. Children young and old will delight in taking a ride on a tram and popping into the replica buildings.

Crossing the border into Northumberland you can explore Corbridge Roman Town – Hardrian’s Wall with Chesters Roman Fort, Housesteads Fort and Vindolanda located close to Hexham town, all of which are steeped in Roman history and offer a fascinating insight into Roman life on the edge of the empire 2000 years ago. Here you can see in incredible 3D detail what life was like on the wall in the life of a Roman soldier, and discover the latest artefacts, including the world famous Vindolanda writing tablets.

Golf enthusiasts will also be well catered for across the border at Matfen Hall, where you can enjoy gold-standard facilities in a lush parkland setting or perfect your swing at the golf academy. Alternatively, why not retreat and indulge in a spa treatment or two for the ultimate relaxation.

For some family fun, why not play Tarzan for the day and head to Matfen’s 'Go Ape' to swing through the trees and experience some exhilarating zip wires!  

Finally, if it is a visit to the city that you are looking for, you have a choice of two. Newcastle is the closest with its amazing Millennium revolving eye bridge, Baltic art gallery, and the fantastic glass Sage building for music. Admire the wonderful architecture of the north-east’s most eminent architect John Dobson or perhaps take in an evening of arts at the wonderful Theatre Royal.

Alternatively, head to Durham with its spectacular Cathedral and Castle, as well as a beautiful picturesque riverside walk following the River Wear as it loops around the town centre.

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We invite you to enjoy the most coveted and exclusive local experiences available in the North of England and the South of Scotland on your next Crabtree & Crabtree adventure.

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"This was a last minute decision to come to The Old Paper Mill and we have enjoyed every minute. Spent a memorable day in Durham visiting the most historic cathedral and just walking along feeling so much history with every step. Thank you so much for the lovely welcome pack enjoyed everything. Cottage has all and more to fulfill every need. Just wonderful also very comfortable."

Frost Family


Location Rural - 1 mile from Burnopfield
  • Sorry, dogs are not allowed.
Arrival / Departure
  • Typical arrival day: Friday and Monday
  • Arrival time: 4pm
  • Departure time: 10am
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The Old Paper Mill - Country walks straight from the cottage.
"The owners cannily provide guests with two pairs of wellies (size 6 and size 9) in case you're caught unprepared for a muddy countryside walk."
Kat - Crabtree & Crabtree
email us or give us a call on 01573 226711 for details.

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