The Old Rectory
A deeply stylish period home in a secluded riverside spot on the Northumbrian/Cumbrian border.
A chic bolthole “in the middle of nowhere and the centre of everything”
The Old Rectory, set on the banks of the South Tyne river next to the 18th century St Jude’s Church of Knaresdale and just paces from the border between Northumberland and Cumbria, is affectionately described by its management team as being “in the middle of nowhere and the centre of everything.”
It’s a charming and accurate description: the property offers a genuine sense of remoteness thanks to its rural setting yet is just over six miles north of the popular (Cumbrian) market town of Alston and only 35 minutes from the historical town of Hexham, home to Hexham Racecourse. Furthermore, the property is a scenic 40-minute drive from the Lake District National Park, reached by crossing over wild moors teeming with grouse and deer. Yet the bustle of the Lakes feels many moons away as you sip a drink in the Old Rectory’s peaceful gardens and contemplate the rugged beauty of the North Pennines AONB that encircles the property.
The Old Rectory, known to date to the 1700s, is a sizeable six-bedroom property set amidst lush pasture on a meander of the South Tyne river. The acclaimed Edinburgh-based interior designer Emily Smoor of interior design studio, Fantoush, has transformed the house into a stylish country retreat for large groups of family, friends or colleagues. Each room, from the bedrooms to the large open-plan kitchen and dining room, boasts its own personality thanks to Emily’s clever blend of period features, upcycled antiques, eclectic artworks, designer Pooky lamps and OKA soft furnishings. By creating these layers of interest, together with carefully selected paints and Scandinavian wallpapers in a range of organic colours reflective of the earthy tones of the surrounding fell and moors, the interiors are at once calming and intriguing.
After approaching The Old Rectory by a tree-lined country lane that hugs the curves of the river, visitors pass through the lovely fan-light front door (inspired by the famous No.10 Downing Street door) to discover an inviting sitting room, two spacious en-suite bedrooms and the light-filled kitchen and dining room. Surrounded on three sides by windows and French doors that lead to an enclosed garden and topped with a vast rooflight, the dining table comfortably seats 12 guests and affords sweeping views of the surrounding countryside.
A further three double bedrooms are found on the first floor: one boasts a romantic roll-top bath in the bedroom while the other two share a charming cornflower blue and fresh green family bathroom with a roll-top bath and large shower. Each of the bathrooms is stocked with indulgent, sustainably made products from the Cumbrian company, The Bath House. The final double bedroom is set below the eaves on the second floor and promises sweet dreams below a canopy of leafy Sandberg wallpaper in soft blue hues.
Groups seeking additional bedrooms are invited to also make themselves at home at the four-bedroom Kirkstyle Inn which is The Old Rectory’s next-door neighbour. This lauded gastropub has flourished in the hands of restaurateur Nick Parkinson and Head Chef, Connor Wilson; combining extensive experience of running restaurants with talented skills in the kitchen, to create an acclaimed field-to-fork dining destination that serves a seasonal menu of local game, meats and vegetables entirely sourced from within a 50-mile radius.
Guests staying at The Old Rectory can not only sample the delicious food in the atmospheric Kirkstyle Inn but are also able to enjoy it in the comfort of their holiday home, adding breakfasts, home-cooked meals for arrival and more exclusive catering options on request. Additional concierge services such as shooting tours, fishing trips, guided nature or city tours, and wine and whisky tastings are also available for those seeking to capitalise on everything this diverse area has to offer.
Rear access into the utility room/boot room with sink, washing machine, separate dryer, microwave.
Cloakroom with basin and WC.
Kitchen with induction hob, grill and oven, fridge/freezer (2 drawer), full-size dishwasher. Island unit with bar stools.
Orangery with glass lantern roof, dining table with seating up to twelve. Door to the patio area and garden.
Sitting room/drawing room - this room is divided into two separate areas. Corner sofa, wall-mounted Smart TV. Large three seater sofa, two armchairs, open fire.
Bedroom one - with king-size bed, side tables, wardrobe, dressing table, armchair.
En suite bathroom - shower with rainforest head, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Bedroom two - with king-size bed, side tables, chest of drawers, window seat, hanging hook on the door.
En suite bathroom - shower with rainforest head, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Staircase (two turns) with handrail to the first floor.
Bedroom three with king size bed, side tables, wardrobe, armchair.
Bedroom four with king size bed, side tables, dressing table, wardrobe.
Family bathroom with roll-top bath, large shower (rainforest head and separate mixer), heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Bedroom five wth king size bed, side tables, decorative fireplace, wardrobe, bench seat, freestanding roll-top bath.
Family bathroom with large shower (rainforest head and separate mixer), roll-top bath, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Staircase with handrail to the second floor leads to an upper landing featuring a snug with double sofa and footstool. Small wall-mounted Smart TV.
Bedroom six with twin beds with zip and link function which can be configured to a super king bed as preferred. Side tables, two cupboards offer storage space, chest of drawers.
En suite bathroom with roll-top bath, radiator, basin and WC.
Patio area off the Orangery with garden furniture. Enclosed garden with lawned area. A barbecue is available.
There is parking is directly to the rear of the property with sufficient space for three cars. A further three cars can park in the designated parking area located off the garden access.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING
An electric vehicle charger is available for use upon request.
For safety reasons, please only use the dedicated charger for car charging at this property. Discover alternative electric vehicle charging points here.
BABIES & CHILDREN
Babies and children are welcome and a travel cot and high chair can be provided on request. A number of games are provided, including an X-Box.
Two small or medium size dogs are welcome. Sorry large dog breeds are not permitted.
Dogs must be kept out of the bedrooms and off the furniture.
All bed linens and towels are included, along with bath robes. Duvets and pillows are hypo-allergenic. High quality soaps and shower/bath wash are provided. There is a hairdryer in each bedroom.
WI-FI & MOBILE COVERAGE
The property benefits from fibre broadband. Mobile signal is generally good with 4G capacity. 02 and Vodafone work well.
Underfloor heating with additional radiators which are thermostatically controlled. There are heating thermostats on every floor. Open fire in the drawing room with unlimited logs.
The property sits in a small hamlet but is detached and not overlooked. The Kirkstyle Inn is in the same ownership and sits approximately 75 yards from the property for meals and evening dining (please check opening times).
FISHING ON SITE
Nearby fishing is available.
The nearby Kirstyle Inn has a further four bedrooms of a similar quality and style for larger parties wishing to holiday together (subject to availability).
The Old Rectory is perfectly located to enjoy a hearty, Northumberland-inspired meal and drink at Kirksyle Inn which is right on the doorstep and serves a wonderful range of classic dishes with a modern twist. Please note that Kirkstyle Inn is closed 25th - 27th December 2023 and 1st January - 5th February 2024.
The pretty market town of Alston lies 6.3 miles from the property, noted for its cobbled streets and 17th century buildings as well as The Pennine Way, the UK’s first national walking trail which passes nearby. Having featured in a number of period dramas for TV and film, the village is a popular tourism spot and offers a small selection of village shops for essential provisions.
You will find delicious local deli foods and Northumbrian and Cumbrian cheeses from Alston Wholefoods or there is a small Co-op supermarket and Spar shop for day-to-day essentials. Tasty lunches can be enjoyed at the cosy Saddlers Bakery Bistro.
Alternatively, head to the market town of Brampton which also has a small Co-op Supermarket and a number of tearooms, including the popular Berry Tearoom offering a range of tasty homemade treats and speciality teas. For a traditional pub lunch head to Howard Arms which is also dog-friendly.
Surrounded by footpaths and bridleways, big skies and wonderful views, the area has plenty to offer those seeking dramatic ridges and panoramic views.
For walking, the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is a designated World Heritage site with an unbroken 84 mile signposted trail stretching from coast-to-coast, passing through stunning countryside and rugged moorland. The property is within walking distance from the intersection of the Hadrian's Wall trail and the Pennine Way making it a walkers' paradise.
For history buffs, this is a perfect base from which to explore with Epiacum Roman Fort just down the road while a drive towards Hexham will take you to Chesters and Vindolanda. These sites 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 latest artefacts, including the world famous Vindolanda writing tablets. Elsewhere notable visitor attractions include the English Heritage site of Walltown Crags Wall and Turret, one of the finest places to view Hadrian's Wall, as well as the Roman Army Museum which sits 12 miles away from the property. The Sill and Housesteads are another two sites all within a thirty minute drive.
Hadrian's cycleway runs from coast-to-coast and is part of the National Cycle Network boasting incredible scenery which takes in various forts, milecastles and settlements along the line of the wall. As well as off-road options, it boasts 100 miles of purpose-built trails for the pedal-hungry looking to soak up mile after mile of never-ending trails. Alternatively, there are plenty of local trails for all ages and abilities including a leisurely 10 mile loop along the South Tyne valley, or a 9 mile stretch running along the old railway line taking in Lambley Viaduct.
For golf fans, corporate membership is available for Close House Golf Club near Heddon-on-the-Wall. Close House is the home to the world's only Lee Westwood-designed golf courses, the 18 hole Colt course and the 18 hole Filly course. There is also a 9 hole yearling course. All three courses offer fabulous views nestled between the banks of the River Tyne.
For more watery pursuits, canoeing and kayaking can be arranged on the South Tyne, across in the Lake District or on the River Eden in Cumbria with escorted tours from Wild River who will take care of all the logistics to ensure a happy day paddling.
For sightseeing, the Killhope lead mining museum or Nenthead Lead Mine provides a fascinating insight into the area’s rich past. While the nearby narrow-gauge South Tynedale Railway provides a fun day out with passenger trains operating between April and October as well as special Santa trains operating on certain dates in December!
A little further afield, Penrith (40 mins) is the gateway to the Lake District, or take a visit to Durham city to explore its castle and cathedral and rich history and heritage.
Children and families
Here at Crabtree & Crabtree, we like to think we’ve pulled together some rather nifty ideas to keep tots to teens happy and entertained during your stay.Find Out More
Welcome to the realm of the king of fish, the mighty River Tweed. Every year thousands of Atlantic Salmon make their way up river, an annual odyssey that is one of nature's miracles.Find Out More
Historic houses and castles
With more stately homes, castles and historic sites here than you can shake a proverbial stick at, visitors are quite simply spoilt for choice.Find Out More
Our region is home to outstanding scenery which boasts emerald forests, pristine lochs and rivers, heathery hillsides, sweeping moorlands as well as a picture perfect coastline.Find Out More
From the lush green uplands to shimmering sea, the area boasts a hugely diverse and enticing landscape that is perfect for exploring on foot. From gentle rambles to long-distance hikes, there are a vast array of trails and waymarked routes for newbie walkers or experienced alike.Find Out More
Museums, galleries and culture
Our museums tell the story of Borders people and provide a unique insight into our region’s heritage and culture, such as the turbulent past of the Border Reivers or the tragic tale of exiled Mary Queen of Scots.Find Out More
There are 40 golf courses in Northumberland, and another 21 in the Scottish Borders offering visitors an incredibly wide and varied range of golfing options.Find Out More
If you love a challenge or just crave a little excitement away from the day-to-day bustle of working life, we have lots to offer - whether it be watery pursuits, muddy blasts or thrill seeking, adrenaline-charged adventures.Find Out More
Cycling & mountain biking
Whether you ride fast or slow, on-road or off-road, there is something uniquely special about enjoying some outdoor time on two wheels. Here in the region we have something for everyone from high-energy mountain biking blasts to gentle forest paths the whole family can enjoy.Find Out More
For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.Find Out More
Ancestral history research
Crabtree & Crabtree know that tracing the history of your family can be a wonderful journey of discovery. Here are our top tips for starting your family tree.Find Out More
Cooks and chefs
Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cookFind Out More
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.Find Out More
Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.Find Out More
Nannies and babysitters
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring a fully qualified registered and experienced nanny or babysitter to come to your house.Find Out More
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.Find Out More
Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.Find Out More
Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.Find Out More
- Two small or medium sized dogs are welcome.
- Typical arrival day: Flexible
- Arrival time: 4pm
- Departure time: 10am
"Getting up early enough to glimpse the sun rising over the tips of The Fell from the first-floor bedrooms before snuggling back into bed."Michelle, Rooms Manager at The Old Rectory and Kirkstyle Inn