The School House, Capheaton
A converted schoolhouse with lake views in the prestigious Capheaton Estate.
A welcoming family home that combines history, eclectic interiors and a pristine countryside setting
Set within the prestigious Capheaton Estate, The School House accommodated the resident teachers of Capheaton School for nearly a century before the parish school closed in the 1970s. Black and white photographs of the school and its former pupils now adorn the walls of the tastefully converted, Grade II listed stone building in a nod to its history, which is inextricably linked with the even longer history of Capheaton Estate.
Comprising 500 aces of woodland, walled gardens and landscaped parkland that extends down to the large Sir Edward’s Lake as well as the historic Capheaton Hall, a Grade I listed Baroque-styled mansion dating to 1669, and a small village, the Capheaton Estate has belonged to the Swinburne family since 1260. Together with a smattering of other stone cottages, The School House sits just outside the main gate to Capheaton Hall, a tranquil location with unbroken views of Sir Edward’s Lake and the lush woods surrounding it.
Capheaton’s current owners, Willy and Eliza Browne-Swinburne, are deeply committed to the maintenance of the estate’s sprawling gardens, woods and habitats as well as the ongoing restoration of the buildings within it. As such, they have transformed The School House into a comfortable family home that oozes laidback charm while retaining many of its original features. The sitting room, which is warmed by a wood burner in a large original stone fireplace, is dotted with squashy sofas and armchairs covered in homely throws and features a window seat from which to admire the views of Sir Edward’s Lake. The informal dining room also features a wood burner, original fireplace and lake views while the galley kitchen, set in a single-storey side extension, sports a Victorian-inspired star tiled floor and exposed timber beam.
Moving upstairs, the views of the lake are even more expansive and can be enjoyed from the vibrantly upholstered window seats and beds of the two double bedrooms. These two rooms, and a cosy bunk room, share access to a family bathroom with a bath and separate shower.
The enclosed back garden makes a lovely spot for enjoying the peaceful surroundings and indulging in the odd BBQ. The Browne-Swinburnes invite guests to enjoy walks around the Lake and can arrange a visit to the gardens at Capheaton Hall with the Estate team. For days when you’d like to explore slightly further afield, the splendid Belsay Hall, castle and gardens and National Trust Wallington house and gardens are both ten minutes’ drive away and keen golfers will find a wide choice of golf courses in the local area.
Access from rear into porch.
Kitchen with ceramic hob, electric oven, full size dishwasher, washer/dryer, microwave, large fridge/freezer.
Dining room with table seating six guests. Wood burning stove.
Sitting room with three seater sofa and two armchairs, wood burning stove, Smart TV, selection of children's toys.
Bedroom one with zip and link beds, which can be configured as a king size double or twin beds, as preferred. Side tables, window seat, dressing table, in-built wardrobe with storage and hanging space, small wall-mounted TV.
Bedroom two with super king bed, side tables, in-built wardrobe with storage and hanging space, small wall-mounted TV. Window seat with wonderful views towards Sir Edward's Lake.
Bedroom three with bunk beds (3' full size) and chest of drawers. Please note that space is extremely limited in this room and is best suited for up to two children only.
Bathroom with large shower, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
There is an enclosed rear garden with patio and lawn. Garden furniture with a gas BBQ. The garden is not overlooked.
There is designated parking for up to two cars to the rear of the property, next to the parking area for the Lakeside Cottages.
Important - guests are asked to park cars one behind another as opposed to side-by-side to avoid blocking the gateway into the field where access is required on occasion.
Babies & Children
Babies and children are welcome and a travel cot and highchair are available in the property.
Two dogs are welcome but must be kept to the ground floor area of the property only. They are not permitted on the furniture, on the window seats or upstairs in the bedrooms. They should be kept on leads and under control when out and about in the wider estate.
Bed linen and towels are provided for guests along with hand soap in the bathrooms. A hairdryer is provided in the principal bedrooms.
Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage
Fibre broadband is available. Mobile reception is generally good.
There is oil fired central heating, which is thermostatically controlled. There is a wood burner in the dining room and also in the sitting room, with logs supplied.
The property is detached but sits in a row alongside the Lakeside Cottages - Alice, Emily and Edward on one side. The garden to the rear is enclosed and not overlooked offering privacy. A further Estate property is privately let on the other side.
There are four other holiday properties available for let at Capheaton Estate - Lakeside Cottage - Alice, sleeping 4, Lakeside Cottage - Emily, sleeping 2 and Lakeside Cottage - Edward, sleeping 2 which sit on the same row as The School House.
The West Wing, sleeping 8 sits in the main grounds of the Estate within Capheaton Hall.
The house sits in the village of Capheaton, in the heart of Northumberland. The 100-year-old Village Hall made from green corrugated tin stands proudly on the side of the road into Capheaton. Stop by on Saturdays and Sundays for a light lunch of soup and sandwiches, or a hot frothy coffee and slice of a delicious homemade cake. It is a huge hit with cyclists passing through, particularly as all roads to Capheaton are uphill – well deserved, we think!
For groceries, there is a small village shop and Post Office in Belsay (5.5 miles), as well as The Blacksmith’s Coffee Shop; a characterful café, set in a former Blacksmiths, with original features still intact. It is well-known in the area for serving freshly prepared breakfasts through to afternoon indulgences and is open every day with seating indoors and outdoors.
There are Waitrose and Sainsbury supermarkets in Ponteland (12 miles) and on Friday mornings, you can visit the Ponteland Country Market, held in Merton Hall, which sells anything homemade, home-baked or home-grown. Ponteland has a couple of lovely restaurants too, including neighbourhood restaurant, Eleven, which offers ingredient-led, flavour-driven dishes, or family-run restaurant, Mambos, where you can enjoy an array of Mediterranean cuisine.
Walwick Hall Hotel (13.5 miles) offers excellent spa and leisure facilities, delicious homemade afternoon tea and fine or casual dining. Restaurant Hjem, in Wall (13 miles), was recently awarded Northumberland’s first Michelin Star and comes highly recommended (essential to book in advance).
A little further afield sits the pretty market town of Hexham (18 miles), characterised by its cobbled streets and historic architecture. The Hexham Farmers’ Market takes place on the second and fourth Saturday of every month with a vast array of local producers offering plenty of choice for all. Hexham has numerous cafés throughout the town centre, offering a wide range of lunch options or simply a coffee and cake stop. A variety of pubs and restaurants offer international cuisine from Mexican to Greek, as well as Indian, Chinese, Italian, and award-winning French bistro, Bouchon Bistrot. There is also a Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, and Tesco in Hexham.
Or, travel to the city of Newcastle (20 miles) for a huge selection of shopping, bars and restaurants to indulge in.
Sitting in the heart of the Northumberland countryside, the cottage is the perfect base to explore the wider area. Starting right on the doorstep, guests are welcome to wander the Capheaton estate, including the walled Kitchen Garden. Keen gardeners will be in their element here, with Head Gardener, Jane, on hand to answer any questions about the beautiful and productive garden.
Capheaton is situated just four miles from the Reivers Cycle Route, one of Northumberland’s top routes. If you fancy joining it part of the way, bikes can be hired and delivered to you through Boards and Bikes. Or, why not rent a surfboard or kayak and head to the Northumberland coastline. For novices, lessons can be booked through Northside Surf School in Amble or Longsands Surf School in Tynemouth.
For some family fun, why not play Tarzan for the day and head to 'Go Ape' (8 miles) to swing through the trees and experience some exhilarating zip wires!
You can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures in over 13,000 acres at nearby Wallington Hall (3 miles), with gentle woodland strolls to more extensive hikes, or take your bike and explore the Dragon Cycling Trail, a safe family-friendly route where you may be lucky enough to spot one of the resident red squirrels in the woods.
Avid anglers can spend their day fishing on the nearby River Tyne, known for its superb wild trout fishing. Book a wonderful day's fishing at one of the local beats through helpful, FishPal.
Vallum Farm and Restaurant (10 miles) is an incredibly popular spot with a fantastic patisserie and deli, or why not try your hand at something new with Vallum artisans (booking required), such as craft beer and pie tasting, ice-cream making, cheese making, or cooking experiences. For children, there’s an outdoor play paddock and wildlife walks with other seasonal events.
Cragside House and Gardens offer a captivating day out for the family where you can discover the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity. Crammed full of gadgets developed by Victorian inventor, innovator and landscape genius, Lord Armstrong, Cragside is truly a wonder of its age. The adventure playground with its network of paths and tunnels will be a huge hit with children, and the gardens here are an absolute delight.
A fifty-minute drive will take you to the Kielder Water and Forest Park, with something for everyone, including water sports enthusiasts, cyclists, walkers, naturalists, artists, families and photographers. A highlight is the star gazing treat at the Kielder Observatory where you can view the outstanding dark skies of the Northumberland National Park.
The stunning beaches of the Northumberland coast are an easy day trip, including the iconic Alnwick Gardens and Alnwick Castle (30 miles), home to the Duke of Northumberland. With its rich history, exquisite art, beautiful gardens, and film location for Harry Potter, there is plenty of wizardly magic and mayhem to keep all ages entertained.
Finally, a trip to the city of Newcastle (19 miles) with its amazing Millennium revolving eye bridge and the fantastic glass Sage building for music. Admire the wonderful architecture of the northeast’s most eminent architect, John Dobson, or perhaps take in an evening of arts at the wonderful Theatre Royal.
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
Classes at your holiday home
Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...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
Horse riding is intrinsically linked to the history and heritage of the area and goes right back to the 13th and 14th centuries where townspeople would ride the clan’s boundaries to protect their common lands. Thankfully our riding pursuits today are not quite so dramatic!Find Out More
Shopping, arts and crafts
We are extremely fortunate to have a region where independent shops are king, and to have an area flowing with creativity through its talents in arts, crafts and textiles.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
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
Spas and beauty treatments
Everyone needs a little time-out to relax and for many that may involve a little pampering, the chance to experience new therapies, or simply some dedicated ‘me time’ to enjoy or practise disciplines which bring a sense of well-being and good health.Find Out More
Cooks and chefs
Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cookFind Out More
Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.Find Out More
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.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
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
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
- Two dogs are welcome.
- Typical arrival day: Friday or Monday with the additional option of Wednesday in low season.
- Arrival time: 4pm
- Departure time: 10am
"The eclectic blend of vintage photographs, antique furniture, ethnic textiles and ceramics that imbues the former schoolhouse with its relaxed vibe. "Willy and Eliza, owners of Capheaton Hall & Estate