The School House
A beguiling cottage set in the heart of Northumberland’s great wilderness that blends history with eco-credentials
A remote escape in which to lose yourself to the wild beauty of the Northumberland National Park
Set some 1,400ft above sea level in the rugged hills of the Upper Coquet valley, deep in the Northumberland National Park, the Kidlandlee estate delivers a genuinely off-grid escape. Accessed by way of an undulating three-mile-long Forestry Commission track (leave the low-slung sports car at home), the estate was, in its heyday, home to the highest ‘mansion’ in England. The vast and opulent Kidland shooting lodge was built in the 1890s for the wealthy Christopher J Leyland of Haggerston Castle (yes, the man behind the infamous Leylandii tree), together with a man-made lake, croquet lawn and number of outbuildings.
While the mansion was demolished in 1956, the splendour of Kidland’s remote setting, high-altitude croquet lawn and many of the outbuildings remain today. Amongst these are the schoolhouse, which formed part of the original farmhouse and welcomed students from Kidlandlee and local farms from 1903 to 1957.
Hewn from local stone, the School House has been freshly renovated by the 36-acre estate’s current owners. The property retains fabulous original features such as the original stone fireplaces in the two bedrooms while adding modern design touches, a contemporary kitchen and two sleek bathrooms. A log burner (fuelled by wind-felled logs from the estate) warms the cosy living and dining room, an antique school desk and chairs complete the stylish décor of one bedroom while French doors lead out from the elegant master bedroom to one of the cottage’s three gardens. This trio of gardens includes a private enclosed rear garden accessed from the sitting room, a cottage garden to the side of the property and a sheltered front garden, which is shared with the adjoining Tutor’s Lodge.
The School House is decorated throughout with organic materials and in soft, natural colours – soft creams, earthy browns and deep blues – to reflect its rugged environment and the owners’ commitment to protecting it. Indeed, sustaining Kidlandlee’s local environment and wildlife habitats is central to the owners’ philosophy – the estate uses exclusively wind and solar energy and its water comes from bore holes, which is filtered on site, using a bio waste filtration system to clean and purify wastewater.
Inner hall leads into an open-plan living area with sofa, pair of armchairs, wood burning stove with initial supply of wind-felled logs provided, TV with Freeview and DVD player. Dining area seating four.
Compact kitchen with granite work surfaces, gas hob, electric oven, large fridge/freezer, microwave, washing machine with steam technology. Please note there is no dishwasher since the off-grid power supply is unable to support both a dishwasher and washing machine.
Bedroom one with fixed king size bed, side tables, club armchair, wardrobe with hanging space, chest of drawers, decorative fireplace. French doors offer access to the cottage garden to the side of the property which enjoys wonderful views.
Bathroom featuring a bath with shower over, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Bedroom two with zip and link beds, which can be configured as a super king double or twin, as preferred. Built-in wardrobe, dressing table and chest of drawers. Decorative fire and fireplace only.
En suite shower room with walk-in shower, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
There is a private enclosed garden to the rear of the property with outside furniture. An Outback gas barbecue will be available in the spring and summer months. The garden to the front of the cottage is shared with the adjoining Tutors Lodge, but does have its own sitting area. Small cottage garden to the side of the property which can also be accessed directly from bedroom one.
There is disignated private parking to the side of the property.
Babies & Children
A travel cot and highchair are available on request.
Two well-behaved dogs are welcome at a cost of £10 per dog per stay. They must be clean before access into the property and are not permitted on the furniture or in the bedrooms.
High quality bed linen and towels are provided for guests along with guest toiletries. A hairdryer is provided.
Wi-Fi & Mobile coverage
Please note that due to the remote location of Kidlandlee, Wi-Fi can be quite slow and is unsuitable for streaming or downloading large files. An unlimited 4G router has been installed, which is ideal for Wi-Fi calling, emails, and surfing the internet.
Mobile reception is patchy depending on the network, with Vodafone offering the best connection. There is a landline at the nearby owner's property for emergency use.
Heating & Electricity
There is oil boiler central heating throughout the property. Wood burning stove in the sitting room with an initial supply of wind-felled logs from the grounds of Kidlandlee provided.
Please note that The School House is not on the national grid and is dependent on wind and solar power, with a generator for back-up. This means that the number of electrical appliances in the property is more limited to the key essentials and a dishwasher cannot be supported.
Please note that The School House sits next to Tutor's Lodge, which is also available as a self-catered holiday cottage. Both properties share a front garden, but the rear garden and cottage garden is private to The School House guests.
Access - Important
While the property is situated in a fabulous secluded position, it is important to note that this is accessed by a three-mile-long Forestry Commission track used by logging lorries, which comprises loose gravel and cattle grids. This is steep in places and care should be taken, especially during the winter months, as adverse weather and heavy goods vehicles can leave the track rutted and pot-holed. Please drive slowly, paying particular attention to the road surface. Sports cars and low-suspension vehicles should be avoided. Four-wheel drive vehicles may be required in winter conditions. Please contact us if you have any concerns.
A drive of 3 miles will take you to Clennell Hall in Harbottle which has an excellent bar and restaurant for eating-out, along with the occasional music evening which brings locals and visitors together for a little entertainment.
Alternatively, the village of Thropton (11 miles) has a small village shop selling general provisions and also has two pubs including the highly regarded Three Wheat Heads, a traditional 300-year-old coaching inn which has a cosy lounge bar and fine dining restaurant serving a varied and interesting menu using fine local produce from the Coquet Valley.
For a wider variety, head to the charming village of Rothbury (14 miles) which has a super selection of independent shops, galleries, pubs and cafes as well as a deli, bakery and butchers shop.
This is frontier land, full of history, heritage and wild, natural beauty; where walking and cycling routes have been shaped by ancient Romans, drovers and plundering Border reivers through the ages. Through it, the River Coquet meanders through vast stretches of moorland and picturesque valleys.
Clennell Street follows the ancient drover road where you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views over the Coquet Valley and Cheviot Hills, dropping down to the tiny village of Alwinton where you can rest tired legs and enjoy a pie and a pint at the Rose and Thistle pub. Alwinton is also a designated Dark Sky Discovery site so it’s also a perfect spot to indulge in a spot of stargazing.
Alternatively, the Street or ‘clattering path’ is a Roman road where you can walk the Border Ridge and look for iron age hill forts and enigmatic rock carvings, or why not take a ranger-led walk from Harbottle to see the fabled Drake Stone.
If you prefer to spend your days on two wheels, why not explore nearby Kidland Forest and Upper Coquetdale which is a super loop involving lovely woodland tracks and long riverside trails, or for something a little more high energy the Reivers Cycle Route will tick the right box.
The area is also a fantastic spot for climbing and bouldering with crags at Simonside and to the north and west of Rothbury, while fell runners will simply be in their element here.
For those looking for a more relaxed option, enjoy a pampering treatment at your cottage with Harmony Holistic Mobile Spa.
Nearby Cragside House and Gardens offers a fascinating 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 are an absolute delight.
Also within easy reach are the award-winning Alnwick Gardens and Alnwick Castle, home to the Duke of Northumberland and one of Britain’s most iconic castles. 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, the stunning beaches of the Northumberland coast can be easily reached in under an hour - perfect for picnics with a bucket and spade. Visit Bamburgh Castle and its amazing dog-friendly beach where you can walk for miles on white sugary sands, stopping off for an ice-cream along the way, or why not follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims to the mystical Holy Island of Lindisfarne to complete the final journey of St. Cuthbert and enjoy the breathtaking views from the sheltered dune-fringed sands of this uniquely special place. Simply magical!
When the days grow shorter and outdoor activities give way to slightly gentler pursuits, a qualified holistic therapist can bring the spa experience to you with relaxation treatments and therapies for the holiday ultimate indulgence.
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
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
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
Babysitting and nannies
Relax, explore the local area, enjoy a long lunch or a romantic evening out by hiring one of our fully qualified registered and experienced nannies or babysitters 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
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 dogs are welcome with a charge of £10 per dog.
- Typical arrival day: Friday with the additional option of Monday during low season.
- Arrival time: 6pm
- Departure time: 9.30am
"Soaking up the never-ending views of the moors that envelop Kidlandlee."Terri and Mathhew, owners of The School House