A cottage of two halves that blends history and contemporary architecture in a truly wild setting.
An off-grid bolthole in the rugged heart 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. Thanks to the current owners of the 36-acre Kidlandlee estate, many of these outbuildings have been sensitively restored, amongst them the School House and adjoining Tutor’s House. Originally part of the estate’s farmhouse, it is believed that the school tutor lived in a room on this side of the building.
Today, the original stone house, which contains an AGA-warmed country kitchen and cosy dining and sitting room with a spectacular stone fireplace, is countered by a strikingly contemporary side extension encased entirely in slate. Here in the extension, you’ll find two large, light-filled modern bedrooms and a sleek bathroom with a bath and separate walk-in shower. The result is a remarkable home of two entirely different yet complementary halves that reflects both the history of the original building and the exciting future of the estate.
As with other properties on the estate, the Tutor’s Lodge is decorated throughout with organic materials and in soft, natural colours – soft creams, earthy browns and deep blues – to echo 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 boreholes, which is filtered on site, using a biowaste filtration system to clean and purify wastewater
Sitting room with two-seater sofa, pair of armchairs, wood burner with an initial supply of wind-felled logs provided, TV with Freeview and DVD player. Dining area with bench seating for four.
Kitchen equipped with an oil-fuelled AGA, two plate gas hob, large American style fridge/freezer, microwave, washing machine. 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, single wardrobe with hanging space, chest of drawers. This bedroom benefits from a large picture window offering wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.
Bedroom two with zip and link beds, which can be configured as a super king double or twin, as preferred, side tables, built-in wardrobe and chest of drawers.
Large family bathroom featuring a bath with mixer, separate walk-in shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC and underfloor heating.
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 The School House, but does have its own sitting area.
There is designated private parking available 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 great for Wi-Fi calling, emails, 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 with underfloor heating in the new extension. Wood burning stove in the sitting room with an initial supply of wind-felled logs from the grounds of Kidlandlee provided.
Please note that Tutor's Lodge 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 Tutor's Lodge adjoins The School House, which is also available as a self-catered holiday cottage. Both properties share a front garden, but there is a private, enclosed garden to the rear of the property for Tutor's Lodge 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
If your passion is beautiful gardens a visit to our area will not disappoint. Spend a little time here and discover some spectacular gardens through the ever changing vista of the seasons.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
"Snuggling under a blanket in the secluded rear garden with a thermos of hot chocolate to enjoy ‘gold tier’ (AKA unbeatable) stargazing in this designated Dark Sky region."Matthew and Terri, owners of Tutor's Lodge