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Wagtail

Greenhead, Northumberland

Couples can disconnect from daily life at this romantic, rural base, on a sustainability-focused farm close to Hadrian’s Wall.

Wagtail

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Wagtail

15% launch discount on holidays between 19th August and 2nd September 2022.

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Overview

Couples can disconnect from daily life at this romantic, rural base, on a sustainability-focused farm close to Hadrian’s Wall.

Two conjoined shepherd’s huts with lots of luxuries and a bathtub brilliant for stargazing

Stargazing is rarely this indulgent. Occupying one of its two cleverly-conjoined shepherds’ huts, the bathroom at Wagtail impressively contains a freestanding copper tub. Just above, visible through a glass ceiling, is a certified Dark Sky area, part of the Northumberland National Park and completely free from light pollution.

Run a deep bubble bath using the indulgent White Company products, pour a glass of wine – there’s a handy timber shelf on which glasses might be placed – and you’re all set to commence gazing at the incredible spread of stars on show above. If you’re lucky and the sky is clear you might also witness the soft haze of the Milky Way or spot the odd shooting star.

That tub typifies Wagtail, both in the sense of its gently upscale nature and the rustic peace on offer to couples here. Part of the working Low Tipalt Farm, its pair of merged huts neighbour the owners’ house, yet are carefully angled so as not to be overlooked.

Situated in such a gloriously remote part of Northumberland, it comes as no surprise to learn that the owners are great champions of the environment and have taken great care ensure the hut’s eco credentials. To keep you warm and toasty in the cooler months, Wagtail is insulated with 100ml of sheep’s wool, while the anti-allergenic pillows are filled with loose Sheep’s wool rather than synthetic foam.

You enter up five steps to find an open-plan studio containing a kitchen, a dining table and a raised double bed with storage space beneath. This small, open-plan space benefits from wonderful upland views and contains a fridge, a gas oven, two hobs and a sink — whose oak cover doubles as a chopping board or prep space — in the kitchen.

A light-filled glass corridor leads to that bathroom, which also contains a loo, a heated towel rail and two armchairs framing a large window overlooking more rolling fields. Filled with board games, a chest here doubles as a coffee table.

Outside, beyond fragrant lavender plants, are bench seats and another table. Boasting a chiminea barbecue too, the enclosed garden area is situated at the huts’ far side and thus visible only to cows or sheep in neighbouring paddocks. You also have access to a fairy-lit barn with a firepit and a bar area — ideal upon less-clement days.

Although the 4G reception is strong enough for Netflix-streaming, Wagtail has no TV or Wi-Fi as this is intended as somewhere to recharge; a retreat from daily, stressful life, soundtracked only by the occasional baa or moo. To further aid that process, the owners have fenced off a pathway providing guests with exclusive, access to Tipalt Burn, without having to worry about disturbing any local livestock. Better still, a hamper and locally-recycled rug are provided so you can have riverside picnics. Look out for passing wildlife: deer, hares, curlews, oystercatchers or, yes, wagtails.

Otherwise, you might explore the 16th-century, 100-acre farm: designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it champions rare native British breeds. Alternatively, the Hadrian’s Wall footpath, Pennine Way and Hadrian’s Cycleway are all within a few minutes’ drive, numerous other NNP hikes are achievable and it’s less than an hour to Kielder Water or Newcastle.

Property details

FIRST FLOOR

Five steps lead up into an open-plan studio with kitchen, dining table and high double bed (4'6") with cupboard storage space underneath.

Kitchen contains an integrated fridge, gas oven and grill, two ring gas hob, and Belfast sink with a solid wood cover, which doubles as a chopping board and provides additional bench and prep space when sink isn’t in use. The dining table seating two can be dropped down to lie flat against the wall if guest would like more floor space.
There is no electric kettle or toaster – but guests can make toast on the grill and there is a hob-top kettle provided. No freezer is available in the shepherd's hut, however guests are welcome to use the owner's freezer on request.

The bed is a full size double (4'6" x 6'3") and has a shelf at the head of the bed, wall light above, lamp and views looking out of the window to the surrounding countryside. A Roberts Radio is provided. Plug sockets next to the bed have USB ports for charging phones etc. 

A small corridor leads to the bathroom, with a large glass window allowing ample light to flow in, and handy hanging space for coats in the boiler cupboard.

The bathroom contains an impressive free-standing copper bath with hand-held shower attachment and illuminated ring light. As well as a copper basin and solid wood shelf, a feature wooden WC, heated towel rail, mirror and ambient wall lights.
A glass ceiling directly above the bath allows guests to stargaze whilst bathing. 
The bathroom also contains two armchairs looking out the large window to the rear of the hut with views of the surrounding fields. A chest doubles as a coffee table and storage box, with some boardgames and playing cards provided.

A small boot storage box is situated just outside the front door for guests use.

OUTSIDE

An enclosed garden space to the far side of the sherpherd's hut, featuring two benches and an outdoor coffee table, offer's guests a tranquil place to relax and enjoy the views of surrounding farmland and grazing sheep and cows. A Chinimea barbeque(initial supply of logs, kindling and charcoal provided and more can be purchased onsite from the owners) is also provided. 

There is an additional seating area for guests by the main driveway. While a big open barn space offers additional seats, a fire pit and a bar area with pretty fairy lights all around. Providing ‘outdoor’ seating under cover if the weather isn’t great.

A fenced off a pathway gives guests exclusive access along the outskirts of the field, taking them down to Tipalt Burn while avoiding crossing the field with livestock in it.

Guest are welcome to explore the surrounding farmland during their stay.

PARKING

There is a designated parking area to the behind the shepherd's hut.

BABIES & CHILDREN

Regrettably, the shepherd's hut is not felt to be particularly suitable for children or infants.

DOGS

Sorry, dogs are not permitted.

GUEST AMENITIES

High quality antiallergenic wool-filled bedding from the Wool Room is provided, as well as luxury White Company toiletries. 

Luxury bathrobes and towel are also available for guests use and a hair dryer is provided. 

WI-FI & MOBILE COVERAGE

To create a peacful retreat away from it all, no Wifi or TV is provided. However, 4G connection is reasonably good for guest who would like to stay connected or wish to stream TV shows on their tablet or laptop.

HEATING

Gas central heating is fitted within the shepherd's hut.

GUEST PRIVACY

The shepherd's hut is located on the owner's farmland near their house. The garden area is not overlooked by the owner's property or the driveway. Guests are only visible in the garden if the farmer is working in the field close-by, otherwise it is a private space. 

Location

For eating out, the Milecastle Inn sits 4.2 miles east along the Military Road. You will also find good pub food at the Greenhead Hotel 1.8 miles west. 

Alternatively, the Samson Inn, Gilsland or the Blekinsopp Castle Inn and Bistro are 3.6 and 2.9 miles respectively and both come recommended.

The Twice Brewed pub sits 6.4 miles east along the Military Road is a popular choice with walkers and has its own micro-brewery, or for a stunning dining experience with a difference, head to Restaurant Hjem which has achieved the coveted stamp of approval as the first Michelin starred restaurant in Northumberland. Guests can experience a fantastic tasting menu combining the finest Northumbrian produce with the flair and precision of Scandinavia (18.9 miles).

A little further afield sits the pretty market town of Hexham (20.2 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.

The popular tourist village of Corbridge is 24 miles and offers a variety of shops, a delicatessen, and one or two restaurants and cafes, while Matfen Hall (27.3 miles) offers excellent spa and leisure facilities.

In the other direction, the pretty market town of Brampton, with Lanercost Priory close by, is 10 miles away and the historic city of Carlisle is 20.9 miles away. There is a wealth of things to see and do in Carlisle including the award-winning Tullie House Museum and Gallery, Carlisle Cathedral, Carlisle Castle. Walby Park Farm is a family favourite where you can meet farmyard animals including some delightful rare breeds with plenty of opportunity for the younger ones to burn off some steam. Carlisle offers extensive shopping, a cinema, a railway station and various bars and restaurants.

If you or your guests are coming by plane or train, Newcastle airport is a 45 minute easy drive away, via the A69. Car hire is available at the airport.

Newcastle and Carlisle have mainline train services with direct trains to London and Edinburgh/Glasgow, and there is a local train between Newcastle and Carlisle that stops at Haltwhistle which is 3.8 miles away.

There is a bus (the AD122) linking the major Roman sites, together with Hexham and Haltwhistle. The nearest bus stop is a 5 minute walk away at Walltown Quarry car park. 

Activities

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 shepherd's hut is within walking distance from the intersection of the Hadrian's Wall trail and the Pennine Way making it a walkers' paradise.

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 sit less than a mile away from the property. The Sill, Vindolanda, and Housesteads are all within a ten 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 peddle-hungry looking to soak up mile after mile of never-ending trails. 

For history buffs, this is a perfect base from which to explore Chesters and Vindolanda 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 latest artefacts, including the world famous Vindolanda writing tablets.

For some later history, visit the nearby Thirlwall Castle (2.8 miles). Originally built by John Thirlwall in the 1330s to defend his family from the frequent border raids. The walls themselves were built from sandstone, quarried by the Romans while building Hadrian's Wall.

Thirlwall Castle is not the only historic building to benefit from the Roman's quarried stone. Lanercost Priory, founded in 1169AD is only 18 minutes drive away.  It is partly built from stones from Hadrian’s wall and was visited a number of times by Edward I. In August 1311, Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, came with his army and made it his headquarters for three days.

You can enjoy plenty of outdoor adventures in over 13,000 acres at Wallington Hall (49 minutes) 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. For less active pursuits, head to the Clocktower Cafe for a coffee and cake stop, or take a tour of the main house for a fascinating insight into the rich history and artefacts of this 300 year old home.

Cragside House and Gardens (45.3 miles) 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 45 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.

Golf enthusiasts are well catered for at Matfen Hall, or take a drive to the championship courses of Close House and Slaley Hall. 

The stunning beaches of the Northumberland coast are an easy day trip, including the iconic Alnwick Gardens and Alnwick Castle, 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. Downton Abbey fans while also find the castle a familiar sight. 

To the West, the coast of the Solway is 50 minutes away and the North of the Lake District is well within reach, with Ullswater, for example, being a 60 minute drive

Finally a trip to the city of Newcastle with its amazing Millennium revolving eye bridge and the fantastic glass Sage building for music. Admire the wonderful architecture of the north-east’s most eminent architect John Dobson or perhaps enjoy an evening of arts at the wonderful Theatre Royal.

Children and families

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.

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Fishing

Fishing

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.

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Classes at your holiday home

Classes at your holiday home

Enjoy art, cookery, photography, flower or chocolate classes or whisky tasting in the comfort of your own holiday home...

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Historic houses and castles

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.

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Wildlife

Wildlife

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.

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Horse riding

Horse riding

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!

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Shopping, arts and crafts

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.

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Walking

Walking

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.

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Museums, galleries and culture

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.

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Golf

Golf

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.

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Adventure Sports

Adventure Sports

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.

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Cycling & mountain biking

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.

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Shooting

Shooting

For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.

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Ancestral history research

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.

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Spas and beauty treatments

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.

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Services

Cooks and chefs

Cooks and chefs

Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cook

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Dog sitting

Dog sitting

Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.

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Additional housekeeping

Additional housekeeping

Award yourself a real break and let us provide a pair (or more) of helping hands.

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Nannies and babysitters

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.

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Beauty and spa treatments

Beauty and spa treatments

Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.

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Wine delivery

Wine delivery

Crabtree & Crabtree have teamed up with Corney & Barrow one of the longest established independent Wine Merchants in the UK to offer a bespoke service.

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Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers

Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.

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Holiday photography

Holiday photography

Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.

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Reviews

Location Rural - 1.8 miles from Greenhead
Dogs
  • Sorry, dogs are not allowed.
Babies & Children
  • Regrettably, the shepherd's hut is not felt to be particularly suitable for children or infants.
Arrival / Departure
  • Typical arrival day: Friday
  • Arrival time: 4pm
  • Departure time: 10am
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Wagtail shepherd's hut near Greenhead, Northumberland
THE LITTLE THINGS WE LOVE…
"So much here, from counters and cabinets to shelving, is bespoke and crafted locally — a pleasing sustainable touch."
Kat, Crabtree & Crabtree
email us or give us a call on 01573 226711 for details.

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