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Williamston Barn & Cowshed

Slaggyford, Northumberland

Adjoining barns that create the dream destination for celebrations with groups of friends or family.

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Adjoining barns that create the dream destination for celebrations with groups of friends or family .

A sophisticated bolthole on a sprawling Northumbrian estate near the popular town of Alston

The Williamston Estate encompasses over 1,000 acres of hill farm, moorland and woodland within the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The estate is managed by Neville and Viv Gill, the 11th generation of the family to have farmed here, who have converted two of the farm’s ancient stone buildings into sophisticated holiday cottages, inviting guests to share their passion for the wild landscape that surrounds them.

Dating to 1863, the adjoining Williamston Barns – Williamston Barn and Williamston Cowshed – are set below the dramatic Williamston Moor and close to the South Tyne river, and are a scenic 10-minute drive from the picturesque town of Alston. When taken together, the Williamston Barns provide a spacious and convivial retreat for up to 14 guests with seven ensuite bedrooms, two kitchens, a large dining room and a first floor sitting room in Williamston Barn with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the surrounding countryside.  A number of cosy snugs provide further space to relax and for curling up with a book.

Both properties benefit from a sophisticated blend of original features and contemporary design with exposed stone walls, ceiling trusses and beams and arrowslit windows rubbing shoulders with a cantilevered oak staircase, soaring double-height glass and timber front door and walk-in rainforest showers.

As long-standing champions of conservation and sustainability, the Gills have ensured that the Williamston Barns are powered by a wind turbine installed on the estate and warmed with underfloor heating powered by biomass chip boilers and wood burners fed with seasoned wood from the estate. Freshly filtered water is sourced from a spring on the grounds and there are plans to introduce bee hives to harvest their own heather honey.  

Days at Williamston Barns are spent exploring the lush riverside pastures, shaded woodland or rugged moorland with the help of dedicated walking and cycling trails created by the Gills. Home to a notable population of ‘red-listed’ birds, including curlews, lapwing, oystercatchers, black grouse and barn owls, the estate is a magical spot for watching and listening to birds as well as seeing red squirrels and roe deer.

Walk to the top of Williamston moor and pause for a picnic at the old shepherd’s hut or press on for a slap-up lunch at the Kirkstyle Inn in nearby Slaggyford. Alternatively, head slightly further afield to walk along Hadrian’s Wall, stroll around the charming village of Alston or hop aboard the South Tyne Railway.

Property details

Ground floor

Williamston Barn & Cowshed are two separate units which are separated by an interconnecting door. Let as a full unit for 14 guests, the accommodation comprises:-

Two fully equipped kitchens, each with Rangemaster double oven cooker with induction hobs, microwave oven, toaster, electric kettle, large dishwasher, integrated fridge and freezer. A coffee Inissia Nespresso machine is also available, guests are welcome to bring their own capsules. There are washing and drying facilities available in a separate area of the property. Technology includes Samsung Smart TV with Freeview, sound bar and sub woofer and DVD / Blu-ray player.

One formal dining area seating up to 14, with large sliding doors leading out to the terrace and garden. A separate dining area in the second kitchen can accommodate 8 guests.

Ground floor sitting room with wood burning stove, large sofa and additional seating.

Bedroom one with fixed super king bed, fitted wardrobe.

En-suite with roll top bath with shower attachment, heated towel rail, basin, WC.

Bedroom two with zip and link beds which can be adapted to super king or twin as required. Hanging wardrobe, chest of drawers, side tables.

En-suite with shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.

Bedroom three with zip and link beds which can be adapted to super king or twin as required. Beamed ceiling, side tables, chest of drawers, double wardrobe. Glazed door leads to a cobbled courtyard.

En-suite with bath and shower over, heated towel rail, basin and WC.

Bedroom four with zip and link beds which can be adapted to twin or super king as required. Chest of drawers, hanging wardrobe. Glazed door to cobbled courtyard.

Large en-suite shower allowing disabled access, heated towel rail, double basin, and WC.

First floor

First floor sitting room with wood burning stove and plenty of seating space to relax and enjoy the views.

Bedroom five with zip and link beds which can be adapted to super king or twin as required.

En-suite with walk-in shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.

Bedroom six with fixed super king bed, beamed ceiling.

En-suite with rainforest head shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.

Bedroom seven with fixed superking bed, side tables, hanging space. Private seating area, Velux windows.

En-suite with shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.

All en-suites with glass windows have linen screens fitted for privacy. 


The property benefits from a private south-facing garden with terrace patio, outside seating area and charcoal BBQ. Guests are welcome to explore the wider grounds of the farm and the estate. There is also a cobbled courtyard to the side of the property including exterior furniture for use by guests.

There is a drying area for wet gear - separate to accommodation.


There is ample parking available.


Electric Vehicle Charging

There is an external EV charging point at the property. For guests bringing electric vehicles and wish to charge their car, fees will apply and should be agreed and paid directly to the owner.

For safety reasons, please only use the dedicated charger for car charging at this property. Discover alternative electric vehicle charging points here.

Babies & Children

Two travel cots and highchairs are available on request.


Two well-behaved dogs are welcome at a charge of £35 per dog. Regrettably, puppies are not permitted. There is an outdoor kennel and tap available for cleaning dogs prior to entering the property. 

Please note - it is important that you refer to the dog policy of the property prior to booking.

Guest amenities

Bed linen, towels and guest toiletries are provided for all guests. A hairdryer is provided in each bedroom.

Wi-Fi & Mobile Coverage

BT Infinity Wi-Fi is available which benefits from speeds of around 30mbs. Mobile reception can be variable depending on the network - O2 is known to be good and EE is poor. Wi-Fi calling is recommended for guests who experience a poor phone reception.


The property benefits from underfloor heating throughout which can be independently controlled in each room to suit. There are three wood burning stoves - two on the ground floor and one on the first floor. Initial supply of logs provided.

Additional Accommodation

For smaller groups, The Barn & The Cowshed can be let as two separate units - Williamston Barn sleeping 8 and Williamston Cowshed sleeping 6.


Williamston is perfectly located to enjoy a hearty, Northumberland-inspired meal and drink at the nearby Kirksyle Inn which serves a wonderful range of classic dishes with a modern twist. Please do check their opening times, including any seasonal dates in advance. Booking is recommended.

The pretty market town of Alston lies 5 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 tourist 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.

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!


Sitting in over 1000 acres, Williamston Barns are perfectly placed for outdoor pursuits right from the doorstep. The owners have created a number of local walks around the farm and local area taking in short riverside trails to scenic valley views. Walk to the top of the moor and enjoy a picnic lunch or a toasty fire at the old shepherd’s hut, or take in the stunning scenery and wildlife of the South Tyne valley, perhaps stopping along the way for a welcome refreshment at the dog-friendly Kirkstyle Inn.

There is a fantastic variety of wildlife and birdlife across the area, including red squirrels and roe deer which can be viewed close to the barns, as well as oyster catchers, dippers and the occasional kingfisher on the river. Watch kestrels, sparrowhawks and buzzards on the fell, or you may be lucky enough to spot Blackgrouse and Greyhen’s on the moor. Guided wildlife tours can be arranged on request.

For those interested in field sports, the estate offers some challenging shooting with walked-up grouse days for up to 4 guns from mid September, or mixed walked-up shooting days for pheasant, partridge and woodcock later in the season. For fishing, the estate have a mile of single bank fishing on the South Tyne for brown trout, while good fishing for salmon and sea-trout can be had from August to October providing the river conditions are right.

For cycling, Williamston sits on National Cycle Route 68 and just north of the Coast to Coast cycle route for those seeking more challenging high energy treks. 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 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, or a drive of under 30 minutes will take you to Hadrian’s Wall, the historically significant heritage site taking in Roman hill forts and some fantastic big sky views.

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.


C&C experiences

C&C experiences

We invite you to enjoy the most coveted and exclusive local experiences available in the North of England and the South of Scotland on your next Crabtree & Crabtree adventure.

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

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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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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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Cooks and chefs

Cooks and chefs

Make your stay hassle-free with your own personal cook

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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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Dog sitting

Dog sitting

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

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Fresh flowers

Fresh flowers

Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.

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Beauty and spa treatments

Beauty and spa treatments

Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.

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Holiday photography

Holiday photography

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

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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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"Thank you for providing us with a fabulous property and location. It was my husbands birthday and we were able to share the time with our family which made it very special time in these difficult times.  Everything about our stay in this fabulous property was catered for in 5 star luxury and exactly as described. I will be recommending your company to our extended family as the service and information provided was second to none especially with the current restrictions.  Thank you once again and we look forward to booking with you again."

Woodward Family

"Absolutely loved it! Fabulous houses, great garden and excellent walks."

Ms Newsome

"Really loved this property the peace, quiet and dark skies were fantastic. House perfect for a group of 13. Loved local sights especially the narrow gauge railway."

Ms Apps

"We had a fantastic time at The Barn and Cowshed, it's a beautiful property and very well equipped."

Ms Gurr and friends

"During our stay we had plenty of time to take in the amazing views and due to the great location go on long walks. Drove to Hadrian’s wall and completed a great but challenging (for me) walk all our party completed with a well deserved stop at sycamore gap. We prepared a lovely meal together 10 in our party in the barn and relaxed in the lounge with beautiful log burners. On Sunday we had a short walk to the local pub which we highly recommend. Kirk style inn at Knaresdale. The four day break was brilliant we will definitely be returning."

Beverley A Gelder

"We had a fabulous weekend, the property was so well equipped and beautifully decorated, a perfect place to relax and catch up with friends. Thank you."

Mrs Wilson

"I never usually bother to give feedback but have to comment on this accommodation we as a group of 13 very much enjoyed our stay. The facilities, quality of fittings and comfort were 5 star. It must take a lot of cleaning and attention by the housekeeper who must be doing a good job. The Cowshed accessories are a good touch I particularly like the dirty cow hand wash. We would feel confident in booking another place with yourselves perhaps next time just for two near the coast."

Miss Sullivan & friends

"I cannot thank you enough for thee most amazing weekend with my friends! It was such a beautiful place and such thought went into the cake etc! So thoughtful. We will definitely book The Barn & The Cowshed again. As will I think a lot of the people that came for the weekend!" 

Hind & friends

"Just writing a quick note to say thank you for all your help in making our week away such a success. The Barn and Cowshed were perfect. Superb accommodation in a fabulous setting. We all loved everything about it and everyone had a great week- we all wished we could have stayed for longer. The service we received from Crabtree and Crabtree was sleek, professional and very friendly from beginning to end. Ten out of ten (and more) from everyone and many, many thanks."

Gates family

"We had a great weekend in beautiful accommodation and in an amazing setting."

Leonard family

"We had a great time! We booked The Barn and The Cowshed for a long weekend. It was the perfect place for a family celebration: beautifully converted buildings in a dramatic location, and very comfortable. There was space for all 15 of us to have dinner together and loads of room for relaxing. The facilities are excellent: great showers and baths, large, comfortable beds, well-equipped bathrooms and kitchen, TV, Wi-Fi, washing machine, dryer, high chair and cot. We went on some great walks up the hills."

Bain family

"Thank you for the service you have provided regarding the booking of The Barn and Cowshed. You have been a brilliant company to deal with throughout all stages of the booking. The property was fabulous - we all commented that there was great attention to detail which made a stay there extra special - mince pies, chocolates and provisions when we arrived, games, DVDs, coffee pods.... our party ranged from 7 months to 88 years old and all enjoyed their stay. The Barn and Cowshed was by far the nicest property any if us had stayed in!"

Bowman family

"Myself and my party had a great time at The Barn and The Cowshed over the weekend, can't rate the property any higher. There wasn't a single thing that could have been done better. I would recommend Crabtree & Crabtree and the property to anyone."

Hubbuck family

"I would like to say thank you to the owners, we had a fabulous weekend at this beautiful property. The arrival goodies were a lovely touch and we couldn't have asked for more from the stay it was perfect!"

Zuk family

"Just wanted to write & let you know we had a fantastic stay at The Barn & The Cowshed! What an absolutely beautiful place! It had everything we needed & so many little special touches, we felt at home as soon as we got there. The owners came to meet & greet us & they even made us a cake, left fresh eggs & numerous bottles of ale. Could not fault the house, the surroundings & the atmosphere - idyllic! Many thanks & I will be looking at your others properties for our next holiday."

Marshall family

"We had a fab time at the Barn & Cowshed, our second visit."

Marsh Family

"We had a brilliant time.

The house was absolutely perfect. 

Great facilities and also a lovely warm feeling in the house."

Fowler Family

"I just wanted to let you know what an amazing experience we had staying within The Barn and Cowshed. My now fiancé hired this superb venue to host a special engagement party for all our family and friends, thanks to the lovely owners who accepted his request of hiring both apartments for this truly special week. The house is beautifully interior designed, with the look of modern working in harmony with a cottage and cosy feel. The views are to die for, every morning sitting on the patio with my cup of coffee, staring out into the mountains with pin drop silence, apart from the bleat from baby lambs. The house was also kitted out with essentials from clothes washing tablets to antibacterial spray and Henry the Hoover! The neighbour/farmer was a really nice guy and made our stay very welcoming, answering any questions we had and a happy to help attitude. Also the owners of the properties were really thoughtful with a handmade chocolate cake waiting on arrival and beers to settle us in. We also were made comfortable to call them on two occasions regarding a lamb and sheep, which we were thankful for as realised it would be disturbing their personal time. It’s certainly a week I will never forget and will honestly be returning for many years to come with our two dogs, who loved the relaxing escape too. If you’re after a break to recharge, re-appreciate nature and experience breathtaking views from your patio, then this is certainly the place to come to. Thank you for everything."

Miss Sadler & Mr Smith

"Well we’ve just returned from a wonderful family holiday in first class accommodation. The kitchen equipment was fantastic as was the chocolate cake and ale waiting for our arrival.We were a party of 13, 6 adults and 7 children. The large enclosed  garden and swing were much used by the children. Though their favourite by far was the nearby river. Ideal for them as they all had wellies. For the adults there were plenty of long walks with the dogs. The men in our party really enjoyed keeping the home fires burning with the log fires. Overall an excellent holiday. I would also like to thank the Crabtree & Crabtree team for a professional and friendly service. Would definitely recommend The Barn & Cowshed."

Maddison family

"We greatly enjoyed our stay. The property is in a lovely situation and is very well equipped. Everyone had a great time - despite the weather! Lovely to have the fire on at night."

Reid family


Location Rural - 5 miles from Alston.
  • Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £35 per dog.
Arrival / Departure
  • Typical arrival day: Monday and Friday.
  • Arrival time: 3.30pm
  • Departure time: 10am
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The stunning kitchen at Williamston Barn & Cowshed with island, staircase and exposed stonework.
The little things we love...
"The perfect place to celebrate! Williamston Barns has provided the perfect location for many celebratory stays including Silver, Ruby & Diamond wedding anniversaries and milestone birthdays (even a 90th) "
Neville & Viv, owners of Williamston Barn & Cowshed
email us or give us a call on 01573 226711 for details.

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