A converted barn with eye-popping views, elegant interiors and a rural location.
Explore the North Pennines AONB from this tranquil private estate near Alston
Set amidst 1,000-acres of privately owned farm and moorland in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Williamston Barn offers a window onto the life of a working hill farm in this ruggedly beautiful part of England.
The sprawling Williamston Estate, which encompasses pasture for grazing sheep on the banks of the South Tyne, ancient woodland, and the heather-clad Williamston Moor, is managed by Neville and Viv Gill, the 11th generation of the Gill family to farm the land. The Gills have not only spearheaded a focus on conservation and sustainability across the estate but also converted two ancient farm buildings, Williamston Barn and Williamston Cowshed, into welcoming holiday cottages.
Tucked into a secluded spot at the foot of Williamston Moor and close to the South Tyne river, the adjoining stone cottages are known collectively as the Williamston Barns and can be booked independently or together for larger groups. Reached by a tree-lined country lane that crosses over the river just south of the village of Slaggyford, they offer blissfully uninterrupted views and a pastoral soundtrack of birdsong and other wildlife.
Dating to 1836, the Barns have been used over the centuries as granary and hay stores and for overwintering and milking cows. The Gills restored and converted the ancient buildings with the utmost sensitivity and attention to detail, blending the original stone walls and arrowslit windows of Williamston Barn with a striking double-height arched timber front door, contemporary cedar-panelled rear extension and charcoal steel frame windows.
The play on ancient and contemporary continues throughout the spacious four-bedroom property: exposed stone walls are punctured by a modern wood burning stove in the country-style kitchen and juxtaposed with dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows in the first floor sitting room, which is accessed by a floating oak staircase rising from the hallway.
Designed with convivial living in mind, the kitchen leads through to a light-filled dining room that seats up to 14 guests comfortably and boasts sweeping countryside views through large sliding doors that lead onto a south-facing terrace for al fresco entertaining. The flagstone patio gives way to an enclosed lawn garden that, in turn, leads across pastures to the South Tyne river.
Oak floors, warmed by underfloor heating powered by a biomass woodchip boiler, feature throughout the property, complementing the organic colour scheme that echoes the stone walls. Further sustainable touches include the provision of seasoned wood from the farm for the log burners in the kitchen and sitting room, filtered water sourced directly from a spring on the estate and green electricity generated from the estate’s wind turbine. Honey, freshly harvested from beehives on the farm, is set to be the next exciting addition to the generous welcome hamper of local goodies guests will discover awaiting them here at Williamston Barn.
A large entrance hallway opens up to an open plan living space comprising a fully equipped kitchen 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 is a separate built-in storage area with washing machine and dryer. Technology includes Samsung Smart TV with Freeview, sound bar and sub woofer and DVD / Blu-ray player.
Dining room seats up to 14, with large sliding doors leading out to the terrace and garden. Adjacent wood burning stove with initial supply of logs provided.
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.
Cloakroom with basin and WC.
First floor sitting room with plenty of seating space to relax and enjoy the stunning views looking south down the valley from the large floor to ceiling feature window. Wood burning stove with initial supply of logs provided.
Bedroom three with zip and link beds which can be adapted to super king or twins as required.
En-suite with walk-in shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.
Bedroom four with fixed super king bed, beamed ceiling.
En-suite with rainforest head shower, heated towel rail, basin, WC.
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 a drying area for wet gear - separate to accommodation.
There is ample parking available.
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.
Babies & Children
A travel cot and highchair 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.
Bed linen and towels are provided for guests. Guest toiletries are also provided. 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 is a wood burning stove in the sitting room area upstairs and one on the ground floor adjacent to the dining room with initial supply of logs provided.
Please note that The Barn adjoins The Cowshed. The properties can be let as one unit or separately. When the properties are let separately, the adjoining door is locked.
For guests looking to holiday together, Williamston Barn & Cowshed can be booked as one unit sleeping 14 guests.
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 tourism 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
For sheer variety alone Northumberland and the Scottish Borders are irresistible to any gun.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
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
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
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
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
Our experienced dog sitters will look after your furry friends whilst you are out exploring.Find Out More
Fresh cut flowers delivered to your holiday home.Find Out More
Beauty and spa treatments
Everyone needs some pampering, whatever the occasion.Find Out More
Family holidays, reunions and honeymoons kindle priceless moments that deserve preserving.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
"We had a wonderful stay at The Barn. A fantastic venue ,very comfortable and a lovely warm welcome! So much to see and do and above all we found the people so helpful and friendly. Your Company was excellent and we were very grateful for all the information you gave.We would definitely return and are already considering next year as there is still so much to see and do."
The Clark PartyClark
“We had a wonderfully relaxing weekend at the Barn. The accommodation was luxurious and perfect for our needs. Will definitely recommend. Many thanks”Cowe Family
"The Barn is great. The owners were very helpful and always on hand should we have needed anything. It's a beautiful location that has got us as a family looking at property in the area."Harford family
"What a fantastic place. The accommodation is absolutely stunning and so comfortable. The grandchildren love the swing and the garden. We loved the country walks, peace & quiet and the cosy log burner, along with the homemade cake and jam. We will definitely be back in the near future. A little gem of a place - highly recommend.... Love it!"Goodwin family
"Great place to celebrate my birthday with friends. Fantastic house and location. Can't wait to return. Thank you."Smith family
"A great holiday - superb accommodation -in a lovely setting - we couldn't have asked for anything more - we'll certainly be recommending you."Beevor family
"We had a wonderful time at the Barn in Slaggyford. The accommodation was lovely and the countryside was beautiful and peaceful. We did not find the fact that shops were someway away a problem and found many different places to visit and enjoy. We therefore would happily recommend the accommodation and we feel very blessed to have been able to be there."Mcgill family
"We had a most wonderful holiday in The Barn at Slaggyford an amazing house in a stunning setting. Being there in Spring ensured there was lambing galore to watch while the children enjoyed egg collecting too, watching the red squirrels and pheasants in our garden. Lots of space for family football and fun and games in our garden as well as lots of hill walking and walks to along the river bank. Every possible comfort had been provided in the house which had been lovingly refurbished. Despite us experiencing lovely sunny weather at the beginning of April it was also ideal to light the very efficient log burner in the evening. We hope to use one of your properties again. Hopefully you may spread your net wider to include Yorkshire, perhaps. Many thanks. We are so glad we found the property on your website."Coleman family
- Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £35 per dog.
- Typical arrival day: Friday with the additional option of Monday out of high season.
- Arrival time: 3.30pm
- Departure time: 9.30am
"Settling into an armchair in the fire-warmed sitting room to watch the sheep graze by the South Tyne, and catching sight of some of the red squirrels who visit to feed outside the Barns."Neville & Viv, owners of Williamston Barn