An ancient stone milking parlour that blends sophisticated design with convivial charm.
A rural bolthole that feels blissfully remote yet places historic Alston and Hadrian’s Wall on the doorstep
A former milking parlour and winter refuge for the cattle of the 1,000-acre Williamston hill farm, Williamston Cowshed boasts a tranquil setting within the estate at the foot of Williamston Moor. Dating to 1836, the stone building has been sensitively converted into a three-bedroom holiday cottage by the 11th generation of the Gill family to run the estate, Neville and Viv Gill. Set around a cobbled courtyard alongside the adjoining Williamston Barn, the property is available to book independently or together for larger groups.
Williamston Cowshed not only pays homage to its heritage with its name and the provision of organic Cowshed bathroom products but also in its many original features, such as the original exposed beams in the vaulted open-plan kitchen and dining room. This welcoming space is flooded with light thanks to the skylights that run the entire length of the room and beyond, continuing along the hallway and linking it with the two-storey section of the property that houses its three ensuite bedrooms.
With its bucolic location, Williamston Cowshed offers visitors the opportunity to experience the rustic charms of a working hill farm as well as explore the wild beauty of the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The rugged environment is reflected within the Cowshed with framed botanical prints, two-foot-thick walls hewn from local stone and dotted with alcoves that house old lamps and books, and a wallpaper-sized print of the immediate area’s ordnance survey map in the sitting room.
Thanks in part to the extensive conservation measures introduced by the Gills across their estate, such as planting over 2,000 trees and creating habitats for local wildlife, installing a wind turbine to generate electricity for the farm and using biomass wood boilers to heat the Williamston Barns, the area teems with wildlife such as red squirrels, curlews, lapwings and oystercatchers as well as red and black grouse and roe deer. You’re likely to stumble across these, and plenty of other local residents, while following the walking farm trails available within the estate and beyond.
In addition to offering guided wildlife tours on request, the Gills can set up picnic lunches at a shepherd’s hut that sits just below the brow of Williamston Moor, affording outstanding views of the North Pennines, and can also help book stargazing trips to local Dark Sky Discovery Sites or tastings at the local micro-brewery.
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. A washing machine and dryer is provided in a separate area of the property.
Dining area with formal seating for 6, with access to its own seating area in the cobbled yard
Sitting room with plenty of seating space to relax. Features a wood burning stove with initial supply of logs provided.
Boot room with bench seating and hanging space.
Cloakroom with basin and WC.
Bedroom two with zip and link beds which can be adapted to super king or twin 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.
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 bathroom with bath and shower over, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
Bedroom one is the master bedroom with fixed super king bed, side tables, hanging space. Private seating area, Velux windows.
En-suite with shower, heated towel rail, basin and WC.
There is a cobbled courtyard including a table for outside dining and a barbecue. 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.
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
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, towels and guest toiletries are 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 contemporary wood burning stove in the sitting room area with initial supply of logs provided.
Please note that The Cowshed adjoins The Barn. 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.
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.Find Out More
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
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 really lovely time at The Cowshed and it is an ideal layout for 3 couples (+ babies and dogs!) with plenty of space. The modern kitchen & sitting area is ideal and we ate in every evening and it was fun all being together. It is beautifully designed with lots of little touches which made such a difference. We had some lovely walks from the cottage and other longer hikes at Hadrian's Wall. The area is absolutely stunning and we enjoyed our time even if the weather was a bit mixed. Please thank the owner for our perfect stay."Jackson family
"Fantastic property and wonderful, albeit remote location. The property was super stylish and very comfortable."Ms Stephenson
"We had a lovely stay at the Cowshed. As regular Crabtree & Crabtree customers, this was certainly very high up on the list of amazing properties. The Cowshed was spotlessly clean and incredibly comfortable. The bathrooms were amazing and the showers a joy to bathe in. It was a real treat to have fabulous Cowshed products to use. Everything was of the highest quality, even down to the treat basket left at the beginning of our stay and we loved the home made chocolate cake. The owner was extremely helpful too. There were plenty of walks from our doorstep and we even saw a red squirrel. It was an absolutely beautiful property in a wonderful location, far from the madding crowd. Apart from that we had an amazing time as always and as usual the service from Crabtree & Crabtree was brilliant, so polite and extremely helpful."Mrs Barker
"Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stay. I'm almost reluctant to name The Cowshed as people will then book it up! Very stylish, very comfortable, every home comfort and yet very luxurious. I think it will be hard to beat and I'm not sure how they could improve it. Dog friendly and straight out onto the stunning countryside. So pleased we found Crabtree & Crabtree in an online search!! You will be top of our list in future."Marsden family
"A most pleasurable stay at this remarkable barn. Superb interior A** to the owners for their excellent choice of decor and furnishings. The cake, fresh bread and local beers were a nice touch. We will most definitely be returning and will highly recommend to friends and family."Rabone family
"We really enjoyed our holiday at The Cowshed - it was a beautiful property in a fantastic location and we even had great weather too. We were very impressed with both the property and the service we received from Crabtree & Crabtree and have already recommended you to family and friends. I’m sure we will be back in contact in the future too! Thanks for all your help."Herd family
"We had a wonderful holiday at The Cowshed. The owners were very welcoming and helpful and the barn has been furnished to a very high quality. We just loved it; the bedrooms were very comfortable, the bathrooms spacious and we always had lots of hot water. It was perfectly clean and warm and the kitchen was excellent; modern and equipped with a dream of a Rangemaster oven and all the pots, pans etc., that our two cooks could have wished for as we love to self cater on a grand scale. Northumberland is a very beautiful and peaceful county and we were blessed with some wonderful weather. Our experience at The Cowshed was first class and we would go back and stay again. The Crabtree Team were a delight to deal with and I will certainly recommend the agency to friends and family."Leveridge family
- Two dogs are welcome with a charge of £35 per dog.
- Typical arrival day: Monday and Friday.
- Arrival time: 3.30pm
- Departure time: 9.30am
"The soundtrack to life in Williamston: the enigmatic song of the curlew, the hooting of barn owls, the occasional toot from the narrow gauge South Tynedale Railway and, in spring, the call of lambs and their mothers."Neville & Viv, owners of Williamston Cowshed