With its fine garden, 16 acres of fields and woodland and a private shoreline, Sunny Bank Farm offers the ideal place to relax and unwind.
The garden is beautifully planted for all seasons, including a variety of ornamental trees and an abundance of snowdrops and daffodils in spring.
The Sunny Bank name is given for good reason as the lawn slopes south from beside the house and is quite a sun trap. Set well back from the road, and surrounded by hedges and tall shrubs, it is very private. It has plenty of garden seating, as well as a large barbecue for outdoor dining. It is also a haven for birds, including nuthatches and woodpeckers (especially if you fill the feeders). Look out for bats flitting around at dusk and listen for the hoot of an owl.
Just past the garden gate are the fields leading down to the lake. Sheep normally graze in the fields and they often peer into the rear window of the kitchen. In spring, the lambs are an extra attraction. The skies are very dark and a stroll outside on a clear night is well rewarded if you like star gazing.
The Fields and Lake
The large fields contain a variety of wild flowers and mature native trees. There is plenty of space for ball games, and children may enjoy exploring the rocky crags, building a den, or collecting brushwood for a camp fire at the lake shore. Across the lake are the trees of Grizedale Forest, their colours changing with the seasons - stop a while and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
A stroll down to the lake, along the shore and back takes about 15-20 minutes - a little exercise for both you and your (well-supervised) dog! In the quiet of the early morning or evening the surface of the lake can become mirror-like. Look out for red-breasted mergansers with their distinctive crests.
The shore is shallow and stony - ideal for young children to mess about with inflatables, fish for minnows, skim stones, or just enjoy a paddle. Would-be fishermen can try their hand with a rod,for pike, perch, char or brown trout.
Our rowing boat and two Canadian canoes are available to hire for the duration of your stay. Taking 3-4 people each they will open up a new dimension to your holiday, enabling you to explore up and down the lake, and providing hours of fun. Most people's favourite destination is Peel Island - "Wild Cat Island" of Arthur Ransome's book Swallows and Amazons fame (now also a recent film), a short 15 minute paddle, and great for games of hide-and-seek!
Buoyancy aids are provided in a variety of sizes, and these must be worn by anyone using the boats. Please note that no training can be given and guests hiring the boats are expected to be fully competent on the water and should not venture out in rough weather.
You are also welcome to bring your own kayaks, paddle-boards, etc. If you have a larger boat, it is possible to tow it across the fields to the lake shore (unless it has been very wet), and launch it into shallow water from the stony beach.
Bordered on the north and west by Torver Back and Low Commons, there are so many lovely walks straight from the doorstep, it's impossible to describe them all. You are soon off the beaten track, and will probably hardly see a soul.
A short but steep climb on either Common will quickly reward with panoramic views of Coniston Water, Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag. On the Back Common you will find Long Moss Tarn, abundant with water lilies, whilst pretty Kelly Hall Tarn is a favourite with photographers.
Over the road, climb up to the cairn opposite, or higher still to Beacon Hill, with views out to the sea, and the delightful hidden gem of Beacon Tarn. Meadow pipits abound - see them fly up from their hiding places when startled.
If you prefer something on the level, take the pleasant lake-shore path through woodland to Coniston village, along part of the Cumbria Way.