Time for a change

By Graham and Fiona Lappin, June 2, 2015


The Lappins have come home! Gone are the pinstripe suits and its on with the apron and marigolds: from banking in Bombay we have decided to set up a bed and breakfast in Cumbria.  We have bought a small farmstead at the foot of the Howgill Fells on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and are in the process of converting the bank barn into a six-bedroom house.

Our wonderful builder Josh assures us that it will be ready for Christmas guests, and until then we plan to explore our beautiful new surroundings and source the best sausages and black pudding along the way!



This is indeed the stuff our dreams are made of!

We are in the process of converting this 18th century listed farm building into a beautiful lodge with six bedrooms: The Bank Barn. Sitting in 8 acres on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park the property is bursting with character and historical features and the park planners were wringing their hands when they saw it! It was a project we couldn’t resist: the property includes a 4-bedroom farmhouse where we live, various outbuildings including a stable and wash house and best of all access to the Dales Way and the Howgill Fells from outside our front door.

Work began in February, after a bit of sparring between us the developers and them the conservationists, with much to be done on the internal structure before the roof comes off in the summer. Most of what has been unearthed so far is pristine and we are confident that the transition from hay loft and cattle shed to country retreat will respect its origins and enable guests to enjoy this spectacular part of the world.


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The barn, house and outbuildings as we found them in January 2014 before moving in six months later; well looked after but a huge undertaking: what have we done?



One day this will be a dream kitchen! Seen in the picture top right as the ‘lean to’ this room was probably used to store machinery and perhaps smaller livestock.



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The bedrooms; two on the ground floor, three ‘in the roof’ and a lower ground floor family suite overlooking the courtyard. Each will have a large en-suite bathroom and a sitting area with views across the fells.



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The full height sitting room is in the oldest part of the barn, thought to date back to the 17th century. With a log burner, exposed beams and brickwork and stunning views of the Howgills, this will be a gorgeous spot for morning coffee, afternoon tea and drinks in the evening.


But what really sold it, was this; what a setting!



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