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The Bothy


We wont be beaten on price!

Churnsike Lodge, near Gilsland, Northumberland
Grade 3 Star rating
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Pets 2
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  • 1.7 million happy customers a year
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This property is part of our Welcome Cottages collection

Welcome Cottages

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Peacefully situated in the Wark Forest, this detached property is just perfect for relaxing and escaping from the hectic day to day life.

Situated on the owner’s smallholding, this detached holiday property is situated in a beautiful and tranquil location. ‘The Bothy’ was once the quarters of the lodge’s resident gamekeeper, who was very spoilt, being able to live in this delightful area. Enveloped by the vast Wark Forest, this really is an escape from the hectic day to day life. The woodland is laced with popular public footpaths, cycle trails and bridleways leading to areas with spectacular views over Durham, Cumbria and on a clear day, Scotland. The area has been granted a dark-sky status by the International Dark Skies Association and as such, this means that the night sky is protected and lighting is controlled to prevent light pollution. As the largest Dark Skies zone in Europe, the area is a gold-tier site making it one of the best places to stargaze or practise night-time photography in the country or on the continent. For the more serious astronomers, the Bothy is 90 minutes from the impressive award-winning Kielder Observatory (booking required). The surrounding woodland and rivers also plays host to a great range of wildlife from birds such as ospreys, goshawks and marsh harriers to larger mammals such as otters and deer.
On the border of Northumbria and Cumbria, the cottage is ideally placed from which to explore the rich history of the northern counties, including Hadrian’s Wall, the debatable lands of the Scottish borders and the great border city of Carlisle. The area is steeped in history, with a number of museums, architectural sites and boasts the largest number of castles, including the magnificent Alnwick Castle. For more relaxing days, it is just 10 miles to Gilsland Spa, where pleasant walks around the grounds with its restorative sulphur waters can be topped off by Sunday lunch. With RAF Spadeadam in close proximity, anything from Apache gunships to Typhoon jets can regularly be seen out on drills in the area. The Bothy is accessed via a public county council road (the last 650 yards is a rough track) through the RAF’s premier Electronics Warfare range, so the sharp of eye will be able to spot the grounded aircraft, tanks and village used for training. Bus and rail services can all be found within 10-14 miles drive. Shop 14 miles, pub and restaurant 10 miles.

Ground floor: Living room with wooden floor. Dining room/kitchen with wooden floor. Utility room. First floor: 2 bedrooms: 1 double, 1 bunk. Shower room with toilet.

Show amenities 


  • Barbecue
  • Bike Store
    Bike Store
  • Detached Property
    Detached Property
  • Dishwasher
  • Highchair
  • Pets – no charge
    Pets – no charge
  • Rural Location
    Rural Location
  • Stairgate
  • Decorated at Christmas
    Decorated at Christmas
  • Cot Available
    Cot Available
  • Washing Machine
    Washing Machine
  • Green Scheme
    Green Scheme
  • Parking - On Site
    Parking - On Site

Customer Comments

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 06/07/2018
    We loved our stay at The Bothy. It's set in a remote location in the Wark Forest. Lots of walks and cycling to be done right on the doorstep. If you're looking to get away from it all and for some peace and quiet, this is definitely the place for you.

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 18/05/2018
    Excellent place to stay, very comfortable and extremely well equipped. Ideal for walking in beautiful surroundings with no traffic or disturbances. Highly recommended, 5 star.

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 17/02/2018
    Great family holiday with our kids aged 12 & 16 and our dog. This is a fabulous well equipped cottage making it home from home. It's forest location is great for walking and nature watching. We managed to see some deer, red squirrels and buzzards. The owners are very warm and friendly and are always willing to help and the lovely welcome gifts left on arrival were a great touch. If you enjoy star gazing the sky at night, if clear, is amazing! Shops are not close by and require about a 20 min drive to reach them but If you are looking for a peaceful retreat away from the hussle and bussle of everyday life then we would defiately recommend this cottage.

  • 1

    Confirmed guest, 10/02/2018
    We was expecting a nice quiet week, walking our dogs (as it's located in the forest). It was not as expected. The house is located on the owners land as described, what they don't tell you, next to the house is their mothers, and very close by is the owners house. It's very on top of each other, which made it very uncomfortable to relax. The door leading into the living room has a big window with no curtain, felt too open. The thermostat kept changing to different programmes which made the house too hot all the time, even at night. Regarding the dogs, they were welcome in the property, however not outside, there was no enclosed area to let the dogs out of the house, which could have easily been accommodated by putting a gate on The courtyard and maybe knocking part of the wall out to have a little garden area, it was filled with junk doing nothing. The dogs weren't allowed upstairs in the bedroom with you, which is ridiculous, dogs are generally uncomfortable in a strange house. There are no decent walks through the forest, all road walks, unless you are willing to drive. To drive places it would take a lot of fuel just to get down the single track lane, used quarter of a tank one way. It is not dog friendly or walker friendly. Only go if you don't want to do anything except stay in the house. We felt that uncomfortable we didn't even spend 24 hours there. We was not forewarned that they were having forestry works in the area, which limited walks even more, We probably wouldn't of booked. We maybe could have stayed a few extra days if there wasn't limitations where we could have walked from the property. Definitely not a week. 100% wouldn't recommend to dog owners and walkers.

    Response from:

    Response on behalf of the owner; Thank you for your review and we're sorry that you didn't enjoy your stay with us at The Bothy. We pride ourselves in providing a first class service to all who visit us and take great satisfaction in ensuring that our guests enjoy all that our property and the surrounding area can offer. We feel that all our past reviews have reflected the high standards we aim for, so we hope you understand that to receive such a dramatically low score is obviously of great concern to us. As with all remote country properties of this nature built in the 1800's, the buildings are grouped around a local service, usually a water supply, and we are no different. Churnsike Lodge, our residence, is located 40m from the Bothy and my Mother, who resides on the first floor of the adjacent stable conversion has her front door located 25m from the Bothy. We believe that the distance between each of the properties, the dividing courtyard walls and the opposing orientation of entrances should provide adequate seclusion. We can only apologise if you felt that you could not relax as we do try to be as unobtrusive as possible when we have guests. With regards to the comment on the door, we understand your concerns here and have taken steps to remedy this as it was something we had not considered. Thank you for alerting us to this. Regarding the thermostat, during the winter, and especially with the cold one we have experienced this year, we endeavour to keep our guests warm throughout their stay by providing 24hr heating through our biomass system. Whilst the temperature is set to a constant of 23 degrees, it may be easily altered via a thermostat. The thermostat located on the wall in the living room of the Bothy is easily adjustable via two buttons, as are the thermostatic radiator valves, all of which can be adjusted to regulate the temperature to personal preferences. Regarding dogs, we do respectfully ask that dogs are kept on a lead whilst on the property as we have dogs ourselves and also a number of free range hens. In the past we have had uncontrolled dogs worry the hens which we feel is unfair to subject them to easily preventable stress. It's a mere 30m to the property entrance whereupon dogs can be let off to run as they please throughout the forest. It is stated within the agents booking conditions that pets are not allowed upstairs and on furniture, and these are agreed prior to booking. We hope you may understand that permitting pets upstairs is not conducive in maintaining a clean environment for the enjoyment of further guests, after all this is a holiday property and as not all guests will be dog owners we have to cater for all. You will have noticed the foundations are already in place to build a stone wall to fully enclose the courtyard which will be gated, however, as you can appreciate for a small family business such as ourselves, these things take time and money, but we are fully committed to continually improving the facilities. In regard to knocking down a wall to provide a garden, we feel that this would impinge upon the historical character of the property, of which we are keen to preserve, and there isn’t any junk there only the neatly stacked original 1850s flagstones. One of the unique attractions of our location is the vastness that Northumberland, and especially the Kielder Forest, has to offer. Throughout the forest there are myriad forest roads and tracks which cross through a variety of environments including open moorland, clear-fell and both ancient and commercial forest providing far reaching views from elevations and the opportunity to witness the ruggedness of the truly wild Northumberland. We provide two ordnance survey maps, detailing both Kielder Forest and the countryside surrounding Hadrian’s Wall, alongside numerous guides in the Bothy, which upon examination would act as a guide as to where the roads and tracks take you and how to best enjoy the surroundings of this unique area. We would like to note that the area is one of great renown throughout the country, and may be researched prior to booking via our booking page, personal website and through the Northumberland National Parks and Visit Kielder websites. Whilst we appreciate that 10 miles may appear to be a great distance from the Bothy to the nearest village, we do make it very clear in the property description that we are in a very remote location. Furthermore, in an effort to inform our guests, there is a map included on our webpage for guests to see exactly where we are. Google Maps, for the uninitiated, is also a great source of information when used in conjunction with local travel guides, and provides a facility whereby the entire length of the road can be traversed in a virtual environment. Upon greeting all our guests we always ask that they make us aware of any issues that may have that might have a negative impact upon the enjoyment of their stay and we do try to deal with them immediately. As such, we were greatly saddened that you could not approach us and only able to stay for such a very short amount of time. As you arrived in the evening at dusk and left the following morning at daybreak we feel that had you stayed with us longer then you may have been able to experience some of the surroundings you were so dissatisfied with. In the short time we have been operating, the reviews we received have on the whole have been very encouraging and complimentary with the overall theme being that the remote open ruggedness has been ideal for our prior guests to undertake walking, many with their dogs. We can only apologise that in your short stay you may not have fully experienced the local area, and we remain devoted to consistently providing a high standard of accommodation.

  • 7

    Confirmed guest, 29/01/2018
    The Bothy was a lovely little cottage, would’ve been a squeeze with 4 of us. A log burner would be a huge asset to the property to give it the cosy ness it deserved, although it was very warm with the central heating

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 02/01/2018
    Lovely cottage ideal for getting away from it all. The cottage is warm, very well equipped and the owners are really welcoming. We stayed over new year and enjoyed the peace and tranquillity. There are great walks through the forest and the stars at night are brilliant in a clear sky. Would definitely visit again.

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 30/12/2017
    An excellent property in a fantastic location. The property is spacious for 4 with a good size and well equipped kitchen. Great walks straight from the door in any direction which was great for the dogs. Many thanks for a lovely stay over Christmas.

  • 10

    Confirmed guest, 18/12/2017
    Best equipped cottage we have ever stayed in ! Amazing!

View All Guest Reviews

9.3 out of 10 – based on 20 reviews collected by Reevoo
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