Come Rain or Shine: Little Nut Cottage in the Lake District

Introducing Little Nut Cottage, Katharine’s nook in the heart of the Lake District.

katharine pooley, the uks best interior designer, near her home in the lake district

Late summer and early autumn are the best times of the year to visit Cumbria. The hills and valleys are covered in lush greenery, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor exploring while wildflower blooms add a burst of colour across the landscape.

At the foot of the Great and Little Langdale valleys and beside ‘The Lake of the Swans’, lies Elterwater. The sleepy village is flanked by bracken-clad heathland and nestled against the magnificent backdrop of the Langdale Pikes. With its slow pace and picturesque topography, Elderwater is a much-loved destination for outdoor activities and appreciating nature.

When I first visited this quiet corner of the Lakes, the humble charm and the bijou size of the cottages immediately struck me. The slate walls also have a beautiful depth of colour that changes throughout the day according to the light. It’s absolutely magical. An opportunity arose in 2019, to own one of the original cottages. It was in need of some modernisation and sympathetic restoration and I leapt at the chance.

Little Nut Cottage, luxury accommodation by interior designer katharine pooley in the lake district

Local craftsmen, stonemasons, garden designers and artisans were central to my vision. I filled the space with luxury home accessories and looked to my favourite British suppliers and creatives for the furnishings. Soft toned rugs from Sinclair Till, lighting from furniture pieces from Soane London and numerous bespoke furniture makers punctuate the space, while fabrics from Colefax and Fowler, Holland & Sherry, Pierre Frey and C&C Milano create a layered and cosy feel.  

With eye-catching lighting from friends in the design world like Paulo Moschino, Jonathan Browning and Hector Finch, and artwork from favourite local artists including landscapes from Heaton Cooper and Richard Cook, this became a very personal interior that developed gradually over time. Downstairs I sourced a selection of pieces for a gallery wall from Wychwood Art, thanks to the discerning eye of Deborah Allen.

We built out-buildings from scratch; reinstated fireplaces, and added new windows and a slate roofed porch. The front of the cottage was transformed with the addition of a stone set driveway, while at the rear, a wrought iron fenced terraced garden was established on the hillside and planted with Portuguese Laurel trees, Lilac, tulips and hellebore.

The bathroom in Little Nut Cottage, luxury accommodation by interior designer katharine pooley in the lake district

In the morning I like to begin my adventure with a beautiful two-mile walk through open meadows along Elterwater Lake, and past the waterfall at Stockghyll Force – a gentle start to the many wondrous sights and valleys in reach of Little Nut Cottage, ready to explore.

After a day of hard walking up the Pikes and wild swimming in the lakes, an inviting timber-clad hot tub is nestled in one corner of the garden. Thoughtfully placed for admiring the surrounding hills, it is the perfect place for tranquillity and reflection. Later on, a stroll to the Britannia pub, the Langdale Hotel, or the Eltermere Hotel is in order, for a drink and a bite to eat if you fancy.In the later half of the year, the local community comes alive with various outdoor fairs and festivals. I adore spending time in this part of the world and these events provide the best opportunities for immersion in the unique culture of the area.

L'Enclume a fine dining michelin star experience in the lake district, country accommodation near nice restaurants

Activities in the Lake District
L’Enclume, located in the picturesque village of Cartmel, is often regarded as one of the most influential and exceptional dining establishments in the UK. Translating to “the anvil”, the setting is a 13th Century Blacksmith’s workshop. With a strong focus on craftsmanship, his philosophy revolves around a deep respect for ingredients, focusing on capturing the essence of their natural flavours and textures.

Blackwell is a historic house-turned-gallery. With every glance out of its windows, the serene lake and lush gardens become a living canvas that complements the human creativity housed within. Blackwell isn’t just an arts venue; it’s a symphony of inspiration, where the echoes of the past harmonise with the whispers of modern ingenuity.

Blackwood Art in the Lake District

The Lingholm Kitchen takes pride in crafting dishes that showcase the region’s bountiful produce. The ambiance is equally enchanting, with cosy interiors and scenic outdoor seating that overlooks the serene Derwentwater. It is also supposedly the inspiration behind ‘Mr McGregor’s Garden’ from The Tales of Beatrix Potter.

Whether it’s the delicate poaching of fresh Windermere trout or the expertly seared Herdwick lamb, every plate at Michelin starredThe Old Stamp House showcases the harmonious symphony of flavours that define the region. Paying homage to locally sourced ingredients, the 17th century surroundings help to set the mood as patrons are transported on an expedition of taste, guided by a team that wields culinary artistry and storytelling prowess in equal measure.

katharine pooley, the uks best interior designer, near her home in the lake district with some swans

I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on this very special part of the world. For more information on Little Nut Cottage or our other projects, please contact us via the links below.

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