Wintercrag Farm

From Askham I booked two nights at Wintercrag Farm (a name that sounds very Game of Thrones, I think you’ll agree) in Martindale. As far as I can tell, Martindale comprises of four buildings and two of them are farms and two of them are churches. I can’t tell if this means the original locals were extremely pious or hated each other so much they couldn’t worship in the same building. Either way, both churches are now disused.

The house sits just over a little beck with a lovely view down the valley.

The farmers breed dogs, mainly collies, kelpie/collie mixes and terriers. I’ve seen a few of the farm dogs around but the breeding dogs are in a shed so I haven’t seen them as yet. I feel kind of bad about asking, knowing how busy farmers are, but I also really want to see them.

I had to carry all my food with me as there no shops at all within easy walking distance, so I’ve been mainly living on porridge, tomatoes, apples, cheese and flatbread. I did buy myself one treat in Pooley Bridge.

Locally made, absolutely delicious!

It’s only a small bottle (500ml) probably a bit too much to drink in only two nights but I’m willing to make that sacrifice. The man in the shop said it was perfect for drinking straight and he was right!

The rental accommodation at the farm is the entire upstairs. There are three bedrooms but I’m the only person here so I got to pick my own room.

I chose the one with the stag theme.
Wallpaper close-up.

There is a kitchen and bathroom, which are nice to have to myself. When we renovated our home we got rid of our bathtub, but I’ve had nothing but baths since I got here, they’re so nice after a long day walking.

The only negative thing I have to say about the place is the way the floors creak. There is not a spot on the entire second floor that doesn’t creak like something out of a horror movie. I mentioned it to the owner but she said they don’t notice it. If it was me downstairs I’d go mad within hours.

Also, the carpet is quite something.

This morning I had a cup of porridge then set out up the fell at the back of the farm. It was a bit precipitous in places but I made it up to the first hill reasonably easily. Some thoughtful person had put a bench in a nice spot and I paused to enjoy the weather.

I then followed the ridge along a bit, stopping to talk to a man who was walking with his dog. It turned out he was from Askham, which was quite a coincidence, seeing as there wouldn’t be more than 200 people living there and he was the first person I’d spoken to since I left Askham, apart from the people at the farm.

He was very nice but told me he was 85 then proceeded to climb up and out of sight so quickly that I felt quite demoralised. Being almost 50, I don’t mind being overtaken by people under the age of 60, 70 at a stretch, but 85 is just ridiculous. Anyhow, I clambered up over rocks and along narrow paths but eventually decided it was too steep and turned around and went back down.

Looking back.

I quite like a bit of scrambling, but not when there is a steep drop right beside me. Better safe than sorry!

I made it back to the farmhouse for lunch then a nap that was supposed to be an hour long but was more like three. I think yesterday’s hike with my full backpack had been more exhausting than I’d realised and I also felt like I was getting a bit of a cold.

In the afternoon I walked across the road and up the hill a little, watching the farm dogs herd the sheep down from the fells (there’s a video on my instagram if anyone is interested: zenandtheart is my username), then I took a walk down the floor of the valley along the road. I saw some sheep with their lambs in a barn and lots of very picturesque buildings.

For dinner I made my two minute noodles (apparently they are THREE minute noodles in the uk, ick) with a sachet of tuna, cherry tomatoes and chopped up cheddar (gourmet!) and afterwards I finished off the vodka. It’s only 20% so it was like having about 3 glasses of wine but the wine was like the caramel sauce you put on ice cream when you were a kid. After a while it was a bit too sweet but I bravely managed to finish it all.

May I share my trick for having a nice cold drink in an Airbnb with no ice tray? Just fill several glasses with about a centimetre of water, freeze them when you first arrive and voila! Iced beverages. I did chill the vodka too, but I wanted to drink it slowly.

Tomorrow I’m going to walk to Patterdale, which is about eight km/five miles, and hope there’s room in the YHA. If there isn’t maybe I’ll suck it up and actually do some camping!

Luke told me two things today, one is that I make a lot of typos in the blog, which I hope you’ll all write off as jet lag and not me being too lazy to edit, or worse, not knowing how to spell or construct a sentence! Also that at least one person from his work has been reading the blog, so hi to Luke’s workmate! I hope you’re enjoying it, I’m sure it’ll be more interesting once Luke starts contributing too.


This is Winnie, I have no idea what kind of dog she is but she hugs my leg then closes her eyes and leans on me.
The working dogs are a lot less interested in pats.

3 thoughts on “Wintercrag Farm

  1. I think Winnie might be a border terrier. They are very popular here too, I’ve seen so many! So scruffy and adorable, although every time I see one it reminds me of that very sad episode of Futurama with Fry’s dog 😦

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