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5 Lake District sites within easy reach of Swarthmoor Hall

By | News

Swarthmoor Hall is the ideal location for your staycation. It is right on the edge of the Lake District, yet close enough to access all the major visitor attractions.

There are only three self-contained accommodation suites on-site, for 4 to 6 people. So, we can guarantee you a very peaceful and quiet stay, in the lovely market town of Ulverston.

Walking, cycling, exploring, visiting, you are spoilt for choice in this little corner of Cumbria. We have selected five sites within easy reach from the Hall for you to visit and explore.

The Cumbria Way
1 mile away
21 minute walk

 This 70-mile route starts in Ulverston, at Gill car park, about a mile away from the Hall, and ends in Carlisle. This very scenic walk will take you through the Cumbrian countryside. The first section is 15 miles long and goes up to Coniston Water. Along the way, you will see the Sir John Barrow Monument, also known as the Hoad Monument, which you can also view from the Swarthmoor Hall gardens. You will have a glimpse of the beautiful Morecambe Bay. The X12 bus can take you back from Coniston Water to Ulverston.

The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway
7 miles away
13 minutes by car

 The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway is located in the Leven Valley in the Southern Lake District. It is a perfect day out for the family or train enthusiasts. You will be able to take a ride on a steam train on 3-mile route. Many period locomotives are also on display. There is a tearoom and a playground on-site too. The site is open to the public with social distancing rules in place and takeaway food available.

Stott Park Bobbin Mill
11 miles away
19 minutes by car

 Stott Park Bobbin Mill is an Heritage England site, located on Lake Windermere. It is still producing wooden bobbins to this day, the only one of its kind. There is a family trail so adults and children alike can immerse themselves as a worker. The mill is reopening on 17 May.

 Hill Top garden and house
16 miles away
32 minutes by car

Hill Top is Beatrix Potter’s 17th century farmhouse. The Tale of Peter Rabbit writer established herself in the Lake District and chose the Hill Top farm to write. Bought by the National Trust, the site has been preserved to reflect Potter’s life at the time. The garden is beautiful and picturesque and can be accessed from now on. The house will reopen in May. You will need to book in advance to access this inspiring site.

17 miles away
29 minutes by car

Bowness-on-Windermere combines everything you could expect of a town on Lake Windermere: scenic views, water sports, boat trips, restaurants and a few other visitor attractions. You will not get bored and probably will not be able to see everything in one day.

If you would like to use Swarthmoor Hall as your base to explore all the wonders of the Lake District and Cumbria, make a booking on Cottages.com.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon at the Hall.

Swarthmoor Hall closure update

By | News

The UK government announced last week a four-stage roadmap to re-open hospitality, accommodation and places of interest, with the plan seeing most being fully reopened by the end of May. Even after re-opening, tight social distancing restrictions would remain in place for the foreseeable future.

We welcomed the announcement and have considered it against a set of criteria: being a safe venue, our staff safety and well-being, and the viability of reopening the hall.

After careful consideration, we feel the size of our facilities and the limitations on numbers being imposed mean that it just wouldn’t be viable or safe to reopen the historic house, café or to run our pilgrimages and education programmes this year. We do, however, intend to continue offering our three self-contained accommodation suites from 12 April 2021.

Whilst we understand that this will be some disappointing news to our loyal customers and Friends, we are intending to use this time well. We will undertake some much-needed heritage conservation work to the old hall.

The work which will last until 2022 will aim to:

  • Remove the current render which is causing long term damage to the oak beans,
  • Replace the unsafe balcony,
  • Do some conservation work to the interiors of the historic hall, including furniture and artefacts.

These projects are part of the preparations to refresh the interpretation of the historic house, in time for Georges Fox’s 400th birthday.

We are also going to take this opportunity to upgrade and extend the size of the carpark. This will include installing an electric charging point, allowing us to offer a greener option and to welcome more visitors in the future. We hope that this will also make the hall more sustainable and viable in the long run.

Our small team of staff will continue to oversee the self-catering lets, upkeep the site and support the refurbishment project.

The Swarthmoor Hall Team

Christmas, New Year and January closure

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Following public health restrictions, Swarthmoor Hall – guest accommodation, Old Hall, the Barn Café, and gardens – are closed for an extended period over the Christmas/New Year holiday. All staff will be on leave from Friday 18 December. The site will remain closed until further notice. You can still book your stay for 2021 on Cottages.com (external link). Wishing you peace, love, and joy this holiday season and throughout 2021.

November closure

By | News

It is with great regret that we have to close Swarthmoor Hall from Thursday 5 November to comply with the national lockdown in England. 

Even though we received great feedback from our guests, who felt comfortable and safe in our self-catering accommodation, we have to close once again.

If you have a booking with us between Thursday 5 November and Wednesday 2 December, please contact our reservation team by email, and they will be able to assist you.

Paul Henderson-Grey, CEO of Quiet Company: “This is another setback in what has been the most challenging year for our company. I’d like to thank our team who went above and beyond to make sure our guest accommodation was safe for everyone. I’d also like to thank guests who stayed with us. It meant a lot to us in these difficult times.”

Like many of you, we try to stay positive. We know there will be better days. In the meantime, you can still book stays for the festive season, and reservations for 2021 are also open on cottages.com.

We wish you all well.

Take care.

The team at Swarthmoor Hall

Update on Swarthmoor Hall

By | News

As many of you know, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to close Friends House and Swarthmoor Hall for a long period in 2020. We have been able to reopen but only partly and under tight restrictions. Unfortunately, this has had a deep impact on our company and our staff. We’re all about getting people together and offering hospitality services. The pandemic has made trade very difficult for us, if not almost impossible.

To ensure that the Quiet Company is still here in the months ahead, we have taken the difficult decision of offering a voluntary redundancy scheme to our staff. This has been a heart-breaking decision to take, and not one we would have envisaged if the survival of the company wasn’t at stake.

As an ethical business, rooted in Quaker values, we decided that our scheme would offer substantially more than the statutory minimum.

Val Brittin, Clerk to the Board of Directors of the Quiet Company, expresses her gratitude to our leaving colleagues:

 “To the many staff who have decided to take voluntary redundancy, we say thank you. Some of you have been here since the start of the company in 2007. You have been committed and have helped us grow and reach new milestones year after year. In the last thirteen years, there hasn’t been one side of the business that didn’t get industry recognition or accreditation. This is all down to you. We’ll be forever grateful.”

The company is going through a storm. These are unprecedented times that call for unprecedented action. The company is reducing its size, but this won’t be enough. We need to adapt and rethink to be able to carry on.

We can’t do that on our own. Paul Henderson-Grey, CEO of the Quiet Company, reasserts the need for support for the events sector:

 “We also need the Government to help us further. We have welcomed the announcement by the Chancellor of a new job scheme. But what our industry really needs is a better dedicated rescue package and representation at government level by a dedicated minister. Hardly any other sector has been impacted to the core like ours.”

As the Quiet Company, what we do goes beyond events and hospitality. What we do is provide a vital income to the charity of Quakers in Britain, so that they can act for peace, sustainability, and social justice in the UK and abroad. What we do is provide a vital hub for the community in Camden and Ulverston in Cumbria, enabling groups to meet or stay at a fair price. What we do is help those who have seen doors shut on them too many times in their lives, through our Suspended Soup Scheme and Bake the Difference programme. All of this is in jeopardy today unless we get additional funding.

However, we remain hopeful for the future. We know that our remaining staff will go the extra mile, as always, to get us through the storm. As the pandemic has shown, we need more ethical businesses and we’re determined not to let ours go. Book with us (external link), so we can make a difference in the world.