A sunny double ensuite room with large shower room in a 1839 rectory. The house is surrounded by our smallholding raising veg, pigs and hens. Set in a peaceful part of the Lake district with easy access to the stunning western fells and valleys.
We live in a large 1839 built rectory in Bootle, a small rural village in the quiet western English Lake District. We have 5 listings : in the main house there are 2 double ensuite rooms ( 'West' and 'South') and a single/twin; in the adjacent self contained Coach House we have 2 ensuite double rooms ( numbers 1 and 2! ) All the rooms have tea, coffee and biscuits, hairdrier maps and local guides.This listing is the West double room, ensuite with a shower room. The house has a lounge with an open fire and Sky sports TV, the kitchen has a coal fired AGA cooker. There is free wi-fi, and we have about an acre and a half of grounds, so there is lots of parking space off the road, and camping spots if wanted. There is a paddock over the river with polytunnels for fresh veg. We live with Oscar the cat, two lovely cocker spaniels Biggles and Algy ( readers of a certain age and W.E Johns fans will recognize the allusion). The smallholding has pigs, ducks, geese and hens, which together with the polytunnels provides all our food in the summer months.
Bootle has a village shop/ post office, and a cafe. The town of Millom, 10 miles away, has supermarkets. There are a small number of excellent small restaurants in the area, however we do offer our guests the opportunity to share our evening meal without charge. We can provide advice on the best local walks.
There are two horse riding stables locally, plus the historic Muncaster Castle and World Owl Trust, and extensive beaches for windsurfing. We have two mountain bikes to use if feeling energetic, and of course the fantastic fells to walk on, including Sca Fell ( highest mountain in England) next to Wastwater ( the deepest lake).
The western Lakes are the quiet bit of the National Park, and we enjoy introducing people to the delights of the stunning Eskale and Wasdale valleys which lead up to Scafell and Great Gable mountains inland, and down to the coast with the fine golf links at Seascale and Silecroft, and the miles of deserted sands in the Duddon estuary.
Ravenglass is the home of the narrow gauge Eskdale and Ravenglass railway with daily steam trains up the Eskdale valley. This is known locally as ' La'l Ratty' so by googling that you get further details of timetables etc .
Local OS maps and Wainwrights available to borrow for expeditions on rail, bus foot or car.
Tea, coffee and buiscuits in the room, shampoo and hand wash in the bath/shower rooms together wih hairdryer and multi socket adapter on the dresser.
Your own transport is an advantage, but not essential. Trains stop at Bootle Station ( about 15 mins walk away), and there are 10 trains a day each way ( from Lancaster or Carlisle). We can pick you up from Millom or Bootle Station by arrangement if it helps.
Lots of books scattered around the house in various bookcases which you're welcome to borrow, OS maps and Wainwrights to borrow.
We provide a full breakfast, cereals, fruit, cheese jams etc plus bacon, Cumberland sausage, mushrooms and eggs if you want to cook them. If you want to cook your own evening meal in the kitchen, that's fine, or you are welcome to take pot luck with whatever we are having without charge( best if you let us know the morning of arrival so I can adjust amounts). We generally eat at 18.30, but we'll save you some if you want to arrive/eat later.
You can find out whats going on at The Old Rectory by googling 'The Old Rectory Bootle (website hidden)' which shows all the pig,duck,hen and goose action.
(website hidden) link is
To find us, come to Bootle ( Cumbria, not Liverpool!) on the GPS. From the south Barrow end, on the A595, go straight on through the village past the Post Office and the Church on your right. 50 yds after the church take the very first (very small) drive way off to the right and follow the arrow to the Old Rectory. From the north (Whitehaven) end on the A595, pass the flashing 30 mph sign at the entrance to the village, then take the small turn off to the left after 150 yds (before the church) and follow the arrow to the Old Rectory.
The door is open, and you are free to roam the garden, visit the paddock to visit the animals, and to potter in the polytunnels
Interaction with Guests
We try to judge what our guests want, and behave accordingly. If desired a full participation in our family life is welcome.
Being on the western side of the Lake District,this a quiet part of the National Park away from the hurly-burly of Windermere etc. The western fells and valleys such as Wasdale and Eskdale rival those in the more popular areas. and are much more peaceful.
There is a good rail service onto the Cumbrian coast line with the station 1 mile from the house. We pick up people if wanted.
Other Things to Note
During the summer we grow most of what we eat and eat most of what we grow. Hence we have a heavily vegetarian diet and enjoy exploring the vegetarian cook book, although we also eat the pigs we raise ( sorry). So vegetarian guests are more than welcome, especially if new recipes come with you. All food preferences or intolerences are catered for, let me know about gluten beforehand so I can get the appropriate bread and cereals.
Secure barn for bike
No particular rules except no smoking. House is always open. usual breakfast foods with milk,
yoghurt, cereals, juices, fruit , plus bacon eggs etc. Your pets are also welcome as the grounds are set off the road, within automatic gate.
There is no particular check-in time, but the rooms may not be available until 2 pm, but you are welcome to leave luggage while you go out. Check-out is 12 noon
We stayed for two days with Mike and Joan and can't speak highly enough of our experience. They were such warm hosts and made us feel so comfortable. The meals they cooked for us were delicious, as was the wonderful dinner time conversation. We appreciate so much their willingness to give us lifts to and from the train station. We felt so much at home staying with them. We are so thankful that they made our time in the Lake District so special.
Staying with Mike and Joan is a really present experience for us. This is the very first time we choose b&b. And we received the warmest welcome in a rainy evening. We stayed there for three nights and every night Mike would cook us delicious food! Joan and the other guest Kirby from the USA would give us good advise and even help us plan our trip. There we could truly experience English style family. Many thanks for their help and hopefully we will see them again. I definitely recommend their place! :)
Very much enjoyed our stay with mike and Joan. Made to feel very welcome. Easygoing and informal atmosphere . Lovely comfortable Accomodation. loved spending time with their friendly pets and seeing how the good life works. Would definitely go again.
We had a lovely two night stay at the Old Rectory. Mike and Joan were away on holiday but had left their daughter Alex and partner Rob in charge for the month. They were superb hosts and made us feel really welcome. Alex and Rob are really interesting and funny and we enjoyed spending time with them!
Mike's folder of nearby activities was really useful and Alex was really knowledgable about the local area and helpful to give us some extra ideas of things to do. We went for a walk through their land to Gibson's Spout which was beautiful. We also went and explored the smallholding, we met the pigs and sheep and ducks and chickens and geese and the turkey. I also made best friends with Polly the kitten who sat in my coat hood for a good 20 mins as I fed the pigs!
My husband and I went out for dinner both nights, but I feel we really missed out on the freshly cooked dinners each night, and I'm definitely sad that we had to leave on the Sunday and miss Burn's night dinner with haggis, neeps and tatties. Nevertheless, it was lovely to return to the house after a meal out and relax on the sofa with the dogs (Biggles, Algy and Lego, who are all very good natured dogs) in front of the fire. The addition of cheese and port courtesy of Rob & Alex definitely went down well!
The room itself is clean and well appointed. Shower is large and with plenty of hot water. Breakfast was also great - loads of eggs, sausages, bacon and fresh homemade bread, I never used to be a fan of the AGA, but have been converted because it was so fun to cook on!
It was a very different weekend away to the usual but overall was a lovely weekend and would definitely come back/recommend to others. Thanks so much!
It was a long drive up, but the views and sceneries were amazing so it was really worth it. As for mikes place, (mike was away, skiing I think so we spent our night with Alex and Rob)... If you like the idea of having funny but great conversation with people of different culture, sitting by the fireplace surrounded by books and three adorable dogs and one sleeping cat. This is the place for you. To us this was more like an experience, not a b&b stay. Will be back with the rest of my family!!!
Our stay at Mike's home was fantastic. Mike and Joan were actually on holiday so we were looked after by their daughter Alex and her partner rob.
We were met at the door by 3 lovely dogs and Rob himself. After a short tour of the rooms dinner was already served and was very welcome after the long drive up. Their hospitality over the weekend was amazing and the dinner for each night was incredible. The best roast potatoes I've ever had! They have pigs, ducks and chicken which we joined in to feed on our last day, it is quite the experience and I would definitely ask to get stuck in!
You definitely need a car to get around Cumbria and my boyfriend and I explored a little bit around Windemere and Ambleside. We also treked up Scafell Pike, which was extremely snowey and definitely needed ski gear up the top!
What we loved about it was that, it was almost like staying at a friends house in the country for the weekend. We could get on with our own thing but then also hang out in front of the fire of an evening.
A great experience and true country living! Thanks Rob and Alex you made everything superb and memorable!
Alex n her boyfriend are really nice host, let us felt very free and comfortable in their lovely house. I also impressed by the big field and animals , that's such a wonderful experience for me! I appreciated!
Everything is enjoyable. Thank you!
P.s Love the stove in the kitchen~
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I'm a retired GP who, with Joan my wife, is currently engaged in running our smallholding to provide the majority of our food. and sharing the experience of the Lake District with our Airbnb guests. We run a working smallholding with sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and geese and veg from the polytunnelsYou can see how it works on The Old Rectory Millom Cumbria (website hidden) page. We have open evening meals, which anyone around can join in without extra charge, and for me cooking our own produce every day is a delight. Breakfast (no set times) is a 'help yourself, cook it yourself' affair with our own bacon, sausages eggs honey and preserves.. We have ground source heating and solar panels to help the environment, and have established a new deciduous woodland on our 200 acres on the nearby fellside. The open fire in the lounge is fuelled by wood from a Scots pine/beech Forestry Commission plantation we have bought with a view to clearing the rhododendrons and reseeding native temperate rain flora for the wildlife. We help our guests with maps and guides to local walks, and make the farm free to any invovement that is wanted ( wellies needed in winter). Essentially we want to feel that we live in harmony with the land and its plants and animals, taking fom it what we need with care, and giving what we can.