I work in the field of education / children's services and live here in the Lakes. I have a Border Collie, Moss - she's a mountain rescue search dog.
The accomodation is really handy for Ambleside and it is as described: handy, warm, comfortable, quirky, cute. Frank, who met us, was very helpful. My problems were: 1. Michael no longer manages the property and communication after the original booking was non-existent despite a number of attempts so we could not confirm closer to the date and just had to hope. 2. There is no washing machine or dryer, as listed on airbnb. We should have, at the least, been informed of this and, perhaps, offered a rebate. 3. There was no house manual (we only found the switch to the bathroom heater on the morning we left - hint - look above the bathroom door) and the wireless internet information was out of date. Airbnb website's information was wrong 4. When we first used the dinner plates, there were bits of food and grease marks on them. We made sure we washed everything before we used it but it was still yucky. 5. We knew the apartment was small from the description, but, for a place available for travellers, we were surprised that there was no floor room for suitcases.
The apartment itself is fine, but these details I've listed above mark the difference between a fine accomodation and an average accomodation.
Although we didn't have the pleasure of meeting Michael, we were very happy to meet the actual owners of How Head Barn, Valerie and Frank. They were a delight to deal with. Frank met us and explained all the necessities, and Valerie introduced herself the next day. Very nice people, and very accessible and responsive. One night during the week we were there, they were off to visit their grandkids overnight and left a phone number where we could reach them, if needed. Totally unnecessary as everything worked very smoothly all week, but it was very thoughtful nonetheless.
The flat is very comfortable and self-sufficient. We had plenty of space in the living room to spread out, watch TV, and just relax. There was a very efficient supplemental electric heater to warm the place. Wifi was a bit slow, but we managed. We were on vacation, after all, and anything needing better connectivity could wait.
The kitchen had everything we could need, and we cooked dinner "at home" almost every night. The bathroom was wonderful, with both tub and shower. The shower was a bit tight, but plenty of hot water. And bless the bathroom heater! It was very toasty warm in there.
The double bed is comfortable, and there is ample room for storing clothes in both the dresser and closet - something we've found is not a "given" everywhere.
The location is brilliant! A quick walk into the beautiful centre of Ambleside. Thank goodness there is ample parking at How Head Barn because parking in the village can be difficult and costly. Walking downhill is no problem, but the uphill climb can be a challenge for some. Fortunately it is a short climb and good exercise!
Ambleside is a fantastic central location for exploring anywhere in the Lake District, and in our opinion the most picturesque village of them all.
Please be aware that there is no longer a washer/dryer in the flat, if that matters to you.
Overall, a great experience. We would highly recommend.
Our stay at this B&B was just okay. The host listed on airbnb is actually not the one looking after the property, so that was a bit confusing upon check in, but we got settled in okay after finding the keys in the door and then meeting the woman who is currently in charge. This suite has a kitchen, which I can see as being useful for some guests, but unfortunately we found the entire unit had a strong food smell (probably Thai or Chinese food) that had obviously been cooked by previous guests. The host must have noticed herself as all the windows were wide open upon arrival, but unfortunately that wasn't enough to air out the suite. The overall decor is quite rustic, which is somewhat charming, but for us it was just a little too dated. The real downside for us was that you could hear everything going on upstairs - talking, walking, laughing, etc. until about 11pm. I know for some people these are all minor issues, but for us, after a long day of traveling, we were quite disappointed and didn't get the restful sleep we were hoping for.
Very cozy and quiet place with well-equipped kitchen. Was perfectly fine even for three people for our three-night stay. Village and several nice trail heads in walking distance. We would come back again. Cheers!
Michael's communication was excellent, right up to and including the day before our arrival. However, when we arrived there was no-one around at all. The Howhead Cottage had been left open for us, so we made ourselves at home. A few hours later Frank, the owner of Howhead, arrived to tell us that Michael had left the previous week and taken the washer and dryer, which we had been so looking forward to using! That was the last we heard or saw of Frank.
Despite this start to our stay, we enjoyed the cottage although found it rather cosy with a family of 4 (including two daughters aged 18 and 21).
The location was good and it was great to have on site parking. Only a short walk to the shops.
Ambleside is a great base for exploring the Lake District.
A lovely, quirky, cozy, tucked away, but with close access to local amenities property. We only stayed for one night, but I would recommend considering as your base for a longer stay. It is great for a couple - we had three in our party, and it was snug
This was a great spot in a really cool place. Comfy amenities and well located. Highly recommended.
A lovely little house perfectly positioned in Ambleside - was perfect for two. Mike was a great host, greeting us with a couple of beers to sit out in the sun (there's a table and chairs in the front yard which gets the sun until the early evening). The house is directly below Mike's which was very handy when I managed to lock us out, but the only slight downside was being woken early by Mike's dog running around upstairs! All in all a great holiday though and would definitely return. Chhers Mike!
Our favourite stay on our UK trip, Ambleside was an absolute gem. And the flat had just the kind of history and character we were craving. Great place to either wander beautiful streets or hike beautiful countryside. We would definitely stay here again. In fact, we'd live here if we could. Perfect.
Michael Blakey was a very generous and helpful host. One of us arrived with a fever and he helped us get medical care. The apartment was clean and very pleasant. We have nothing but praise for the man and the place and, of course, Ambleside is totally charming!
Mike was a very pleasant guest and we would love to host him again any time. Highly recommended!