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Emily Escaped: reviews and photos of holiday homes for design lovers

Emily Escaped

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Written by homes journalist Emily Brooks, this blog is dedicated to seeking out UK holiday rentals that are all about great design

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Love Shack, Cumbria

This woodland hideaway for two, designed by Sutherland Hussey Architects, is a rare thing: a contemporary new home in the Lake District

“We believe that self-catering needn’t be about uncomfy beds, questionable taste and erratic plumbing,” says the Lake District Love Shack, an ethos I enthusiastically second. Quite how this contemporary home even got built is a miracle – it’s in the Lake District, where planning is as tight as a gnat’s nostril, and the section of its website where the quest for planning permission is described hints at rather a bloody battle.

But it’s built now, has won a RIBA award, and everyone seems to love it. Replacing a dilapidated cabin sitting in the trees overlooking Windermere, its owners make a virtue of its petite dimensions by pitching it to romantic types who don’t mind budging up a bit. Owners Karen Guthrie and Adam Sutherland asked Sutherland Hussey Architects (architect Charlie Sutherland is Adam’s brother) to build the house: the practice responded with a split-level design to accommodate a sloping site, which sits on tiny 100mm steel piles so as not to disturb the tree-roots.

The Love Shack has a big wide decked terrace that matches the timber-clad exterior: inside it’s more wood cladding, this time local cedar (all the timber is local, meaning a small carbon footprint). The furnishings follow the same sorts of lines – lots of timber furniture plus soft furnishings in restful browns, blues and greys that seem to hint at the colours of the lake beyond.

This really is the perfect restorative retreat – great if you needed some time out away from everything. And although there’s lots to do in the area, no one’s going to find out if you never left the place even once.

Nearby: Beatrix Potter’s House, Hill Top, is in nearby Sawrey (always overrun by Japanese Potter-maniacs – it’s timed tickets only, so get there early); John Ruskin’s House, Brantwood, near Coniston; see Levens Hall’s amazing topiary garden; visit Bowness and Windermere on the ferry; walking and hiking around the lakes

Essential details:

  • Cunsey, near Sawrey, Ambleside
  • Sleeps 2
  • From £550 per week

Available via Book now at lakedistrictloveshack.com

More photos:

Photos via The Lake District Love Shack

Available via Book now at lakedistrictloveshack.com

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