Teesdale is timeless – all dry stone walls and wildflower-spangled meadows rising into stark fells… then it’s home to warm limbs by the wood-burning stove. All four rooms of this threshing barn turned cottage exude character and craftsmanship. The sitting room features an arched door with stone surround and a cat’s cradle of naked beams; the kitchen, well-equipped and beautifully fitted, has a wooden sprung bench above the radiator; and if you have any parts left to warm, the impressive wet room has a heated marble seat beneath its rainfall shower. Couples will love the king-sized iron bedstead in a cute bedroom with rustic furnishings and reclaimed oak floor; kids or extra guests have a sofabed in the sitting room. Sally stocks a welcome basket with locally sourced products, wine, and herbs from the secluded south-facing garden. Follow the river Tees one mile west to the market town Barnard Castle with its Norman ruins, antique shops and Bowes Museum, one of northern England’s cultural gems.