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Fun interior design. Why not?

Not taking ourselves too seriously, we wanted to have some fun interior design in St Marks Stays and why not hey! I always love hotels, bars and restaurants that are quirky and we wanted to create a little bit of that with our designs. Bedroom five is named Monteverde...

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A love for Moroccan Interiors

I (Joanne) knew one of our rooms and especially a bathroom was going to have an Moroccan inspiration, because it turns out, I’m not the only person with a love for Moroccan Interiors. There is something about the vibrant tones and patterns that is so different to the...

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What is a triple bunkbed?

When people are enquiring about booking St Marks Stays, the question asked a lot is, ‘What is a triple bunkbed?’ So with the unveil of bedroom three, here is exactly what our triple bunkbed looks like. Bedroom three is the middle room in the house and has had the...

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Style inspired by Mackintosh

The style inspired by Mackintosh is within our bedroom number two in St Marks Stays, which sits to the right down the little steps and has the fabulous views of the hills at the back of the house. The style we are talking about, is of course Rennie Mackintosh and a...

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Our Namaste welcome to you

As we open up our newly renovated rooms, here is the transformation of bedroom one and our Namaste welcome to you. We had always called the bedrooms by numbers for our reference when we moved in to St Marks, but talking to lots of people, it became apparent that...

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A creative meeting room

One of the draws of St Marks for us, was the studio as we immediately saw it as a creative meeting room. It has been used in the past as a classroom for Bolton School and a creative base for the previous owner’s company, Creative Leisure. We see it as a room with so...

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Is it a Drawing Room, or a Parlour?

Having the luxury of two living rooms here at St Marks Stays, we were wondering what to call the second living room and had conversations about if we were frightfully posh, would it be called a drawing room or a parlour? The word Parlour comes from the French word...

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Renovating to commercial constraints

It has been amazing that lots of followers online have felt encouraged to advise us on our renovations and what they would like to do with the house and unfortunately our answer has always been, ‘Arh but yes we are renovating to commercial constraints’. We love the...

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Why we are putting the social back in to the dining room

Our main vision for a change in lifestyle was to create a place for people to be more social in and for our latest before and after renovation, here is how and why we went about putting the social back in to the dining room. Every memorable holiday for us has involved...

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Doing your own reupholstering

When we told people we were renovating the dining room, we were asked a lot, as though it was the norm, the question of, ‘Are you doing your own reupholstering?’ Well despite having a degree in Textiles and Knitwear, I (Joanne) am not skilled at all with a sewing...

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Our First Year

Although it has not been a full year since we moved to St Marks, as we take a break for Christmas, the end of 2017 seems an appropriate time to reflect on our first year. I am not going to lie, it has been a rollercoaster of a journey already and whilst you all know...

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Kendal Mountain Festival

On our first look into the Kendal Mountain Festival, we thought it would be more of interest to Damian, given that he wishes to pick back up his training for a mountain leadership qualification, but wow we were wrong. I (Joanne) loved it! It was so good to see Kendal...

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Walking in Sedbergh

Being situated in the Howgill Fells there are plenty of places to go walking in Sedbergh and here is a little glimpse at the stunning landscape of Winder Fell in the Autumn. Even the misty views do not disappoint and the autumnal colours at this time of the year are...

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Cheese and Waterfalls

Who would have thought you could put cheese and waterfalls in the same activity, but if you think about it for a countryside picnic day, it is perfect really. This September we got to visit the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes, followed by a visit along to Aysgarth to...

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C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year 2017

As a creative, I, (Joanne) love to work with artists and I have to say the C-Art Cumbrian Artist of the Year exhibition has been a highlight for me so far this year. The variety of work was really interesting and the quality simply so inspiring. There is the option to...

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Bolton School Reminiscing

We knew when we bought St Marks that it used to belong to Bolton School and we have had many people visiting us and reminiscing about their happy memories of their school retreats here so we thought we would share some of those comments as they are a priceless part of...

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Lakes Alive Festival

(Above featured image by Joanne Withers Photography) Being new to Cumbria, we are keen to take on as many new cultural experiences and activities as possible to recommend to our guests, so we were thrilled to hear about the Lakes Alive Festival this year. We didn’t...

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Keep That Summer Holiday Feeling

Are you one of the many out there feeling a little sad because the schools have gone back in and the summer holidays are at an end? Well here are our top tips for Keeping That Summer Holiday Feeling alive. The point of starting St Marks was to live a life that is not...

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Happiness Happens

Did you know that August is Happiness Happens month? Happiness Happens month is about looking at what makes you happy and is based on the premise that happiness can be contagious and sharing it can make others happy too. Rather than just seeing this as being a silly...

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Why Not Alpacas

If we had your interest in the title of Why Not Alpacas, then you are going to love this blog post. In our early days of driving back to the house in Cautley, Joanne was sure she had seen alpacas in a field and then what do you know, she came across local company Why...

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