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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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Beach Life

When you come from Leicester, which is 2 hours minimum from any coast, you really miss a beach life. So moving to Cumbria and being only 40 minutes, or an hour away from the seaside, it is wonderful. We had previously stayed in Morecambe and been treated to a stunning...

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Your Self Catering Kitchen

Everybody oohs and aarhs over a new kitchen so as part of our renovations here at St Marks Stays we wanted to make sure your self catering kitchen was one you would look forward to being in, as part of your stay with us. Here is the transformation. Our first early...

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Transforming your living room

Everybody knows how to decorate and so we will simply let the before and after images tell the story of how we went about transforming St Marks living room for us and you. From ripping up the carpet, sanding floors, hoovering cobwebs off ceilings, choosing dark...

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The Fabulous Quilting Ladies

Well what can we say about our very first guests to St Marks Stays, apart from we may have to name them, The Fabulous Quilting Ladies! We love them so much we are dedicating this blog post to them and know they won’t mind us sharing their talents with you all. To take...

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What we learned from moving from the city to the country

We both come from small towns and then lived life from university onwards in the now well known, thanks to a dead king and a football team, city of Leicester. Neither of us had ever lived in the country and so not only were we moving house, moving counties, relocating...

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Walking Cautley Spout

We have an absolute luxury here at St Marks Stays in that we have a walking route to Cautley Spout Waterfall right here on our doorstep. The highest waterfall in England is worth a visit and whether you take Damian as your walking guide, or simply visit the bottom of...

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Sedbergh Cycling Festival

When we first heard that Sedbergh was having a cycling festival we were not sure it was for us, as we are not exactly keen cyclists. However, after cycling friends stayed with us at St Marks Stays, we realised there is a lot more to it, so Joanne took the opportunity...

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Walking Cautley to Sedbergh

What are summers for, but to take advantage of the sunny weather when we get it in the UK and the evenings being light enough to hang outside in. We recently decided to take advantage of this and head out on a Sunday evening to go walking from Cautley to Sedbergh....

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Sedbergh Food and Drink Festival

During our dreaming stage for plans for St Marks, we often talked about foodie weeks and having local produce and arranging demonstrations and visits to food and drink places, so when we discovered Sedbergh was having a food and drink festival, we were definitely...

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