“A blissful boutique-barn B&B: wood-burning stoves, cool styling and wild moorland through the windows”
The teas are a clue. Both owners have lived abroad (Graham brought up on an Indian tea plantation), and beautiful furnishings and objects from their travels are scattered throughout the barn’s 3 huge floors. The first-floor dining and sitting areas are an airy, open-plan affair with exposed stone walls, open beams, limestone-flagged floors and lofty windows. The guest bedrooms - just 6 - are filled with exotic vases and colourful wall-hangings. A dream barn conversion, and perfect for couples in search of a stylish, outdoorsy, peaceful escape.
- Stunning Yorkshire Dales moorland on your doorstep, and just 30 minutes' drive from Lake Windermere/the Lake District for easy day trips
- A delicious afternoon tea to welcome you, informal suppers and imaginative breakfasts available as late as you like
- Relaxed but clever styling, mixing vintage and Indian pieces with masses of fresh flowers
- Just 6 generous bedrooms and super-indulgent bathrooms
- Totally peaceful, with no pressure to do anything
- No evening meals are served on Saturdays or Sundays, which means a car or taxi to pubs in Sedbergh (3km)
- Although bedrooms are big, their windows are small
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Guesthouse
- Breakfast plus supper on weekdays
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Honesty bar
The 6 rooms are big, bigger, and ridiculously big. Following the rest of the house, a mix of vintage and Indian furniture is set against a rustic backdrop of ancient stone walls, and sturdy beams and timbers. So you might find a faded floral chaise longue near a velvet-upholstered colonial-chair or a 1930s dressing table by a carved elephant footstool. An angle-poise lamp sat on an exotic vase by our bed, making a neat bedside table.
There are pops of colour in faux-fur throws, fresh flowers and Roberts radios while bathrooms - cleverly hidden behind huge sliding timber doors - are vast, sexy and ultra-modern with slate tiling, walk-in showers and colourful roll-top baths.
We loved the space in Earlston (a suite, with a sofa and chaise longue), and the chair for window-gazing in Tregenna (also a suite) but Kundaly and Millmount are cosier and more romantic.
- Central heating
- Communal tea- and coffee-making facilities
- Satellite TV
This place is about small meals done well, with as much homemade or from trusted, local suppliers as possible. The welcome afternoon tea includes Graham’s mini scones and cakes (chocolate brownies and lemon tarts on our visit), as well as his homemade sausage-meat rolls.
Breakfast is deliciously unconventional, with options including sweet lassi, homemade granola, and a choice of toppings for porridge (the poached apricots and pistachios were heavenly). All this is followed by a smorgasbord of cooked items - everything from wild boar bacon, and venison and damson sausage, to vegan black pudding and homemade baked beans. Plus eggs from their hens.
On weekday evenings (Monday-Thursday), you can request to have supper, which includes a charcuterie board (meats from a local smokehouse) or a vegetarian option, both with Graham’s homemade artisan breads, soup, assorted dips and pickles, and a sweet treat. On Fridays, a 3-course set dinner is available and is served around a communal table. An honesty bar offers several wines, local bottled beers plus decent gins and malts. Or there are 2 very good local pubs in Sedbergh.
- Children's meals
- Dinner by arrangement
- Pop over to Hawes in Wensleydale (24km/15m) and take a walk up to Hardraw Force - reputedly England’s largest single-drop waterfall - then explore the famous cheese ‘creamery’
- Walk from the doorstep: either a gentle stroll along the river or pick up the Dales Way (the 125km long-distance trail from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to Bowness, Cumbria), which passes through the property
- Or Fiona and Graham will advise on other local walking, including the Howgill Fells, and lend OS maps so you don’t get lost
- Prefer to be guided? Book a walk with a local shepherdess; she’ll even take you barefoot if you fancy that back-to-nature feel
- You're 30 minutes' drive from the Lake District for easy day trips
- Come back to a deliciously decadent in-room massage or a pampering facial or manicure (book ahead)
- Sedbergh (3km/2m) is worth a good browse with an excellent bookshop, gift shop, arts and crafts centre, and then the Three Hares cafe/bistro for lunch
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Mountain biking
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
Although children are welcome, and there are surrounding fields to play in, The Malabar is not specifically geared to families as most guests seek a quiet weekend away. That said, the huge Ladbroke Suite is perfect for a family with its own front door onto the yard, and plenty of space for 2 kids (plus dogs!). The Malabar is also perfect for an Exclusive Use booking: up to 12 adults and 6 children.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
The Suites all have a sofabed in their lounge for 1-2 children or there are baby cots to borrow
Baby cots and high chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The children's breakfast menu includes pancakes, boiled eggs with soldiers, cereals, hot chocolate and a mini full English.
Kids Activities on site:
Kids Activities nearby:
- Lakeland Climbing Centre Kendal
- Pandemonium Pots Kendal
- Rheged Centre has a cinema, play area and other kids activites
- Airport: 90 mins' drive (Newcastle)
- Shops: 3.5km (Sedbergh)
- Hospital with A&E: 42km (Lancaster)
The Malabar is in the heart of Cumbria, northern England. It's approx 3km (2 miles) from the historic market town of Sedbergh, and 5km from the M6.
By Air :
The closest international airports are Newcastle (125km away) and Manchester (135km away); the former has the most flights. For a list of airlines serving these airports, click on the links at the bottom of the page.
From the Airport
Fiona can arrange a taxi to collect you but you'll probably want your own car; it's around 1.5 hours from Newcastle or Manchester airport. See our car rental recommendations.
Guests travelling by train can go to Oxenholme (14km from the hotel). The journey is 3 hours from London, 2 hours from Glasgow or Edinburgh and around an hour from Manchester.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Newcastle Airport 125.0 km NCL
- Manchester Airport 135.0 km MAN
- Beach 45.0 km
- Shops 3.5 km
- Restaurant 3.5 km