Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

A Fresh Slant on Tom’s and Douglas’s Barns

View of Tom's barn from upstairs in our houseIt is hard from the outside to make our two lovely holiday cottages in the Peak District look anything other than what they once were – cattle barns on a working farm!

Orchard Farm is not a listed building – in spite of its age and general loveliness (beauty they say is in the eye of the beholder) it is not deemed of any great architectural merit by the powers-that-be. However, we are in the Peak National Park and we are in a Conservation Area so there were many restrictions imposed when we converted the barns, many but not all of which we understood and accepted. After some ‘discussions’ the planners did accept that our guests would need some daylight upstairs and they agreed to our choce of colour for the woodwork instead of their originally stipulated ‘black or drak brown’.

Arial View of Tom's & Douglas's BarnsCrucially, our romantic cottages for two had to stay looking like barns from the outside, however romantic/contemporary the internal modernisation…

Other than that, all we could do to suggest that they are no longer cattle sheds is to put pots of flowers outside! So, when it comes to producing enticing external photos for websites and the Premier Cottages brochure we are a bit stumped to make them look in the slightest bit inviting, or suggestive that inside might be quite exciting and fun!

Taken by Jeremy Brough on Mick's cherry picker!John and Jeremy Brough our webman/friend have nearly fallen out of upstairs windows with me clinging to their legs as they try to get a moderately enticing shot (see the first photo, taken by John). A couple of years ago Jeremy also happily allowed himself to be strapped to a pallet on our neighbour Mick’s ‘cherry picker’, gamely aiming his camera above his head as he swayed and wavered in the breeze up high (see his photo of Orchard Farm on the left).

Preparations for arial photos of the barnsLast Sunday Mark Nunnerley took several excellent shots with his camera on top of a pole; he meanwhile had both feet safely on the ground as he directed his camera via his laptop. Both sets of guests were game enough to allow themselves to be included in the shots, as they sat outside in the sunshine studying maps and drinking cups of tea (it was too early for the wine that came later). So our barns still look like barns in his photos but one can also see signs of life and also one can see our rural village setting, with open countryside immediately behind.

Mark Nunnerley sent six photos which you can see in our blog photo gallery; there are also two that John took of Mark taking them. See what you think. We are very pleased with them; so a big thank you to Mark and also a big thank you to our involuntary ‘extras’ who were staying last week! By the way, all the photos look better if you click on each one to enlarge it.

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