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Gaia Farmhouse | Luxury self-catering Farmhouse | Ullswater, Cumbria

Gaia Farmhouse

Ullswater, The Lake District, Cumbria, UK

Cradled by the fells of the secluded Martindale Valley, this luxury self-catering home was built from stone and timber foraged from the surrounding streams and woodlands; and it sings a song of Cumbrian soul. Lovingly restored by an architect using minimalist Scandinavian design principles, Gaia Farmhouse so effortlessly embraces the Lake District’s ebb and flow of seasonality that it even earned a feature on Channel 4’s Extraordinary Escapes.

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Evolving from humble pig shelter, to 32-acre farm, to luxury self-catering homestay, Gaia Farmhouse has stood firm and determined against the Lake District’s four dramatic seasons for the past 400 years. While the elements outside may be unpredictable, inside is a wholly different tale; warmth exudes from every nook, mountain views peek through windows that frame deerskin covered armchairs and two enormous bathtubs hidden on the first floor promise to soothe tired legs after long hikes around nearby Ullswater.


Green for the fells, grey for the weathered stones and burnt amber for the autumnal bracken which covers the National Park in a fiery blanket from September until the first snow; Gaia Farmhouse’s interiors reflect the illustrious landscape in which it sits. Sophisticated and simple but without losing sight of its farmhouse roots, spend mornings together in the dining room over a breakfast feast before heading out with hiking boots and backpacks chock-full of goodies; on return, settle by the fire with a bottle of red as supper stews in the country kitchen.


Stand-up paddleboarding, sky-scraping summits and wildlife spotting galore, nearby Ullswater offers so much to the adventure-seeker that lingering beyond the first morning coffee will be too much to ask for some. But there’s a certain magic in staying still at Gaia Farmhouse; watching the clouds rush over ridgelines like waterfalls, following the peregrines as they soar overhead and spotting Herdwick sheep as they poke their noses through the fence as one wakes from an afternoon siesta between the blooms of the wildflower-sprinkled meadow.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 10 guests
    From £3,850 per week, £2,895 per short break
  • Alternative group optionsUp to 2 or up to 6 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are five bedrooms at the property; three with super king-size beds (master bedroom with in-room slipper bath and shower enclosure, and second bedroom with en suite shower room) and two bedrooms with twin beds, one with en suite wet room and one with en suite shower room. There is one family bathroom (with separate bath and shower) on the first floor along with two separate WCs at either end of the farmhouse on the ground floor.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesChildren´s TV snug, table tennis, fire bowl
  • PetsSorry, no pets allowed
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: Friday or MondayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyChildren over the age of six are very welcome.
  • PracticalitiesAccess to the property is via a beautiful five-mile lakeside road with hairpin bends; on arrival, there is parking for up to six cars on two private gravel driveways. There are four exterior CCTV cameras on the premises for insurance purposes. The kitchen includes a Mercury oven with five ring induction hob, dishwasher, Quooker boiling water tap, wine fridge and microwave, while the utility corridor includes a freezer and double fridge. A washing machine and tumble dryer can be found in the boot room. There is no phone signal or landline at the property, but WiFi calling can be made via the internet. Due to the internal staircase with open risers and various steps, the property may not be suitable for those with limited mobility and parents are asked to supervise children at all times. Please be mindful of the steep drops and unfenced pond in the garden. When booking the smaller group size of two, please note only the master bedroom will be available.
  • Homestay includesLuxury hamper of local produce, Smart TVs with Apple TV, Sonos sound system, KEF floor speakers, underfloor heating, WiFi internet, Petanque set, fire bowl and Weber barbecue...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Eco-friendlyGround source heat pump, insulating lime, cork and clay render
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsEV charger locationsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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The luxury farmhouse was featured on Channel 4’s Extraordinary Escapes
Enjoy mountain views with floor-to-ceiling windows

Prices & Availability


Soaring mountains, glistening waters and enough outdoor activities in seven and a half miles of lake to satiate the most active of travellers, Ullswater in the Lake District is the ultimate destination for hikers, sailors and adventurous families.

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Getting there

  • On the Map This luxury private farmhouse is located in the Martindale valley, less than a mile from the shores of Ullswater within the Lake District National Park, Cumbria.
  • By Train Penrith train station 11 miles, or a half hour drive, away, with regular services from London Euston.
  • By Car The property is approximately five and a half hours from London, and two hours from both Manchester and Glasgow.
  • By Air Carlisle airport is just under an hour from the property, Manchester and Liverpool airports are two hours and fifteen minutes away.

From the owner

“Gaia Farmhouse is cocooned amongst the remote and undisturbed far-eastern fells of the Lake District National Park within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Martindale is a unique place of tranquillity and beauty which appears to have been left untouched by time”

From the owner

The first record of a single storey timber farmhouse on this site was noted in Latin in the "Survey of Martindale" in 1589 with the origins of the current stone building dating from around 1634. Over the next 300 years, a buttery, parlour, sleeping lofts, barns, stables and pigsty were added to support the running of the 32-acre farm. Some of the historical records can be seen framed in the main hall and downstairs WC.

The previous owners held the property for 60 years until 2014, by which time the farmhouse had become dilapidated, derelict and close to collapse. We spent the next five years renovating, conserving and restoring Gaia Farmhouse to its current level of understated comfort and luxury. 

The silence of the valley is only broken by the sound of the nearby becks, the wind in the trees, the sound of the surrounding cattle and sheep and occasionally, the bellowing of one of the largest wild red deer herd in the country that roam the surrounding fells. 

The Hall Family

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Ullswater with an insider’s perspective.

Askham Hall

To Eat

Askham Hall

A Michelin star restaurant hidden within an ancient folly in the heart of the Lowther Estate, settle down for a night indulging in the acclaimed tasting menu created by chef Richard Swale. If dining with children in tow, the garden pizza restaurant is sure to be a hit.

Wild swimming

To Do

Wild swimming

The Lake District is one the UK´s most magical spots for wild swimmers to take a dunk; the beach at Sandwick is the closest wild swimming spot for guests, which is about a mile´s walk through the valley or drive from Gaia Farmhouse.

Ullswater Steamers

To Do

Ullswater Steamers

Sail across Ullswater at leisure, viewing the surrounding fells and waterside villages without the exertion of kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Board from Howtown, Pooley Bridge or Glenridding and take in the Lake District from a new perspective.

Aira Force Waterfall

To See

Aira Force Waterfall

The backdrop for William Wordsworth´s poem, "Somnambulist", watch nature´s force of beauty thunder down 65ft of ferns and rocks, eventually giving way to gentle streams and quiet glades. For picnics, hikes and dips in mountain water, this National Trust spot is not to be missed.

Guest Testimonials

We are returning home from the lakes, we had a wonderful time. The property was amazing, I think Gaia Farmhouse has spoilt us now. We used a company called Into The Outside- based in Kendall, for our guided treks and wild swimming. It’s run by a husband and wife team, Dan and Beckie. I would highly recommend them, we tend to use companies with great service and they were amazing.

We´ve been blown away by this absolutely fantastic house and have spent the week revelling in the space, the light, the peace and every wonderful design detail. What an achievement to create something this beautiful. We hope to be back!

We are in awe of what you’ve achieved with the farmhouse - we had another family member who’s an architect to visit and he couldn’t believe what you’d managed with the glass mezzanine and the risers. We have taken lots of photos to copy for our upcoming roof extension (not quite the same as a 15th century farmhouse!). Thank you again.

We have thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful week in your beautiful house in such a fantastic position. Door to door walks are always the best and we really made the most of it. The house delivers so much and easily the best we have enjoyed in many years of Unique Homestays. Thank you and we very much hope to return.

Thank you, thank you, thank you or should I say Tak? An amazing fusion of stunning British best and Danish calm. I loved everything about our stay. A truly magical experience.

Thank you sincerely to the owners for the lovely hamper and to Unique Homestays, we have had a lovely relaxing time. The house is stunning, every room is a masterpiece. We are passionate about houses and renovations so it was an honour to stay at Gaia Farmhouse. Thank you so much and best wishes to all.

Fantastic place and beautiful surroundings. The house was absolutely superb and we will be visiting again most definitely! Thank you to Unique Homestays for the service that they provided.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which Gaia Farmhouse and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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