Poppy, the pet Herdwick sheep

Pattoki Poppy, the pet Herdwick sheep

During your stay you are welcome to explore the farm and meet the animals – Angora goats and Herdwick sheep are bred here in small numbers, and as organically as possible. It’s about as far as you can get from intensive farming, with a very relaxed and contented feeling all round!

Kidding time is when the newborn goats arrive – usually around February/March. The goats are “clipped”, or shorn, twice a year to produce mohair yarn.

Angora goats with their kids

Herdwick lambs are delivered jet black, usually in mid April, changing to a chocolate brown by the end of their first year, then through shades of black, grey and white as they mature. This complexity of colours and texture has led to the wool being highly prized by artisan weavers and felters, and its hard wearing nature makes it ideal for throws, rugs and carpets.

A huge selection of locally-made wool and mohair products are available in the farm shop here at Crookabeck. If you’re passing through on foot, any purchases can be posted home.

A selection of yarns&wool

The cottage has beautiful established gardens, which you are welcome to enjoy. The Orchard garden catches the evening sun throughout the summer, and we often have hammocks slung between trees (weather permitting!).
The natural rock garden with its unusual carved gates, is full of peat loving plants – cyclamen, rhododendrons, fritillaries, hellebores, erythroniums, trilliums, mecanopsis and hostas, which all thrive on the goat manure.

The rock garden

A wide variety of wildlife and bird life lives here including red squirrels, badgers, foxes, otters, roe deer, herons and buzzards. England’s only pair of golden eagles nest nearby at Haweswater, and Ospreys have recently been spotted catching fish from Ullswater. A herd of red deer live on the fellside above the farm. Unfortunately the grey squirrel has recently arrived, so the future of the smaller native red is under threat. The local badgers are thriving at present, and it is unusual not to encounter at least one on the walk back form your pub dinner!

Herdwick sheep