I met Hannah and Michael back in August 2016, as they were looking for a relaxed, natural wedding in a beautiful setting. They immediately loved Howgills Barn; the location and the fact that we could provide accommodation for the guests. They decided against the gazebo which can be fitted to the barn as they felt this hindered the wonderful feeling that the outside terrace provides with the views across the Howgill Fells. The Barn hall would be used for the wedding and smaller marquees and our glazed gazebo would be used for outdoor dining, with a picnic style lunch from the fabulous Three Hares. The night would be filled with fun and laughter as friends stocked the home made bar and danced until the early morning with a live ceilidh.
The planning comes to fruition. The day before the wedding…
Hannah and Michael are most possibly the most laid back bride and groom that I have ever met! On the morning before the wedding they casually wandered up to the Barn at 10am, wielding bunches of frothy gypsophilia. Friends and family began to arrive and after much tea drinking (by now my stress levels were really up there!!) we began to ‘deconstruct’ the main barn hall of all of its furniture. After leaving work that day, I did have the slight thought of ‘are they going to get this finished in time?’ I arrived on the morning of the wedding as the sun shone down on the Howgills to find the Barn looking amazingly beautiful. The Barn was adorned with hand made bunting and the bride’s father had made a beautiful willow arch with ivy and hydrangeas. A harp sat in the corner as the sun light cast a warm glow and it actually looked ‘heavenly’!
I’ve often advertised our Barn as being a rustic venue, but I don’t think I’d particularly gone beyond thinking of this as stringing up fairy lights and adding a few flowers. Hannah and Michael’s wedding really brought home to me what the true meaning of rustic is, as they sat laughing with friends and family stringing together hand-made oragami birds, arranging flowers in to beautiful hand sprayed vases in bronze, cream and gold. The bride’s mum (Teresa) spent the night before the wedding sewing bunting until 2am, Aunty from Ireland made a hand made cake and friends continued to arrive with an assortment of wonderful musical instruments. People always stress that they are looking for a ‘perfect day’ and to my mind the fact that friends and family were all ‘pulling together’ and were putting their love and effort in to making Hannah and Michael’s wedding made this truly ‘perfect’.
The day of the wedding…
On the big day the wedding went smoothly and the registrars were wonderful at putting the bride and groom at ease. I have to say I have never been at a wedding ceremony where people laughed so much! The lead registrar could have been a ‘stand up’ with his perfect comedy timing which perfectly complemented a speech that was made by Michael’s close friend. Following the beautiful ceremony the wedded couple exited the Barn to a harp rendition of Beyonce’s ‘Halo’.
Once outside, the couple were bombarded with the obligatory shower of rose petal confetti and then, gin cocktails were enjoyed as guests tucked in to pulled pork butties. The late hour of the night saw live music and laughter as people danced a ‘jig’ to the Gay Gordons.
Fun, friendship, family and everyone enjoying the true meaning of what marriage is; a celebration of love, a celebration of friends and family sharing one of the most important days of your life. Thank you Hannah and Michael, for letting us be part of that.
Best wishes, to a truly wonderful couple
Dawn and everyone at Howgills Barn
This week I’ve been ‘busy-ing away’ preparing all of our information for a display in Natwest Bank in Kendal. Howgills Barn in Sedbergh is only a 20 minute drive from Kendal and we’re hoping that local businesses will consider Howgills Barn for a Business Away Day or even Christmas parties! The Barn’s amazing location at the bottom of the Howgill Fells, makes you feel like you’re somewhere really special, but without the hassle of a long commute! Activities on site, hot tub, games field and 8 en-suite bedrooms make it a great place to spend time with your colleagues and leave revitalized and hopefully inspired! For more read here
We’re also hoping that our affordable wedding packages and school residentials may be of interest to some Bankers too! There is a free prize draw in the Bank to win a one night midweek stay in our Barn, and all you have to do is pop your business card in the box, or fill in a short form. The prize draw winner will be announced on our Facebook page in September. The winner can choose to use Howgills Barn for a Business Away Day, a School Residential or a chance to relax with friends and family!
We’re also offering a special discount for Natwest Customers, so don’t forget to use your promotional code!
As the sun starts shining and the clouds clear, a change of scenery does us all the world of good – and the same goes for the family dog.
Taking pets on a British summer holiday, however, can be fraught with worries. But that doesn’t mean that Rex has to stay at home or spend a week in kennels. We welcome four-legged guests and we’ve even added a new page to our website about dog friendly walks and cafes!
We’re going Dutch!
The Dutch lifestyle publication ‘Plus Magazine’ has been in touch with us and they are sending across Ferry van Mingelen, (a Dutch TV-personality, who has a very large following ) to do a travel feature on the Dales Way. He will be staying with us in July as part of his Dales Way route! Let’s hope that the sun shines and that he can understand a ‘good yorkshire’ accent! If you fancy following in Ferry’s foosteps (sorry!) please don’t forget to take a look at our new Dalesway and Daleshighway (click here)
We were delighted to host our first civil wedding ceremony at Howgills Barn on Saturday 20th May 2017. The run up to the wedding was fairly chaotic, but it was amazing how quickly everything started to ‘take shape’ once the marquee was up (Evans marquees). The marquee was adorned with silk swagging and chandeliers and looked very grand. The marquee was erected on the back of the barn and we designed and constructed a special glass front that attached to the marquee to ensure that everyone could enjoy the amazing view of the Howgill Fells. This is also where the beautiful couple exchanged their vows.
Cynthia from the local florist Abracadabra, arrived in a mini cooper bursting to the seams with a variety of sun flowers, gerbera and ranunculus and amazed us all with the flower arrangements she created on site. The tables were set up with vintage crockery and jam jars and vases which were filled with small posys. Nathan Close made our own bar out of rustic oak floorboards, which looked amazing and Appleby Brewary even fitted out the bar with a couple of kegs of ale for the evening.
On the day of the wedding, the weather was slightly unkind, but because we were in the marquee, we could still really enjoy the outdoors from inside! The registrars arrived early and were absolutely wonderful (Stephen Lawrence and Diane Doherty) and put us all at ease with their professional calm and enthusiasm for the day. After interviewing the groom, the bride arrived and following a short interview with the registrar she was then walked down the aisle by her father, Nigel Close. Dan Hase, from Cloud 48 wedding photography was busy all throughout the ceremony capturing the exchange of vows and then the bride, groom and guests after the ceremony. We can’t wait to see the pics!
Following the exchange of vows, the guests moved in to the main lounge, whilst the tables were put in place, for the wedding breakfast. Guests then enjoyed a sit down ‘afternoon tea’ style breakfast of sandwiches, fresh cream cakes, pots of tea and not forgetting the jugs of gin! Unknown to the bride, her family had organised a secret singing ‘flash mob’ with other members of the family and half way through the wedding breakfast Aunt Jude got up with her ukulele for a rendition of the Beatles, all you need is love. This was greeted with much enthusiasm from the rest of the guests and ended up with everyone quite literally singing their hearts out.
The evening celebrations were lively as the charismatic Master of Ceremonies, Pat Mulligan from Dance Floor Couture leapt in to action to deliver a fantastic Dj’ing session and the music and (free) drinks were enjoyed by all as they ‘boogied’ the night away. An evening buffet of pulled pork was enjoyed as well as a magnificent cake made out of different cheeses from Churchmouse Cheeses. Do I need to mention that the celebrations went on very late in to the night and I’m sure it will be remembered as ‘one of the best’ weddings that many people will have been to.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with such a beautiful couple, Steph and Maty and we wish them every happiness in their future life together. We would also like to thank everyone who came to the wedding, all the important people that ‘held everything’ together and all those that were involved in making it such a memorable day.
If you liked our wedding blog and are interested in a truly unique wedding in a stunning location, please get in touch with us on 0800 8 32 16 32.
Barn Weddings – Sedbergh, Yorkshire. We’re delighted to have been included in April’s Westmorland Gazette. A lovely piece about how our Barn is now the only venue licensed for civil wedding ceremonies in Sedbergh:
A COUPLE believe they are making ‘local history’ as they offer the first civil wedding ceremony in Sedbergh since the early ’80s.
Liz and Nigel Close run the holiday accommodation Howgills Barn and on May 20, will play host to the nuptials.
“My understanding is that when our SLDC council offices closed in 1982/3 they would have been possibly the last time a ceremony has been held in Sedbergh other than possibly at Sedbergh School which no longer is registered for that purpose either,” Mr Close said.
Howgills Barn is now the only civil wedding venue in Sedbergh and even more special is that the first wedding to take place will be the one of the couple’s own daughter.
Stephanie Jane Close, who now lives in Leeds, will be marrying her fiancé Mathew Baldwin at Howgills Barn.
“I had wondered about registering for hosting civil wedding ceremonies some time ago and I guess it clinched it when my daughter wished to marry ‘from home’,” Mr Close said.
The barn was once a humble hay store and cattle byre for Castlehaw Farm but was rescued from ‘rack and ruin’ some 20 years ago.
“My wife Liz and I have owned Castlehaw Farm since I bought it prior to auction in September 1986,” Mr Close explained. “The farmer was retiring and we carried out a total renovation on the historic and Grade II listed 1701 farmhouse which took nearly a year-and-a-half before we moved into it with our three children at the time in August 1988.”
The couple completed work on Howgills Barn in 2006 and it now accommodates up to 35 people in eight en-suite bedrooms.
Mr Close said that the venue had already hosted numerous receptions where the wedding either took place in the local church or elsewhere in the country.
“Our first daughter got married in the local church in 2008 and their’s was the second wedding reception here after which we must have had a further dozen at least,” he said.
“So, yes, Stephanie’s wishes have opened the door to another business opportunity as we already have the second ‘full onsite civil wedding ceremony’ booked for September when the daughter of the Sedbergh Art Gallery owners – Jim & Theresa Roberts – is holding the ceremony here and bringing in some 80 people for a long weekend.”
In the summer, I often get my kids wrapped up and take them along the back of the fell wall for a bit of night time star gazing. A few layers of warm clothing, a torch, something to sit on and a flask of hot chocolate, make for a really fun and memorable evening!
Try this route in the day time first and please take care as the ground can be uneven in places! Go up Howgill Lane (past the playpark) and continue up the hill until you see a public foot path to your right. Take the public foot path (through the farm) and turn right at the top gate on to the fell. You can walk along the fell wall viewing the stars!
On a clear night you could see as many as 2,000 stars. August is usually a great time to see meteor showers. In most places it is possible to see the Milky Way as well as the planets, meteors – and not forgetting the Moon. You might even catch the Northern Lights when activity and conditions are right, as well as the International Space Station travelling at 17,000mph overhead. Click here for information on upcoming night sky activity!
This classic ride in the Howgill Fells is a loop which can rival the best the Lakes has to offer — but without the traffic that can blight the best Lakeland trails.
It takes you up into the mountains of Cumbria to experience a natural and otherwise fairly inaccessible piece of singletrack beside Bowderdale Beck, before returning you back to the start.
There are no shortcuts so don’t take this ride lightly — when you set off you have to be prepared for the whole hog, with no half-measures.
The ride naturally splits into three sections; the initial climb, the singletrack descent, and the return leg home.
After taking in the views and reaching the top of the Calf you have nearly 10km of non-stop singletrack ahead of you, so just find a good pace and enjoy.
It starts steep and gradually flattens out until it eventually hits a gentle uphill before reaching a road in Bowderdale. This signals the start of the final section that will test your navigation skills, your gate-opening etiquette and, above all, your enthusiasm. At least there’s multiple options for a food stop in Ravenstonedale in case the latter is waning.
Expect lots of fields, roads, tracks, undulations, wrong turns and, every now and then, a thoroughly enjoyable rocky gulley descent before Sedbergh appears ahead. Never have pain and pleasure so perfectly coincided.
To read more and view the map click here