Hall Farm Kings Cliffe review, Northamptonshire – self-catering apartments


Situated about 12 miles west of Peterborough, King’s Cliffe in Northamptonshire is the perfect image of an idyllic English village. Originally based on the site of a royal manor dating back to the Anglo-Saxon times, the small village (you can probably walk the length in 15 minutes) has been perfectly maintained with the mix of period houses built from the same local limestone. 

Locals like to call King’s Cliffe and its surrounding area as the “undiscovered Cotswolds”. Indeed, the picturesque village circled by meadows, brooks and rolling farmland equals the Cotswolds’ beauty. The main difference? No tourists. 

Why stay here

At the heart of the village is Hall Farm, a farmhouse dating back to the 17th century. It’s now the home of Sarah Winfrey and Geoff Mason, who converted part of their property into two self-catering apartments in the mid 2000s. The two apartments overlook a central courtyard shared with the owners’ home. Behind the property sits the large, well-kept garden, where guests can access a BBQ, a summer house with a wood heater for the winter, and, best of all, a wood-fired hot tub. 

My guest and I stayed in The Hayloft, the first floor apartment perfect for two people or a couple that overlooks the historic church just across the yard. The apartment is spacious, flooded with natural light and the open-plan living, kitchen and dining area is equipped with all of the amenities you would need with a self-catered stay – although, for extra ease it could do with some cupboard stables like oil and spices. 

The super-king size bed (or two singles) is delightfully comfortable, and overall the stay peaceful and luxurious – as long as you don’t mind the regular chimes of the church bells.  

Hall Farm’s owner is an artist who has clearly taken care in curating and styling each property using both antique and contemporary furnishings such as hand-woven rugs and original artwork. Small efforts such as the welcome pack with artisanal chocolate and a bottle of bubbly is there to make guests feel extra special. 

The bedroom in The Hayloft

The other accommodation, The Stables, was converted from a 17th century stable block and maintains farmhouse-style features with stone walls, oak beams and an Aga. 

What to do 

You can choose to use Hall Farm as a private sanctuary for a weekend getaway, as long as you bring all your food and drinks with you. The shops in the village (an independent greengrocer and a small supermarket) are fairly limited in their selection, but there is a cafe/bakery, and an 18th-century pub close by. 

We found a tranquil walk along Willow Brook, and closed the day’s exertion with a long dip in the hot tub, kindly set up by Geoff. What really sets this place apart is Geoff’s homemade ice cream; it’s delicious and you’ll find yourself going back for more. 

The Hayloft’s kitchen and dining area

We travelled to Hall Farm by train and took a taxi from Peterborough to King’s Cliffe. Having no car means you’re fairly limited in getting around to see beyond the village. But the village itself is known to house exceptional basket weavers, Sue and Kirk (Sue Kirk Willow Baskets located in the Old Brewery). The basket willows are beautiful, and people are said to travel across the country to attend Sue’s workshops. Hall Farm is the perfect place to stay for those doing a course. 

Wood carving is another old and special craft unique to the area. Expert woodcarver Glyn Mould lives in the village and runs a woodcarving school a couple of miles outside. Having spent 40 years perfecting his craft, he is a clearly talented and patient teacher, with plenty of stories to tell as he guides my guest and I through the basics of carving. We leave with two imperfect, unfinished – but very much treasured – reliefs of fish. 

The covered outdoor seating area with BBQ and firepit at Hall Farm

The verdict

Whether you’d like to try a new craft or simply take a weekend to relax, cook food and enjoy a hot tub in the fresh air, Hall Farm gives you that place of comfort. 

Naomi Larsson was a guest of Hall Farm Kings Cliffe. Rates at The Hayloft start from £438 for three nights and from £1,024 for a week. Hall Farm, Hall Yard, King’s Cliffe, Peterborough PE8 6XQ; hallfarmkingscliffe.co.uk 

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