Garden, Hens & Wildlife
The garden at High Swinside is shared between the cottages yet offers plenty of private space to enjoy its wonderful panoramic views - from Melbreak in the south through 180 degrees to the distant mountains of Scotland. Deeply satisfying - so I hope you'll explore, make yourselves at home, and enjoy the space!
  • Idyllic views from a hillside setting
  • Benches & a picnic table for eating al fresco
  • A hammock for a snooze
  • Watch out for red squirrels & other wildlife
  • Lots of birds at the feeders
  • Free range eggs practically always available
  • An organic veg garden in the making!
  • A safe area for dogs
Stunning Views
I hope you will enjoy the garden at High Swinside. There are benches in secluded spots, a picnic table for eating al fresco, two hot tubs with views to die for, and even a hammock for a peaceful snooze somewhere beneath the trees.

Dogs are welcome at High Swinside and they have a safe enclosed area of the garden where they can be safely let off the lead without any worries that they'll explore too far (or bothering the hens if they're so inclined)! (Read more…)

Bird life at High Swinside
Many birds visit the feeders at High Swinside, alight on the walls and fences, or sing from the nearby bracken and heather. Buzzards and ravens soar over Swinside Fell, a heron comes regularly hoping to catch frogs in the pond, and of course you'll hear owls at night.

So as you sit or stroll, watch and listen for:
Tits of all sorts, robins, chaffinches, thrushes, pied wagtails, blackbirds, sparrows, and wrens aplenty; yellowhammer, siskin, & goldfinch, thrush, redpoll; woodpecker, nuthatch & tree creeper; swallows, house martins, gold crest, redstart, spotted flycatcher, willow warbler, stonechat, whinchat, reed bunting, yellow wagtail, grey wagtail, lark, meadow pippet, wheatear, curlew, fieldfare, redwing, heron, buzzard, raven, crow, starling, kestrel, peregrine, tawny owl, barn owl - and more...! (This photo was taken by Andrew Locking)
Resident or visiting mammals
Red squirrels are often seen in the Lorton valley and occasionally visit High Swinside for pine cones, and nuts at the feeders. There's currently a hedgehog living beneath the wood store behind High Swinside Cottage who you might see at twilight. And roe deer and hares are sometimes spotted in the field below the cottages...

There are stoats in the area that you might sometimes see - fleetingly - about the place; voles, field mice, and the occasional rabbit.
A place for a veg garden?
Speaking of veges... below the main garden wall there has always been a somewhat lower and relatively unused area of lawn with a solitary wrought iron gate at the centre – which you will recognise if you’ve stayed here before!

I’m not sure what its history was, but I'm turning part of it into an organic veg garden - with two raised beds for growing veges and strawberries. The rest will become a flower meadow over time...
And free range eggs available...
My hens also love this lower garden, but might be found anywhere on High Swinside grounds (except the Dog Run Free area). They love their free range existance and complain if I have to shut them in their hen run for a day! They clear the garden of slugs and bugs, seek out dandilion leaves to supplement their diet, and lay delicious eggs. Children are welcome to come and help me feed them and collect their eggs.