The Great Outdoors
Hollow Creek cottage is an ideal base for those who would like to explore the Scottish Borders, the Lake District, Northumberland’s National Park and is close to the Solway Firth. The whole area abounds with native plants and animals from otters and orchids, to dragonflies and deer.
The roads, lanes and footpath in this area are almost all suitable for exploring the countryside either on foot or by bike.
Walkers and Cyclists
Hadrian's Wall Path runs through the land at Hollow Creek and the Vallum runs through the front garden. We are also only 400 yards from the Cumbrian Coastal Way, on the Cumbrian Cycle Route, Hadrian’s Cycleway (National Route 72) and the Reivers Cycleway (Regional Route 10).
We have lots of storage for bikes and space for drying boots and wet clothes. Lifts can usually be arranged to/from the railway/bus station and the start or end of walks.
Birders and Nature lovers
Local nature reserves are plentiful. At Finglandrigg Wood NNR near Kirkbampton you will find red squirrels and various species of deer. Drumburgh Moss and Glasson Moss are lowland raised bogs which have many specialised species including a range of sphagnum species, hare's-tail cotton grass, bog rosemary, cranberry, and cross-leaved heath. All three native sundew species are present.
The Solway Estuary is well known as a haven for bird life, particularly in the winter months, when huge flocks of thousands of migrating geese (barnacle, white-fronted, brent and pink-footed) and other waders congregate to provide a fantastic sight. Bowness-on-Solway/Campfield Marsh (9 miles), Geltsdale (16 miles), Mereshead, Dumfries (45 miles) RSPB reserves are all within range.
Caerlaverock WWT, Dumfries is 30 miles away and Bellymack Kite Feeding Station (55 miles) makes a spectacular day out.
At Bowness-on-Solway, there is the annual spectacle of the spring Pomarine Skua passage.
On our farm
Closer to home, we often see kestrels, sparrow hawks and buzzards overhead at the cottage; barn and tawny owls and woodpeckers are regular visitors as are various species of finch and tit and other woodland birds. We also have European brown long-eared and pipistrelle bats breeding and roosting in our barns, and swallows nesting there in the summer, arriving on 14th/15th of April and departing for Africa during mid September. In the fields stoats can be seen together with their prey, rabbits.
Down at the River Eden (about 400 yards away) flocks of Whooper swans, oystercatchers, avocets and sand martins can be seen, according to the season.
If you go down to the river in the early morning or in the late evening you may see an otter feeding or see deer crossing to the other side.
Local woodlands are the home of Red Squirrels and several species of deer.
Otter in Eden, 500m from the cottage. Photograph taken by Stephen Lloyd-Smart.