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Ferndene Guest House
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All reviewsguest houseb btop floorattic suitetown centreenjoyed our stayvery generous portionsfew minutes walkexcellent locationlocal knowledgesized bedsitting arearestaurants and shopsgreat hostsenglish breakfasthome away from homefantastic breakfast
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Reviewed 12 April 2013

My daughter and I had the privilege of traveling to England last summer. It's been a lifelong dream to visit the Lake District and so when the airline tickets had been purchased, I began researching where we should stay when we traveled north of London. We selected Keswick as the village we would stay in and then I began looking at B&Bs. What a large assortment to choose from! How would I ever decide? In the end, we chose to stay at Ferndene and I feel as though we hit the jackpot.

Ferndene is a lovely guest house in a wonderful location. Whilst being close to the action, it is across the street from a beautiful old church and so is reasonably quiet. It is an easy jaunt from the bus station which is how we arrived. We were welcomed by Christine who helped us settle in the superior ensuite that we were staying in.

What a delightful room! It had a large, comfortable King sized bed with a small sitting area that overlooked the church next door. I enjoyed taking my tea, sitting in a chair looking out at the glorious scenery. I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming. It was truly heavenly. As an aside, the photos of the rooms on Ferndene's website are accurate, showing the room that we stayed in exactly as it is.

The bathroom was compact but not overly crowded. It was clean and efficient, everything in working order. Yes, I know, there are bigger bathrooms out there, but my goodness, this is an exquisite, historic, older home. I appreciated that we had our own private bathroom and had no problem with it at all.

We really enjoyed Christine's delicious breakfasts. Placing the order the night before is standard practice at most of the B&Bs we've stayed at and had no problem filling out the form and leaving it for them to prepare our breakfast. We had a hard time finishing all the food and were well fortified to go out hiking for the day after our meal.

I loved the little garden in front of the house. One night we walked down to the grocery store and purchased some food and then had a little picnic at the table they have out in the garden. It was such a delight!

We enjoyed all that Keswick had to offer. The hiking was glorious. We were blessed with 3 out of 4 sunny warm days while we stayed in Keswick. On the only gray, drizzly day we visited the Cumberland Pencil Museum. I'm not sure it would appeal to everyone but we dabble in art and own many Derwent pencils so it was a special treat for us. We hopped on a bus and took a "tour" of the area. It's a loop that runs from Keswick to Buttermere and Grange then back to Keswick. The scenery was beautiful. We also attended a play at the Theatre by the Lake. What a splendid little theatre! The production, "Ladies of Cranford" was a delight.

We found Christine and Richard to be generous with their knowledge of the area and were very blessed by this as we'd never been to the Lake District before our visit. It is my sincere hope and prayer that someday we will be able to return to this breathtaking corner of the world and if we do, we'd love to stay here again.

Thank you, Richard and Christine for your wonderful hospitality!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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Thank 1_Can_Do_Mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

having seen all the great reviews on trip advisor, i decided this was the place for us.
very glad to say i was right. Christine & Richard were very friendly & helpful at all times.
whenever Kathryn said where we intended to go for the day, Richard was able to give us all the up to date information.
the town centre is at the end of the street, loved the parking bay which was very helpful on this weekend, we would recommend it to all.
really liked the breakfast , just right to keep you going for the day

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank petryn2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2013

We booked 3 night suite package for £276 (£92 p.n)

The suite is quite small but you have fabulous views from both sides and its nice to have a separate TV room as there is no designated area in the guest house where you can sit or meet

Full English breakfast is as good as it gets, Everything there, tasty and good sized portions. Downside is that breakfast is only served between 8.30-9am am and you have to fill in your order form by 7pm the previous evening. I would prefer to decide on the morning but it does make for a quick and efficient breakfast service. There is plenty of toast but no fresh bread or pastries and no other hot options apart from porridge

Great location to town. There is plenty of street parking out the front plus guest house parking at the back. We parked out front as it was easier and only used the guest house parking on our last day. Our walk took longer than we thought and we returned at 2pm to pick up our bags and car. We were quite frankly shocked at the frosty reception we received from Richard (in particular) and Christine. We were told in no uncertain terms that as we were no longer staying there we were not welcome to use the parking space. But as we had not blocked anyone in and their check in time is 3pm I dont think any harm was done. We admitted It was our fault, and apologized several times but they were clearly very upset by the incident and choose to make an issue of it
This spoilt an otherwise pleasant stay so cant recommend this guest house or want to stay there again

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Anna P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kesmars, Owner at Ferndene Guest House, responded to this reviewResponded 9 April 2013

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and friendly guest house where we do everything we can to accommodate our guests and hopefully our other reviews indicate that this is indeed the case. All that we require from our guests in return is a minimum of common sense and consideration, particularly regarding parking. We have a parking space available for each of our rooms, although the shape of the car park does mean that guest cars need to be parked “nose to tail”. This is common in Keswick: the vast majority of guest houses in the town have no off street parking and require guests to hunt for spaces on the street (which can be very difficult at busy times) and those which do have some form of parking generally have a system in place to manage the cars within it. None of us can change this: Keswick is an old Victorian town in the middle of a National Park and no-one is going to get planning permission for a new car park. As is explained to all our guests, including yourselves, on arrival or during their stay, the system that we run is to check with everyone at breakfast what their plans for the day are, while Christine and I of course know who is checking in and out that day. If necessary we then “shuffle” the cars after breakfast to make sure that everyone who wants their car out can do so. This is a system which, with a bit of common sense and goodwill, works very well, causes surprisingly few problems and means that our guests do not have to trawl the streets looking for parking places, which is the case with most guest houses in the centre of Keswick.
It was not, as you suggest, the “last day of your stay” nor did you go for a walk, leaving the car in our car park to return at 2pm as you imply and in fact, as you well know, you did block someone in. In reality you checked out at about 10:00 AM that morning at the end of your stay, saying that you would be driving somewhere (to my recollection Ashness Bridge) and going for a walk prior to returning home. Please note that your stay at any hotel or guest house extends from when you check in to when you check out, which is the period during which you have paid to use the facilities of the hotel. Once you check out those facilities are, unless you make other arrangements, the “property” of the next guests to check in to your room – we do not unfortunately operate a public car park. You asked to leave two bags with us, as you did not wish to leave them unattended in your car while you walked, to be collected on your way home. You then packed your car, which you had never chosen during your stay to park in our car park, and drove off having settled your bill, checked out and returned your keys. We therefore, quite reasonably, expected you to call back at some point during the day, pick up your bags and depart, having enjoyed your weekend. We then began to prepare to welcome our next set of guests. It was with some surprise, therefore, when just before lunch your car appeared in our car park, blocked in another car and was left there for a number of hours while (presumably) you ambled into town and got some lunch. Did you ask at breakfast or when you checked out “Would it be OK to stick the car in the car park when we come back?”. No you did not. When you parked the car there did you pop your head in the house and ask “Is it OK to park here?”. No, you did not. Did you know whether the car you parked in front of needed to be out? No, you did not. Did you know whether we had guests arriving that needed that space (bearing in mind that early check-in is available on request )? No, you did not. Had you asked, before you checked out in the morning or when you returned, whether there was somewhere you could park we would have been more than happy to help. We are always happy to accommodate our guests in any way we can and we are as conscious as anyone that parking in Keswick can be a challenge. It is very common for guests to ask whether they can leave their cars somewhere so that they can go into town or go for a walk before returning home (as indeed the guests who returned while you were packing your car did the following day), but the crucial point is they have the common sense and simple courtesy to ask first. Indeed, it is quite common, as other guests can testify, for us to give up our own car parking space for guests who wish to go for a walk before they return home. All you needed to do was ask. As it was, we ended up with a car unexpectedly parked in our car park taking up a space we needed for new guests arriving and blocking another car in. I know that you said when you returned that you thought the car that you had blocked in “could get out” but I can assure you it could not, certainly not without the aid of a crane. We then had new guests checking in early, as they had previously arranged, who we had to find a space for on the street on Southey Street a considerable distance away as they couldn’t park in our car park because your car had appeared there. We rang you multiple times and left two messages on the mobile number that you yourselves had given us as contact asking you to return to your car with no response, to then be told on your return that you don’t switch that mobile on. When you did eventually reappear it is not my recollection that you “admitted it was our fault, and apologized several times” rather our impression was that you didn’t see what the fuss was about and couldn’t see why there had been any problem. The fact that you still seem to think that “I don’t think any harm was done” and that we “chose to make an issue of it” reinforces our impression that you are still oblivious as to any reason why anyone could possibly have been upset.
As we say, we do our best to run a relaxed and friendly guest house and the last thing we want to do is to make an issue out of anything. An example of this is the fact that you insisted on leaving the guest house at 6 o’clock in the morning every day of your stay for photography but apparently could not be bothered to take your keys, slamming the front door so hard that the house shook and waking everyone at 6 o’clock in the morning. Do you not consider that this was inconsiderate? Apparently not. We received two separate complaints from other guests about this who had been woken at the crack of dawn but we decided not to make an “issue” of it. When you returned late one night of your stay, after we had gone to bed, having forgotten your keys and our 16 year old daughter let you in, got the pass key and let you in to your room do you not think that a simple “thank you” to her at the time or the next morning would have been simple courtesy? Again, apparently not. She is not simply “staff” and sometimes, as we say, simple courtesy and some consideration for others goes a long way.
Regarding your other comments, whether or not the suite “quite small” is of course subjective, however we would point out that it is an entire floor of the house, has a bedroom with king size bed and has a separate sitting room. The fact that we have no guest lounge, that breakfast is served 8:30-9:00 and our full breakfast menu are all clearly displayed on the website where you booked your stay. As is clear from this we do not, and have never, offered fresh bread or pastries. If this was not to your requirements we would suggest that in future you study more carefully the facilities and features of the hotels and guest house that you stay at, rather than criticizing them for not having features that you knew they didn’t have even before you booked. Although we do ask guests to choose their breakfast selection the night before this is very common in guest houses that do not have commercial kitchens and is a standard practice in Keswick – we cannot speak for elsewhere. The primary motivation is to prevent waste, because otherwise one must assume that everyone is having a cooked breakfast, which is rarely the case, so that breakfasts can start to be prepared before guests come down. We say 7 o’clock for this but this is not in any sense a hard and fast rule and so long as people do it the night before (or even that morning when people forget!) that’s fine. We try to be as flexible as possible and if anyone wants anything that’s not on our little form they have only to ask and we’ll do our best – as you yourself know after we provided you with a bacon and egg sandwich to take away on your first morning, so where you gain the idea that there are “no other hot options apart from porridge” we do not know…

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

This is a lovely B&B with a beautiful aspect over Keswick.

On arrival Christine made sure we were safely parked and explained general bits to us.

We stayed in the suite which was fab as we essentially had our own private apartment throughout our stay. It was quite a climb to the top of the B&B and it was worth it! The view from our bedroom and sitting rooms were absolutely stunning.

The Suite comprises a bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and a sort of lobby area with dressing table. It was unusual and great to have a separate area to chill when arriving back from a day of walking.

When we stayed at Ferndene the weather was really cold and we couldn't get our bedroom warm the first night. We mentioned it at breakfast and Richard went up and bled our radiators straight away, we were very toasty after that. The Suite also has a small fan heater to keep the lobby bit warm too.

Breakfast each morning was delicious and set us up well for a good day exploring Keswick. We didn't need any lunches as breakfast really kept us going until dinner time.

We got handy tips from both Richard and Christine on where to go and what was happening in Keswick so that we made the most of our time there. Other than this we were left to our own devices and came and went as we wanted. Getting about Keswick was easy as we were very close to the town centre, we didn't need to use the car whilst we were there going on walks to Friar's Cragg and Derwent Water.

Room Tip: The stairs up to the suite might be difficult to negotiate if you have mobility issues as some of the steps are small and they are a bit steep however if you can manage them it's wonderful being right at the top of the B&B looking out over Keswick.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank knuttykitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

My husband and I stayed at Ferndene Guest House for the Easter weekend. Christine and Richard are wonderful hosts. Christine is an excellent cook, breakfast is delicious and the homemade jam is a treat. Richard is fantastic as front of house and always on hand to recommend good places to walk. The B&B is spotlessly clean and comfortable. This is one of the best B&B's we've stayed in, definitely recommend.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 3, which has amazing views over the mountains of Keswick.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Sarah L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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