Welcome to Long Byres Holiday Cottages

Welcome to Long Byres Holiday Cottages at Talkin Head! We hope you have a fantastic stay and if you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to ask.

This welcome book is intended to help you get acquainted with your cottage and the area, with lots of ideas for things to do, places to eat and general cottage information.

Your cottage

Our six specially designed holiday cottages were originally converted by the Dean family from the traditional farm buildings in 1979 and are an early example of farm diversification. After being in the family for over 50 years, the 3rd generation (Sam & Helena) are excited to be taking over the running of the holiday cottages from spring 2021.We can either be found in the cottage’s office up in the yard or on our mobile number above. Please note, we do both work full time as well, so if the office is shut or we do not answer the mobile we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible 🙂


The house has free Wi-Fi. These details will be in you information email sent prior to your stay: 

The service is provided for your enjoyment, but you are responsible for safe and appropriate use and complying with all laws. Please note, we are in a rural location and as such the internet is not always the fastest! However, if there is any serios issues or loss of service please contact us. 


On arrival, you will be able to either collect your keys from us directly in the Office. This is located within the Talkin Head Entrance and is signed. If we are not on the grounds, we will send you information about how to collect your keys prior to you arrival in you welcome information email.


Check-in time is from 3pm – 10pm. We can sometimes arrange an early check-in but please contact us if you will arrive early and we will do our best, without any promises! We suggest you refer to the section on what to do if you arrive early – there is plenty to keep you entertained! 


To reach us using a Sat Nav, please enter our address below:

Long Byres Holiday Cottages 

Talkin Head





For more detailed directions, please see below:

Exit the M6 at J43 and follow signs to Brampton. Once in Brampton you will pick up the B6413 signposted for Castle Carrock and Talkin Tarn. Follow this road until you see signs for the village of Talkin. Once in Talkin take the road passing to the left of the Blacksmiths Arms and after 400 yards turn right into a small road signposted Talkin Head. Long Byres will appear in front of you after about half a mile along this road. 

Visitors arriving from the North East via the A69 please note that the road to Talkin is not accessible from the Brampton by-pass. You should drive into Brampton and then follow signs to Castle Carrock and Talkin Tarn.


Free parking is provided on site, in our cottage car park. To find it, once you reach the cottages please continue along the road round to the left and the car park is at the end on the right. 

There is 1 car parking space per cottage, if you need more parking than this please do get in contact before your stay and we will do our best to accommodate. 

For security purpose the car park is locked with a combination lock and the code is 6740. We kindly ask that you keep the car park locked as you are coming and going.


When you leave, please ensure the following simple tasks are done: 

– take the rubbish out to the bins

– lock the house

– leave the keys with us in the office or in the key box. This is located on the side of the wooden shed, which is just on your right as you enter the yard for Talkin Head. 

We hope you had a wonderful holiday and wish you safe travels back home. We would love to see you again soon!


Check-out time is strictly 10am. Should you require a later check-out we will do our best, but you need to let us know beforehand. If we have guests arriving that day, we are afraid that it will be very unlikely to offer a late check-out due to the cleaners needing to prepare for those guests. 


You will find the house clean on arrival but please let us know if you are not satisfied. On departure it would be helpful if you could leave the house (particularly kitchen contents) clean and tidy when you leave. No need for you to perform a full clean! 



Long Byres is situated just outside of Talkin, a small village on the edge of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Your cottage will have views across our family hill farm and either across to the Lake District or towards Geltsdale Fell. 

The properties are well located for outdoor enthusiasts with several walks available directly on the doorstep and in the surrounding area. Further walking is available throughout the North Pennines, the Eden Valley, along Hadrian’s Wall and within the Lake District.

Cycling is available at all the above locations plus Kielder and Keswick which are widely regarded as some of the best Mountain Biking locations in the UK. 

Nature enthusiasts will enjoy the range of species including Lapwings, Curlews, Black Grouse, Buzzards, Hares, native Exmoor Ponies and red squirrels present across the farm and at the nearby Geltsdale RSPB Nature Reserve. 

Talkin Tarn is a beautiful country park located one mile away with facilities for taking kayaks and rowing boats out on the Tarn along with other outdoor activities and walks throughout the park. A tearoom is also present.

Two UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Lake District and Hadrian’s Wall, are within travelling distance of the cottages. Bassenthwaite, Ullswater, Blencathra and Mungrisdale are all within one hour whilst Helvellyn and Thirlmere are just over one hour away. Hadrians Wall at its closest point is within a 5-mile drive whilst various Roman forts including Birdoswald, Vindolanda and Housesteads are all within a half hour drive. The legendary Sycamore Gap is also approximately half an hour away along the Roman Wall route.

There are a range of fascinating historic buildings and country properties around Cumbria and Northumberland including Lowther Castle, Hutton in the Forest, Carlisle Castle and Lanercost Priory.

The North Pennines is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and UNESCO Global Geopark. Within this area there are an abundance of heather moors, delightful dales, tumbling upland rivers, wonderful woods, glorious waterfalls including High Force, one of the most impressive waterfalls in England, fantastic birds, distinctive plants and fascinating imprints of a mining and industrial past including Alston, the highest market town in England. 

The area is also widely regarded as benefitting from some of the darkest sky’s in the country and is a perfect place for stargazing. A designated observatory is present at Allenheads as well as a multitude of designated dark sky discovery sites with the closest one being located near the RSPB Geltsdale Nature Reserve.

For families the surrounding area includes Walby Farm Park, a multi-award winning visitor attraction, Carlisle Castle and Cathedral, Tullie House, Lanercost Priory, shopping at the Lanes (Carlisle) and Gretna Gateway.

Friendly local pubs within walking distance are available in Talkin (The Blacksmiths Arms) and Castle Carrock (The Duke of Cumberland). A greater range of pubs and restaurants are available throughout the surrounding countryside and in the nearby towns and villages. A variety of takeaway options including Chinese, Indian and Fish & Chips are all available in Brampton which is a 10-minute drive away.

The nearest grocery stores can be found in Brampton where there is a Co-op, and Halbankgate which has a lovely community run village store and café. These are both around a 10-minute drive away. Larger supermarkets including Tesco and Asda are on the fringes of Carlisle nearby to junctions 43 and 44 of the M6 respectively.

For more information see the things to see and do and eating and drinking section of our website:




Many guests will arrive before the designated check-in time. We often suggest that guests visit the grocery store and do a small shop. That will give you more time to relax once you have checked in! Alternatively, you could leave your car in the car park and take a brief walk up the fell to take in the beautiful scenery and familiarise yourself with the surroundings.


Our home has a central heating system which operates off either a central system or thermostats on the radiators in each room, however it can be a little bit temperamental.  We would be very grateful if you avoid regularly adjusting the settings as this can sometimes turn all the heating off. If you are having any troubles please do give us a call. 


All manuals for the electrical equipment and appliances are in the bottom draw of the unit to the left of the sink. 

The Fridge/freezer: 
You should not need to adjust any settings. If you run into any difficulties (e.g., it is not cooling efficiently) please let us know. 

The Hob and Oven: 
Cottages 1 & 2 run off electric ovens, while cottages 3,4,5&6 run off gas hobs and ovens. These will either be self-igniting or may need the lighter stick provided. When grilling please leave the door open. 


We have a washer and separate dryer located in the Laundry room which is a communal area located in the centre of the cottages. The communal area is currently off limit as a precautionary measure in relation to Covid-19. If you have an urgent need to wash clothes please let us know and we will do our best to make arrangements.


Unfortunately, while the current COVID situation continues we have taken the decision to remove board games, playing cards and books from our cottages. This is to minimise contact points which are difficult to sterilise. 


We understand that sometimes accidents happen! Should you break anything please let us know immediately – if it isminor we usually will not charge. If it is a larger issue (e.g., the TV screen!) we would like to agree the cost with you before you leave to avoid any issues later. Thank you! 


Your cottage will have a flat screen TV provided with all usual Freeview channels. If you have any trouble using these please do let us know. 


There is a shared enclosed garden for all our guests to enjoy. This is located at the front of our cottages. You will either have direct access into the garden from your cottage, or you can enter through the little garden gate located between cottage No.7 and the car park. 

Please remember to pick up any dog poo if allowing your dog out in the garden.


You bed linens and towels are provided on arrival. This will provide 1 bath towel and 1 hand towel. If you need any extra please let us know and we will drop some down. 


There are bins provided in multiple rooms of each cottage along with extra bin liners. If you need anymore, please let us know. 

At the end of your stay, please take your waste to the bins located next to Cottage No. 1. These are all behind the wall. Recycling facilities are also available here.


Well behaved pets are fully welcomed in our cottages, but we have a few conditions on their stay:

Up to 2 (well behaved) pets are allowed at one time

  • Please don’t let pets onto the furniture, especially sofas and beds
  • Guests are responsible for cleaning up after their pets
  • All pet’s must be kept on a lead when walking around Long Byres Holiday Cottages and Talkin Head. Please remember that there are livestock around Talkin Head and Long Byres so please keep animals on leads and under control at all times.

Thank you very much for your co-operation.


Please remember we have other guests at the cottages, and we request that you kindly keep noise to a minimum after 10:00pm. 


We have a no smoking policy within any of our cottages.


Your emergency exits for all cottages is the front doors. Where cottages also have either a balcony door or a patio door these are also emergency exits. 


For emergency services please immediately call 999. 

Do not delay if you feel an emergency situation has arisen. 


Fire extinguishers and blankets are located in all of the cottages. In cottage No.1 these are located in the kitchen. In cottage No.2 they are located in the entrance hallway and in cottages 3, 4, 5 & 6 these are located in the kitchen


Smoke alarms, heat sensors and carbon monoxide detectors are present in all of the cottages. The heat sensors and carbon monoxide detectors are located in the kitchen / living areas and the smoke alarms are situated throughout the cottages.


For the Emergency services please contact – 999

For Non-Emergency – NHS – 111

For Non-Emergency – Police – 101


Doctors – Brampton Surgery – 016977 2551

Vets – Capontree Veterinary Centre – Brampton – 016977 2318

Chemist – Jobsons, Market Place, Brampton – 016977 2501

Garages – Hayton Garage – 01228 670352

                 – C&C Barnett – 016977 45610   


The nearest bank or ATM can be found in Brampton, either outside the Co-op or the Cumberland Building society


The nearest fuel station is in Corby Hill and Brampton. 


There is a Co-operative, Spar and other various local independent stores in Brampton (circa 10-minute drive)

Carlisle, junction 43 has a large Tesco Superstore (circa 20-minute drive)

There is also a community hub store in Halbankgate (circa 10-minute drive)


There is a local medical centre in Brampton and Corby Hill. 

The nearest hospital is in Carlisle


The nearest pharmacy is located in Brampton


The nearest pharmacy is located in Brampton


There is a post box in Talkin Village on the central crossroads. The nearest Post office is in Brampton. There is also a pop-up Post office in Hallbankgate.


There are several pubs located in the surrounding towns and villages. The nearest are The Blacksmiths Arms in Talkin, The Duke of Cumberland in Castle Carrock and The Belted Will in Hallbankgate.