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Hole House Farm bunkhouse

Dog friendly Stanhope and the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse

A review of our recent stay at the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse in Weardale, County Durham.

Have you ever stayed in a bunkhouse?

Regular readers will know that we are quite rough and ready here at the Paw Post and love an adventure.

But when we shared photos of our trip to a bunkhouse on Instagram a few people replied and said, ‘What is a bunkhouse?’

A Bunkhouse is a simple place to stay for when you are in the great outdoors according to the Bunkr website and directory.

They’re kitted out with bunk beds and are ideal if you love an adventure but want a roof over your head.

Before I started the blog, I would stay in one in Patterdale with Daisy and my friends when we wanted to escape from the world.

When the lockdown restrictions were lifted and we were looking for a place to visit over the August Bank Holiday, we decided to try one again, the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse.

Hole House Farm Bunkhouse
Patch on the bed at Hole House Farm Bunkhouse

What is the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse like?

Hole House Farm is a farm – clue is in the name right – and is made up of a farmhouse where owner Lizzie lives, The Old Barn holiday cottage and the bunkhouse.

The Old Barn is a gorgeous converted barn and sleeps nine with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a shower room and dogs are welcome.

There are three bunkhouses and they sleep four people in each one. They have two bunk beds with cosy bedding and blankets and a bathroom and there’s plenty of space for a dog bed.

Hole House Farm Bunkhouse
Inside our bunkhouse at Hole house Farm

Who stays at Hole House Farm Bunkhouse?

Bunkhouses are popular with walkers and cyclists looking for a place to rest their heads and legs after a long day.

We visited in August over the Bank Holiday weekend and chatted to owner Lizzie who explained that many visitors use the bunkhouse as a stop on the Coast to Coast trail or Sea to Sea cycle.

The Coast to Coast is a 182 mile footpath across the North of England taking in three National Parks.

You can walk, run or cycle and stop along the way and enjoy the breathtaking sights of the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

The Sea to Sea cycle is just under 140 miles and goes from Whitehaven or Workington in Cumbria across to Tynemouth or Sunderland in the North East.

When we stayed, another family and their dog were there along with a cyclist who was doing the Sea to Sea, and generally, it’s hardy, outdoorsy folk who like a bunk house.

dog outside Hole House Farm Bunkhouse
Patch and the ‘wipe your paws’ sign!

What facilities are available at the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse?

Each bunkhouse has beds and a shower room and towels and bedding are provided, along with blankets.

There’s plug sockets but no TV and wifi is a little sketchy so it’s ideal if you want a digital detox and to enjoy the great outdoors.

There’s a shared kitchen and dining room space and each bunkhouse has their own fridge and freezer, plus there’s a washing machine and washing line.

We brought our own food for the evening and Lizzie provides cereals for breakfast, and there’s basics like beans, soup and pasta you can use.

There’s also a barbecue at the farm and an outdoor eating area which is covered in case of rain.

Kitchen in Hole House Farm Bunkhouse
The kitchen area of the bunkhouse

What else is there at the Hole House Farm Bunkhouse?

If you’re taking the kids, you’ll find lots of animals nearby for them to pet.

There are two Shetland ponies who live on the farm plus ducks, geese and swans.

In the fields nearby are cows and sheep and in the track up to the bunkhouse are a number of other farms.

Ponies in a field
The ponies and resident geese at Hole House Farm

What walks are there nearby?

We went for a walk along the Waskerley Way down to the Waskerley Reservoir which was around three miles from where we parked at the Park Head Station cafe.

If you park here, you can walk along the Coast to Coast route for as long or as little as you like.

There’s also a lovely walk along the river close to the Hare and Hounds pub in Westgate – while the pub isn’t dog friendly, you can sit in the beer garden.

Find out more on Tripadvisor here: Hare and Hounds Westgate

Dog on a walk
Patch on the Waskerley Way
Dog at reservoir
Having a breather at Waskerley Reservoir

What about places to eat and drink?

The nearest shops are in Stanhope where there is a Co-op with all you need, a sandwich shop and a nice Fish and Chip shop.

As it was so busy when we went, we couldn’t book in to any of the pubs or restaurants so we went to Freddie’s Fish and Chips for dinner.

Dog friendly pubs close to Hole House Farm include The Cross Keys in Eastgate, The Bonny Moorhen in Stanhope and the Pack Horse in Stanhope.

We weren’t able to visit because of COVID restrictions but you can find out more online on the links below:

The Cross Keys website

The Bonny Moorhen Facebook page

The Pack Horse website

Dog on a wall
Patch walking on the track leading to Hole House Farm

How much does it cost to stay at Hole House Farm?

We stayed in August 2020 and at the time a night in the bunkhouse was £90. The bunkhouse is closed in the winter months so check before booking.

For a night in the holiday cottage – which is absolutely gorgeous – it was £250.

This is a brilliant idea if you have a group staying together as you have everything you need and the cottage is open all year round.

If you like the sound of Hole House Farm, you can find the Bunkhouse on AirBnb here or contact Elizabeth Jackson at

Love a dog friendly holiday? Then you might like to read Dog friendly things to do in Alnmouth and the St Valery, Dog friendly Robin Hood’s Bay, Dog friendly Suffolk and Letheringham Water Mill  or Bowland Fell Park and dog friendly North Yorkshire.

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