Langstrothdale, North Yorkshire


Cowside is a 17th-century farmstead at the heart of the North Yorkshire Dales National Park. It is a rare survival both for its unaltered state and the wall paintings in its parlour.

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • BathBath
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • RemoteRemote
  • ShowerShower

Beds 1 Single, 1 Twin, 1 Double

4 nights
£936 equivalent to £46.80 per person, per night

The home of hardy Dales folk

The debate as to when Cowside was built still goes on, with Dendrochronology (dating by tree analysis) and documentary evidence being inconclusive. There is a datestone the above the front door which reads "I S 1701" but a panel of disturbed masonry indicates that it has been re-set from a two storey porch. Major restorative work began in 2010 after it had been re-roofed the previous year. All the external masonry was repointed, infilling removed from the fireplaces, internal rooms were re-plastered and every care was taken in order to ensure that the salvaged flagstones could be reused.

Heart of the Yorkshire Dales

It is a significant Landmark because it is an unaltered example of 17/18th century North Yorkshire Dales architecture. Cowside is comprised of the farmhouse, two attached buildings and combined former henhouse and piggery. Its location at the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park means that this is an ideal base from which to explore one of Britain's most beautiful landscapes. A little further afield, about a 45 minute drive away, is the Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The  remote nature of Cowside means you will arrive on foot (you leave your car at the foot of the steep hill) which somehow feels right and acts as a reminder of the lives of the farmers who once lived and worked here. 

Floor Plan


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Map & local info

Sitting in the Langstrothdale valley in the heart of the North Yorkshire Dales National Park, Cowside is surrounded by drystone walls and green hills. The River Wharfe passes by along the foot of Cowside’s north-facing fell.

There are plenty of walks around this area of North Yorkshire to enable you to appreciate its wealth of picturesque villages and spectacular landscapes. Discover the breathtaking waterfalls around the village of Keld and the Aysgarth Falls near Leyburn. The Dales Countryside Museum gives useful and interesting insight into the people and places of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

For an exciting underground experience, visit the White Scar Cave at Ingleton, where you can explore and marvel at this spectacular natural cave system and longest show cave in Britain. 

The historic market town of Richmond, with its castletheatremuseum, impressive monuments and fine Georgian architecture, has lots to offer visitors. 

Discover local walks for dogs with our friends at, the dog walks community. For more information on things to do during your stay at Cowside, please see our Pinterest page.

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

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What you need to know about this building
  • Yes. You are welcome to bring up to two dogs. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if you have an assistance dog, for which there is no charge.
  • Access on foot via a steep hill path (approximately 400 metres from the parking area). The track leading to the parking area is uneven and has a number of pot holes which fill with water in adverse weather. It needs to be negotiated with care and is unsuitable for cars with low clearance.
  • Skipton – 20 miles
  • There are three parking spaces in the designated area in the field adjacent to the river.
  • There is an LPG combined heat and power (CHP) system. There is also underfloor heating and two wood-burning stoves.
  • There are no local suppliers for logs and they would need to be purchased from petrol stations or supermarkets you pass en-route to the property. 
  • To check up-to-date mobile network coverage in the area, visit* Due to the location and structure of many of our buildings, signal strength may differ to those indicated.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is also an electric cooker and microwave.
  • There are two bathrooms, one with a free-standing shower unit and one with a shower over the bath.
  • No.
  • Yes, some of the doorways have low headroom.
  • Yes the property is accessed on foot via a steep hill path (approximately 400 metres from the parking area).
  • There is a garden (not enclosed). There are footpaths through the National Park which may run close to the property.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
Booking and Payment
  • If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.
  • We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • The key arrangements will be included in the Further Infomation document which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • If your stay starts more than two months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy and The Bunk House at Llwyn Celyn must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • Our housekeeper will leave the key in a suitable place, the details of which will be sent to you prior to your stay.
  • It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
Staying at a Landmark
  • Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.  Further information on access when visiting Lundy can also be found here.
  • Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control. A charge of £20 per stay is made for each dog. Please contact booking enquiries if a registered assistance dog is supporting one of the guests, for which there is no charge.
  • Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Arrival is from 4pm and departure is by 10am.
  • We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s). If you are visiting one of our European properties we have standard European electricity sockets. If you are visiting from the UK, you will need to bring your own adapter plug (s).
  • Landmark’s electrical systems have not been designed to provide continuous power from one socket over several hours.  If an ordinary socket is used to charge an electric vehicle, there is significant risk of an electrical fire and consequent danger to life.  Therefore, we are unable to allow electric vehicle charging from most of our Landmarks at present.

    We are working to provide Type 2 Electric Vehicle charge points at our properties where there is private parking.  Where this is available, please request this facility when booking the property to ensure the outlet is enabled on your arrival.  There is a small charge to cover the cost of electricity provided.  Please book this facility in advance.
  • No, we do not allow smoking in any Landmark.
  • Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival. Except for the Llwyn Celyn Bunkhouse.
  • Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
    Except at Llwyn Celyn Bunk House where a password is available in the property when you arrive.
  • A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide toilet rolls and a bar of soap per basin, but no other toiletries. Hairdryers are provided.

An unaltered example of a late 17th century Dales farmhouse

Cowside is significant as an unaltered example of a late 17th/early 18th-century farmhouse of the North Yorkshire Dales. It is entirely typical of its area in many respects, but in a few it is unusual, not to say exceptional. The farmstead is set on the fellside above the young River Wharfe, just after it has been christened as such at the meeting of the becks at Beckermonds.

It is made up today of the farmhouse, two attached outbuildings or barns, a poultiggery (henhouse and piggery combined), former privy and various enclosures created out of the ubiquitous Dales drystone walling. In facing south up the slope and away from the river, Cowside perhaps seems to turn its back on the world, but more likely is that there was once a packhorse trail running along the contour line above it, (the Dale was an important through route from Lancaster to Newcastle-upon-Tyne).

There is a datestone "I S 1707" above the front door, but a panel of disturbed masonry around it indicates that it has been re-set from a two-storey porch (since lost), a common feature on houses of that date. The porch’s existence was proved when we found a blocked doorway under plaster on the first floor. The front elevation has a set of fine stone mullioned windows with an echo of earlier centuries about them, placed with a careful symmetry that was very up to date for the early 18th century. The rear elevation is interesting for different reasons. It has an unusual twin gabled service range, of a stair tower with a pair of two storey service chambers to each side. The windows on this less public side are various, clearly re-used or even cobbled together from pieces of salvaged stonework, some arched, some little more than square openings. Whether they came from an earlier building on the same site or elsewhere is not known.

There has been much debate about when Cowside was constructed, and documentary references suggest there was a farm called Cowside in Hubberholme parish by 1682, when Jane, wife of Francis Slinger of Cowside, was buried. Dendrochronology (dating by tree ring analysis) proved inconclusive (although the main roof structure is of oak, the joists and internal joinery are thought to be mostly ash). The safest to say is that the house was built around 1700, and probably as an extension of activity by the prosperous Slingers of Beckermonds, who are known to have been living at Beckermonds in the 1660s.

The farmhouse itself is a simple two cell, direct entry house on two floors. It is built of the local, highly durable limestone with freestone quoins and dressings. As originally built, the entrance led straight into a hall/housebody (today’s kitchen) with a massive inglenook fireplace under a stone arch and a fine six-light stone mullioned window with window seat beneath. In the 18th century, a self-contained stone fireplace was inserted into this massive hearth and the flue narrowed. Probably in the early 19th century, perhaps when the porch was taken down, the partition wall to the left of the main entrance was inserted to create a through passage (and no doubt better insulation from the draughts). Now across this passage is the parlour, the finest room in the house with another good stone fireplace and wall paintings. These paintings are an exceptionally rare survival in this remote corner of Yorkshire, and noteworthy in a vernacular building even beyond. On the walls to either side of the window, they are monochrome Biblical texts in Gothic script, surrounded by flamboyant frames of foliage and scrolls. They are clearly the work of skilled hands, and by two different artists.

On the west wall is Whether ye eat, or drink or whatsoever ye do do all to the glory of God Corinthians X:31 and For of him and through him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans XI:36.

On the east wall is Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred therewith Proverbs XV: Chapter 17 verse.

We know that a William Slinger of Langstrothdale went to Sedbergh School in the 1670s before going on to Cambridge University and becoming a clergyman. It is quite possible that he was Frances and Jane Slinger’s son, growing up at Cowside in a prosperous and educated household with these cheerful texts, although there is no definitive proof. Both these main ground floor rooms have fine beams with well carved ogee stops.

To the rear of the ground floor are a former dairy on one side (now a scullery) and a washhouse on the other. Before restoration, the dairy still had remnants of shelving and the washhouse a copper for boiling clothes. Note too the stone spout for waste water which projects through the wall. There is a very small cellar below the stone dog leg stairs. The banisters and newel post had completely disappeared, now reinstated on the basis of other local examples.

Upstairs, the hall chamber was heated only by heat radiated from the massive chimneybreast. The parlour chamber was clearly the best bedroom, with a third well-made fireplace with capitals and a mantelshelf. The window has a well-shaped central king mullion. It seems both these rooms were originally open to the rafters, perhaps until as late as the mid-19th century.

For a short history of Cowside please click here.

To read the full history album for Cowside please click here.

To download the children's Explorer pack for Cowside please click here.


A generous bequest enabled work to start sooner

In spring 2009 a generous bequest from Mrs Sylvia Chapman allowed us to close the Cowside appeal. We were then able re-roof it in autumn 2009 as a preliminary phase, fearing the leaking roof might collapse under its own weight in the snows of another winter. Work began in earnest in 2010.

All the external masonry was repointed, and the house re-plastered throughout internally. Those flagstones that could be salvaged were relaid in the cross passage and today’s kitchen, and the opportunity was taken to lay underfloor heating beneath new stone floors elsewhere on the ground floor. The first floor floorboards were all so rotten that they had to be replaced. Later infilling was removed from each of the fireplaces. New doors were made to match an original that survived in the parlour. As Cowside is off the national grid, its electricity is supplied by a micro Combined Heat and Power plant fuelled by liquid propane gas. The electricity is stored in a set of batteries. ‘Waste’ heat is captured from the generator and used to help heat water for the underfloor heating and domestic use. Water is provided from a specially drilled borehole, and thus Cowside is ready to face another era of inhabitation.

Supporters of Cowside

We are hugely grateful to those who supported the restoration of Cowside, including:

Mrs C Alderson, Mr R Eaton, Mrs A Gloag OBE, Ms J Johnson, Mrs E Key, Mr and Mrs F Ledden, Mr P Mitford, Mr B Sealey CBE, Mr P Titchmarsh, Mrs V Youell

Mr C Bird, Mr A Bowen, Mrs N Ferguson, Mrs E Gibbs, Mr D Giles, Miss J Hodgkinson, Mr R Jennings CBE, Mr C Johnson, Ms J Johnson, Mr J Jones, Mr S Roberts, Mr A Sedgwick, Mr P Shillito, Mrs V Youell

Other generous supporters:
Marquess of Zetland

Mrs V Atkins, Mr T Bateman, Mrs S Chapman, Mrs M Cook, Mr D Frost, Mr J Haworth, Mr W West

Gifts in memory of:
Mrs V Atkins, Mrs H Hughes, Mr R Purdy, Professor R Taylor

Charitable Trusts and Statutory Grants:
The Viscountess Boyd Charitable Trust, The Delves Trust, The Duke of Devonshire's Charitable Trust, Stuart Heath Charitable Trust, The Tanner Trust  


We would also like to thank everybody else who supported the appeal.

Availability & booking

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.