“I’ve always wanted to do that” was something I got used to hearing as people gathered round after seeing my photos of Himalayan expeditions and I would wonder what was stopping them.
“Why not try,” I’d say “Why not go and do it.”
In 1986 I listened to my own advice.
Lizzie and I often talked of having freedom if we worked for ourselves. How about helping others to enjoy the outdoors? Maybe there was a business in it.
A property came up for sale in the village of Longnor in the south western part of the Peak District National Park.
Andrew, a friend, and Robin working on oak beams to go into the new extension at Far Cottage
Lizzie outside the backdoor admiring the finished extension
Far Cottage, was the buildings original name. We added to it by building a separate store for the equipment and extended the main building to become a stone barn conversion that slept ten people.
Peter, my brother, and Robin building the equipment store and drying room where the old piggery used to stand
The completed equipment store whose outside walls were build as a climbing wall
Proud builders, Andrew working on the roof and Robin drinking builders tea
It turned out to need a lot of building work and if we had known how much we probably wouldn’t have started. But we were naively confident and had loads of energy.
Far cottage situated in the village of Longnor in the Peak District
It was a warm, comfortable, aesthetic place where guests stayed in single or twin rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Great home cooked meals were enjoyed around a hand made oak refectory table that seated ten. Then afterwards there was always conversation as people relaxed on squashy sofas next to the cast iron stove. You get the picture.