Written by: Stephen Hargreaves | Founder & CEO


It was 13 years ago this September that I was stood in my favourite pub at the time, the Hole In’t Wall in Bowness…


It was a Friday night and I was having a few pints with my mates when a guy I knew, Andrew walked in. In true Cumbrian style we got chatting about life, business and more or less everything over a couple of ales. Andrew was retired but had worked in hospitality in the Lakes for years and he turned to me in his rather sharp direct way and said “if you like doing up property, you should come and have a look at this one.”

That ‘one’ was The Cranleigh. A traditional Lakeland stone-built hotel in Bowness. The following day, and admittedly slightly hungover, I went round. The bones of the building were good but it was run down, tired, with yellow and pink bathroom suites, flowery wallpaper, threadbare carpets and flaking window frames. Whilst it was clear it had once been someone’s pride and joy it was now unloved and in desperate need of care. I looked at the property in detail and to be honest I was thinking I could buy, do it up and sell it. It came with two annexes too and I planned to sell two separately and keep one for staff accommodation for the local community. 

But I broke the first rule of property developing…





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