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Lake District tearoom on the market for £2.5 million

A popular Lake District tearoom is on the market for £2.5 million.

Granny Dowbekins, at Pooley Bridge, is currently owned by businessman Colin Hindle.

Mr Hindle has decided to put the tearoom up for sale with Colliers International to focus on his writing career.

The two-floor Granny Dowbekin’s includes a tiered riverside tea garden and two self-catering holiday letting apartments. Mr Hindle published The Best Lakeland Views in January – which took him five years to complete.

Colin Hindle launches new companion guide to Wainwrights iconic collection

Concentrating on the best views around the Ullswater Valley, he plans to produce three more volumes. The books are intended to be a companion to Alfred Wainwright’s guides.

Mr Hindle added: “His books are objects of beauty in themselves, and it was this framework that inspired me to make this guide to the best views in Lakeland as a supplement to his epic work.

“In 2015 a great friend of mine decided to walk the 214 Wainwrights in one year to fundraise for a cancer charity in memory of his mother.

“On reaching many of the summits with him I felt some sense of deflation; there was no view, or a compromised view, or the view was better earlier or later on the walk.

He has now decided to swap his apron – and famous Pooley ‘Gingerbridge’ biscuits – for a pair of walking boots and a sketchbook to concentrate on the sequel.

Mr Hindle said: “After such an amazing response to The Best Lakeland Views, I realised I wanted to devote the next six years to drawing and writing books two, three and four.

“Strangely, thanks to the various lockdowns, I’ve now had the time to really invest myself in this project and I want to see it through.

“Granny Ds has now developed into the business I dreamed it could be, a real destination tea room and tea garden, run by a talented team who really care about the proper food and service that they provide.

“The site has been in constant development since 2013, and its completion has coincided serendipitously with the finishing of the stunning new bridge next to us.

“It is a credit to the team that Granny Ds is in the top two per cent of venues on online rating website TripAdvisor in the Lake District for breakfast and lunch.”

Haydn Spedding, consultant at Colliers, said: “The Lake District is renowned for its tearooms, but Granny Dowbekin’s at Pooley Bridge is arguably the most iconic.

“It is superbly located in a prime tourist location near the new bridge built to replace the one that was washed away in 2015 when Storm Desmond caused heavy flooding in Cumbria.

“It has magnificent views over the bridge, river and Ullswater, the second largest lake in the Lake District.” The tea room has 82 covers and the tea garden 110 covers.

It generates a turnover of around £1 million a year, and Colliers International said “substantial profits”.

It added: “Turnover is still to reach its peak as the village has been affected, not only by Storm Desmond and the loss of the bridge, but also the resulting diversions.

“Now that the new bridge has been completed together with its subsidiary landscaping, turnover will continue to increase for years to come.”

Mr Hindle acquired Granny Dowbekin’s in 2000.

During his ownership, he has transformed the business and has invested in the property, which dates back to the 17th century. Built out of sandstone and limestone, it has a Westmorland slate roof.

Mr Hindle bought the next-door cottage, extending the the tearoom and catering facilities and refitting and re-equipping the kitchens.

The tearoom was reconfigured with the addition of more covered seating and a veranda to the rear as well as landscaping the tea garden in the tiered style.

The first floor was also changed to create a three-bedroom self-contained apartment and a second one-bedroom self-catering apartment.

Originally a cottage and a blacksmith’s shop, they were extended in the 1800s. In 1904, the premises were given to the butler and housekeeper of The Rampsbeck Hotel for their lifelong service.

At this time, it became a café and guest house.