Mellwaters Barn Cottages in the North Pennines

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Written By The Bimblers

Rob and Bridget - The Bimblers are two of the UK's leading accessible travel bloggers. Their motto: Life is an adventure; let's make it accessible.

Mellwaters Barn Cottages is a collection of four accessible holiday cottages in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the North Pennines.

Centrally positioned, Mellwaters Barn cottages are an ideal base for visiting the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Durham, York and Barnard Castle.

Situated on a working farm, these traditional self-catering cottages are a firm favourite with disabled guests who return year after year.

Disabled Access Holiday Cottages

Working with a wheelchair users, the owners have gone to great lengths to ensure guests, regardless of their accessibility needs, can have a relaxing and comfortable stay.

The cottages are rated under the National Accessibility Scheme as suitable for:

  • Older and Less Mobile Guests
  • Part-Time Wheelchair Users
  • Assisted Wheelchair Users

As you know, making a traditional cottage accessible without losing its character isn’t easy. So, let’s take a closer look.

Accessible Holiday Cottages

Visit England awarded Mellwaters Barn cottages 4-Star Gold mark.

Each cottage includes a widescreen TV and DVD player. Also included are free Wifi, bed linen and heating costs.

Assistance dogs are welcome in all Mellwaters Barn cottages. Well-behaved dogs are welcome in Blue Tit and Wren cottages.

Blue Tit Cottage

Disabled guests can park outside the Blue Tit cottage’s front door.

Mellwaters Barn Cottages
Blue Tit Cottage in Mellwaters Barn

The entrance to the cottage is level entry.

The upper floor is accessible via a through-the-ceiling lift and a spacious living and dining area.

Also on the upper floor is a fully equipped accessible kitchen.

On the ground floor is two spacious bedrooms with profiling beds. Both double and twin beds are available and can be configured at booking.

Also on the ground floor is a large wetroom with a shower, toilet and basin.

*Additional mobility aids are available on request.

Wren Cottage

Designated parking is metres away from the front door of Wren cottage.

Wren Cottage in Mellwaters Barn

Perfectly proportioned to welcome two guests. The ground floor has a comfortable dining and seating area and a fully equipped open-plan kitchen.

Access to the upper floor is by way of a stairlift.

Depending on your requirements, the bedroom can be configured with double or twin profiling beds depending on your needs.

There is an ensuite easy-access bathroom. However, the shower is over-bath, which may not suit all guests.

There is a ceiling hoist fitted, which some guests may be confident using.

*Additional mobility aids are available on request.

Kingfisher Cottage

You can park your car outside the front door of Kingfisher cottage. 

Kingfisher Cottage in Mellwaters Barn

Kingfisher cottage has its living room upstairs with west-facing windows for something a bit different. Ideal for relaxing and taking in views of the farmland.

Also upstairs is a fully accessible kitchen with a low-level hob, sink and work surfaces.

The upper floor is accessed via a through-ceiling lift.

On the ground floor, there are two spacious bedrooms. Double or twin profiling beds are configured at your request. 

Also on the ground floor is an accessible bathroom with WC, basin and over-bath shower. A ceiling hoist is fitted should you wish to use it.

*Additional mobility aids are available on request.

Robin Cottage

This cottage has a designated parking space a few metres from a level access entrance.

Robin Cottage in Mellwaters Barn

Robin cottage has a well-proportioned sitting and dining area.

Also on the ground floor is an open-plan kitchen. The ground floor is cosy and practical.

The upstairs bedroom and bathroom are accessed via a stairlift.

The beds can be double or twin for your comfort, depending on your preference.

The en suite bathroom has an over-bath shower, WC and hand basin.

*Additional mobility aids are available on request.

Accessibility and Facilities at Mellwaters Barn Cottages

In addition to accessibility features in each cottage, the owners have created purpose-built footpaths so you can enjoy the outdoors.

For your comfort, several additional mobility aids are available free of charge. These must be requested at the time of booking and are subject to availability. 

See the complete list of mobility aids here

Things to do Near Mellwaters Barn


There are plenty of museums to visit locally and a little further afield. Here’s a short selection:

Towns and Cities

If you’re more of a shopper and fancy a drive out, you can visit the local towns and cities.


The nearest village to Mellwaters Barn is Bowes. If you like a bit of history, like me, then Bowes is worth stopping off. Famed for Bowes Castle, Bowes Museum and inspiration for Charles Dickens’s novel Nicholas Nickleby.

Barnard Castle

Recently famed for different reasons, Barnard Castle is a market town in County Durham. Barnard Castle is worth visiting if you like castles, browsing independent shops or wandering around the market. This historic town is hilly and has plenty of cobbles and uneven surfaces.


Right up my street, no visit to the area would be complete without a visit to Durham Cathedral. Durham itself is perfect for a day trip. With so much to see and do, world-class eateries and shopping to suit every taste, why wouldn’t you?


York needs no introduction, but I would advise it can be challenging to navigate in a wheelchair. However, York has put together advice for disabled visitors – Accessibility Statement

If you like cathedrals, museums, history, fine food and quaint shops, you must visit York.


Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)

Mellwaters Barn is located in the North Pennines, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As well as delightful views from your cottage, you don’t need to travel far for spectacular scenery.

Like us, with poor mobility, we use these opportunities to drive out and picnic. The British weather often means a picnic in the car, but that doesn’t detract from the beauty, wildlife, and fauna.

The Lake District

The Lake District is a regular destination for us, and the Lake District is a bit further afield. But, if you’ve travelled from down south, it’s worth the extra effort.

Highlights of the Lakes for us are scenic drives and leisurely lake cruises. There is something magical about the Lake District; we never get tired of it.

In Summary

Mellwaters Barn Cottages are accessible to most, and they are a traditional and comfortable base to explore the area. 

The fact that the owners are willing to work with you to ensure your chosen cottage is accessible is a massive plus. This level of service is priceless and can make or break your holiday.

Whether you want to relax and enjoy the area of outstanding natural beauty or visit the villages and towns of the North Pennines, Mellwaters Barn is a good choice of holiday accommodation.

And one thing I haven’t mentioned yet is value for money. Please look at the Availability Calendar, and I think you’ll be surprised how reasonably priced these cottages are. 


Website: Mellwaters Barn Cottages

Accessibility: Access Statement

Disclaimer: We haven’t stayed in Mellwaters Barn Cottages. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit next year. We were compensated for writing this post, and all information was taken from the Mellwaters Barn Cottages website.

Enjoy this post? See our other accommodation reviews:

Landal Gwel an Mor in Cornwall

Elms Farm Luxury Cottages

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