A couple who had hopes of opening their own hotel have realised their dreams with the help of a commercial mortgage from Darlington Building Society.
Property developer Stephen Hutchinson and his partner Lynne Eaves opened the historic Glenridding House on the cusp of Lake Ullswater, and restored the Grade-II listed building using their own funds.
The property required extensive renovation and extension before it could be launched as a guesthouse and so the couple turned to Darlington Building Society for a commercial mortgage.
The mortgage was used for the restoration, which included stripping back the building and replacing the roof and interior timbers.
Major rebuilding of the front lakeside wall and one bay window was also undertaken.
The building has a unique cast iron balcony feature, which was restored and the decking replaced a cracked concrete walkway and then repainted.
Internally a glorious centre dome, which was replaced to look exactly as it did in the Regency period, stands 30ft above the centre of the house with a Celtic Cross feature.
The complete restoration period took seven years in total and now sees the guesthouse reposition itself as one of the most iconic lakeshore houses in the Lake District.
During its historic past Charles Darwin stayed at Glenridding House with members of his family for a five week holiday in June 1881.
Stephen Hutchinson said: “Darlington Building Society did so much more than provide the funds to enable us to renovate and refurbish. The team advised and assisted us every step of the way, which made the process much easier and enabled Lynne and I to concentrate on the extensive building work.
“My aim was to do everything required to a very high standard and give the building a new lease of another 200 years of life and this has been achieved. It has been a privilege to restore such a beautiful building.
“We are now happily settled and welcoming loyal customers and those who have just discovered the beautiful Lake District and Glenridding House.”