Phone: +44 (0)1335 310 367
+44 (0)7779 210 791
+ 44 (0)7968 507469
or Email: email@example.com
Our address is
Lower Damgate Farm, Ilam Moor Lane, Stanshope, Ilam, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2AD
Carolyn is a warm and welcoming host and ensures you feel at home as soon as you meet her. She is originally from a farming background and purchased Lower Damgate Farm in 1996.
When we met Carolyn she told us a little of her story. Her dream was to start an Animal Sanctuary but never thought it would happen as she was working for Microsoft and was travelling the world.
However Carolyn developed cancer a few years later and after her father sent her the details of this run down and derelict property that was being advertised in the Farmers Weekly, she decided to grasp the opportunity and follow the dream. What transpired was a lifestyle change for her family as well as a new beginning for Lower Damgate Farm and Dovedale Animal Sanctuary.
Only a few months later and living in a derelict house Carolyn fell pregnant with her first child. Not to be phased she started out with a small baby and put her heart and soul into providing a loving home, wonderful self-catering properties as well as building a small organic working farm and Animal Sanctuary. Dovedale Animal Sanctuary now provides a forever loving home to many needy and neglected animals.
Since 1996 the house and cottages (originally cow sheds) have undergone a complete transformation and a program of major restoration was undertaken. This initially started with the farm house as Carolyn needed a home for her growing family. At the same time she decided to renovate the cow sheds into cottages and as she tells me “it was complete mayhem and upheaveal for a number of years but it was fun too” The first phase was completed in 1999 just after the birth of her second child.
Since then all of the buildings have been sympathetically renovated and Carolyn worked extensively with the Peak District National Park Authority. Her aim was to keep the original features and characters of the buildings and this has culminated with her providing the best holiday accommodation, wedding barn and holiday experience possible.
Sadly in 2001 Foot and Mouth stopped all visitors to the farm but as Carolyn explained, that was just a hiccup. Since then the business has grown with her enthusiasm and over the years Carolyn and her family have continued to invest in the holiday business. They have transformed the farm and properties into a beautiful and homely place for guests to enjoy all year round.
Carolyn still lives at the farm with her partner Karl and their three children Reuben, Bremen and Hope (you may recognise the names as the cottages have been named after them) As a family they continue to manage and maintain the farm for your enjoyment.
I certainly found this when I stayed at the farm with my family this summer. Carolyn’s mantra is that “nothing is a problem” and we felt this as well as the ambiance of the farm as soon as we arrived.
You can’t help but take in the specuatular White Peak beauty as you drive down to the farm from the road. Climbing up the hill from Ilam I felt as though I was driving into the middle of nowhere only to keep going … but as you crest the hill before the farm, the expance of the Peak District unfolds. Nestled in the bottom of the valley is the farm on your right and its position is specatuclar with views miles beyond. The farm looked clean and welcoming and as we drove past the cottages and down to the farmhouse Carolyn was there to meet us.
Carolyn and her family pride themselves on old fashioned values and think that it is important for you to feel the ambiance of the farm before booking, we could’nt do that but any pre visit is always welcomed, normally with a cup of tea and a slice of cake, which we did get.
Carolyn goes out of her way to make you feel special and provides an extensive helpful list which we found invaluable before we arrived. We just wanted to relax and put our feet up but Derbyshire and the Peak District has a wealth of beautiful places to visit including Chatsworth House and Alton Towers.
We felt very relaxed in the cottages and mananged to explore the National Trust estate, Ilam Park as well as walking down Hall Dale to the River Dove. This in itself is an experiance as short walk leads straight from the front door of the farm and takes you across the farm fields, down Hall Dale and into the middle of Dovedale to the River Dove, you are then half way between he Stepping Stones at Dovedale and The Pack Horse Bridge at Milldale so you can go either way or take a smaller circular walk back to the farm.
You need transport to get to the farm but once you arrive there are many walks straight from the door. After our walk we arrived back at the farm to be greeted by Tiffin, Carolyn’s Labradoodle. We didnt mind that she took a sausage from the BBQ but beware she is very friendly! Dogs are welcome at the farm but not in the B&B Rooms.
We also enjoyed lazing in the Hot Tub sipping the unexpected welcome gift that was waiting for us when we arrived in the cottages.
We were lucky that the sun shone whilst we were on the farm and we used the fields and had a picnic with the Alpacas who didnt disturb us but were very inquisitive. My son wanted to ride one but I didnt think that was allowed, though he did collect a couple of eggs later in the day.
We had some really good nights sleep and the accomodation is very comfortable. There is plenty of character in these cottages and as Carolyn mentioned before we arrived, they are larger than we think so her analogy of a Tardis is correct. Carolyn’s attention to detail shines through and the furnshings are luxurious and warm. They have been thoughtfully planned out with a mirade of antiques as well as a modern accent in technology. However the properties are unique in their design with the ephasis being on comfort and a country feel rather than modern and stylish. There is a general feeling of being at home in a relaxed and welcoming environment and if you want to spread out and put your feet up you can.
We really enjoyed our time at Lower Damgate Farm and when we return we know that we will be welcomed back with open arms and Carolyn’s great big smile.
Thank you Carolyn
Mark F – Editor – The Sunday Telegraph
If you have any queries about Lower Damgate Farm accomodation, Dovedale Barn for Weddings or Events, Business meetings or Team Building. Or if you would like any more information on Dovedale Animal Sanctuary then please please feel free to contact us as we are always happy to help.
We would much rather talk to you in person and happy to discuss your requirements, whether for a holiday, a wedding, a business meeting or just to say hello!
Thank you for looking at our website and thinking of staying with us.
We look forward to meeting you
Karl and Carolyn