Fairytale cottage a short drive from Manchester has guests staying in Hollywood

A quintessentially British cottage that looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale book welcomes guests from all over the UK and even Hollywood. The Chocolate Box Cottage, located in the Cheshire countryside less than an hour’s drive from Manchester, is the perfect retreat for those wanting to stay somewhere unique.

Named Hawthorn Cottage, in Cranage, it dates from 1672 and has a traditional thatched roof and original features. It has an outdoor well in the enclosed garden and exposed beams of character.

The small kitchen has a bright red Smeg fridge, the cozy living room has a red wood burning stove and outside you will also find a hot tub. The lovingly restored Grade II property is owned by Lydia Causer, who put it on global accommodation site, Airbnb, after the 2020 lockdown.

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Lydia, who lives in the house next door, bought the one-bedroom cottage four years ago, reports CheshireLive, and eventually converted it into a vacation home. It was originally intended for her mother to stay there, but passers-by started asking if they could stay there.

“The chalet was out of breath when we bought it, so we renovated it to what it is today,” Lydia said. “We put new thatch in there and new oak beams. The lockdown really gave us the biggest opportunity to do it again. It was originally for my mum to move in during the lockdown because she had a flat in Lymm and that she was alone.

It’s a romantic hideaway

“When she was in the chalet, walkers would pass on the nearby public footpath and we would always talk to them. One day my mum said a couple had asked if we were renting the chalet.

“She told them we would be even though we didn’t mean to at the time.” Lydia said she was initially “really nervous about doing it” but, after her mother left, they put it on Airbnb.

Lydia welcomes guests from the United States

Since then, it’s “just gone crazy” with people even coming from America since the end of travel restrictions. “It’s lovely because it’s mostly special occasions that people book for — like birthdays, honeymoons or a night out. It’s a lovely presence,” she continued.

“People are coming from all over, even Cornwall. And now after the lockdown we’re starting to see people coming from overseas. We had a lady from San Diego and then we booked in people who are coming from Hollywood !”

The 17th century cottage was on its last legs before restoration

Close to Goostrey, Holmes Chapel and French chateau-style country house Radbrooke Hall, the cottage has been a hit with visitors since being listed on Airbnb. According to the site, 90% of recent customers gave it a five-star rating with a current overall rating of 4.97.

When asked why she thought the cottage was so popular, Lydia replied: “It’s unique and it’s hard to find anything else like it. It’s a real piece of history and we just have that nice feeling of being in a fairy tale. There’s a positive vibe and it’s just beautiful. We tried to make it as special as possible.”

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