Katie loves paddle boarding. She loves wild swimming. Fell walking, too - and running. And she’s loving life as a homeowner at Scalesceugh.
A local government officer who moved here from West Cumbria with her two gorgeous border collies and an elusive cat, Katie is now keen to get involved in the pursuits she adores on the east of the county.
“Scalesceugh appealed to me because of its proximity to Carlisle and Penrith,” explains Katie. “The connections are really good - the motorway and the railway. I’ve got family in Edinburgh, friends in Lancashire, it’s a real benefit.
“I’m pretty outdoorsy. As well as walking the dogs, I want to get back to fell running or road running. I’m going to look for a running club round here.”
Katie takes her outdoor passion seriously. “Every month since January I’ve been wild swimming. I would always have swum in the Lakes in the summer months, but towards the end of last year I read quite a lot about the physical and mental benefits of cold water swimming.
“It’s not quite in the Lakes here, but it’s not far at all. We can get to Ullswater in about half an hour.”
'I always found birdsong comforting'
Katie is clearly full of life - and she believes Scalesceugh is the perfect place for her.
She moved into a villa at the end of June, and has a large decked balcony at the back of her home which juts out into woodland. Ideal for an outdoorsy person.
She has a built-in studio which allows her storage for her paddle board. But Katie values the quieter moments too.
“I had a garden in my former house which went back a long way, and it was hard to keep on top of it. I thought that I would have to compromise when I moved, but now the woodland is effectively my garden!
“I always found birdsong comforting, and a lot of people through lockdown said they really noticed the sound of the birds.
“When I came to see the place, I thought if there were lots of birds here, that would make me happy.” And there are.
“I put bird feeders out, and I’ve had a family of blue tits visit them, they’re adorable."
Luckily, her cat Coco isn’t bothered trying to catch birds. But she does love exploring the woodland. The dogs are happy too - Fionn is her black and white collie, Luna is the tri-coloured collie.
“The dogs are loving it here,” says Katie. “Everyone is so friendly to them, and the postman even gives them treats.
“On the Scalesceugh website it says that owners Bruno and Anita recognised pets as being good for wellbeing, and I thought that was a real benefit.”
'This house is built for the way we live now'
Katie also appreciates the Scandinavian influence around Scalesceugh - the villas draw heavily on Scandi architecture, and the upcoming spa has Nordic vibes throughout.
“The clean design really appeals to me,” explains Katie. “The Scandinavian way is that everyday objects should be beautiful objects, and I really like that about them.
“I came from a house built for 200 years ago. We’ve had a pandemic and while working at home, I realised that some of the rooms are fairly dark. This house is built for the way we live now. It’s much lighter.
“The space is really well thought of. I really like the flexibility. The open plan design brings in the light.
“The eco credentials really appealed to me, too. I liked the idea of trying to reduce the carbon footprint with triple glazing and air source heat pumps.”
Katie didn’t have a friendly community at the very top of her list of desires when she was searching for a new home, but she soon realised its importance when she visited Scalesceugh.
“People are very friendly here. I really like the fact that there’s been some socialising, spontaneously.
“During the summer evenings, I saw Bruno and Anita sitting outside, having a drink, talking to people for hours, which I thought was great.
“I think people are now more aware of social isolation and the impact it has, because of the pandemic.
“A lot of people are lonely and isolated, with nowhere to meet, and here at Scalesceugh there’s all that built in.
“I’m really happy here.”