BMW i3 on its way to Brownber Hall BMW i3 on its way to Brownber Hall


When Hackney couple Amanda and Peter took over a Victorian Mansion in Howgill Fells on the border of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District back in 2016, it put Cumbria on the map for the 30-something creatives.

If you’re as trigger happy with the camera as us you’re going to want to allow some time for this road trip, as the landscapes you wind through are simply stunning. We took the i3 over the Pennines during snowfall and wound our way down into the heart of the Cumbrian countryside, passing flocks of Swaledales roaming snowcapped hills, whilst tracing the course of the River Lune.

When you’re heading into areas this rural, a great tip would be to utilise the Charging Point Search built-in to the i3’s navigation system. Heading for a long weekend, we made two stops on the five-hour drive from London and then utilised the outdoor charging plug on arrival at Brownber Hall.  

BMW i3 on its way to Brownber Hall

It is the place to come for a couple of days and unwind into the folds of the country. After meeting Amanda and Peter, guests will no doubt find that when they’re not entertaining themselves with the beautiful Bella, the Hall’s enchanting black Labrador, you’ll be in and out of wellies, constantly coming and going. There are nature trails, cycling tracks, fishing and wild swimming to keep you happily entertained, but there’s also board games, a well-stocked honesty bar, crackling fires and hot-buttered toast with lashings of Amanda’s renowned marmalade. 

The eight-bedroom guesthouse, in the midst of rolling hills and part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, feels like a true eclectic escape. Unlike the usual frippery of country interiors found in these parts, the décor is more of a ‘Hackney in the hills’ vibe. Everything is perfectly mismatched and colourful. Relying mostly on reclaimed, vintage and reupholstered furniture, from the upcycled tables to the antique sideboards and lamps, every item has been carefully chosen by the couple. If not by them, by people they know such as the scattering of cushions and throws made by Amanda and Peter’s extended family and wrought iron beds made by the local blacksmith. 

This personal touch has spilled over into the kitchen.  In 2018, they opened a simple Italian restaurant onsite, running Thursday to Sunday from 6.30-9pm, specialising in homemade sourdough pizzas and delicate pasta made in the Neapolitan style but using locally sourced seasonal produce. Meat is from the local butcher, eggs from the neighbouring farm, as much veg as possible from their own raised beds, foraged wild mushrooms and a wine list full of biodynamic and natural wine. Alongside Amanda’s Marmalade they even make their own butter, yoghurt, granola and even vegan cheese, whilst Peter’s passion lies in the art of bread making, because what good is award-winning marmalade without an exceptional sourdough? And when everyone has had their fill, all food waste is composted using a combination of Bokashi bins and hot bin composting, resulting in that joyous full circle sustainable moment when the bi-product is then used to fertilise the soil in Amanda and Peter’s raised beds.

Sustainable foods from Brownber Hall

“When you’re heading into areas this rural, a great tip would be to utilise the Charging Point Search built-in to The BMW i3’s navigation system.”

We The Food Snobs.

BMW i3 on the road front view BMW i3 on the road front view


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Fuel economy and CO2 results for the BMW i3 range: Mpg (l/100km) not applicable. CO2 emissions: 0 g/km. Electric energy consumption (combined) 3.8 - 4.1 miles/kWh. Electric range 173.4 -190.8 miles. These figures were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. The BMW i3 and i3s 120Ah is a battery electric vehicle requiring mains electricity for charging. These figures were achieved using the WLTP test procedure. Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2, electric energy consumption and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load.