The Guardian

Darling How

Whinlatter Pass, Lake District

Darling How is at the end of a forest track, then a further half-mile into the hills, almost surrounded by long-established pine plantations. On arrival, hunt down the key safe on one of the barn walls. With the wind moaning in the trees and the looming skyline to the west – the ridge formed by Graystones, Broad Fell and Lord’s Seat – it feels properly remote, even though the owners do live next door, the only other humans within an hour’s walk.

The cottage is perfectly snug: an air-source heat pump does the heavy lifting, while a logburner adds the final warm touches in the upstairs openplan kitchen-diner-living area. Laminated maps and a full set of Wainwrights are on the window ledge awaiting the evening planning session, although the DVD selection might cause some distractions. Bedrooms and bathroom (with full-size bath) are downstairs.

When we visited earlier this year, we settled on a circuit that took us up the forested valley then out on the tops for a return along the ridge. But at the summit of Lord’s Seat - the highest point in the hills north of Whinlatter Pass - the west wind was ferocious with a little scouring powder of hail that blinded us and our dog, Wilf . We were forced to huddle on the summit for a while, enjoying long vistas across the Solway Firth to Scotland. But the wind only grew stronger so we had to beat retreat back to the valley, missing out on that ridge.

It’s on days such as these that you will come to appreciate that full-size bath as an essential rather than a luxury on a walking holiday. Darling How definitely delivered on the remoteness, and provided the perfect amount of cosiness to best appreciate it. • Sleeps 2, from £390 a week,

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