A magnificently restored Georgian house set on Berwick’s Elizabethan Walls with sophisticated interiors and unrivalled views.
The highest building in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lions House affords wonderful views of this historic town, the Tweed estuary and the Northumberland coastline down to Holy Island
You could say that Lions House is the one that got away from the celebrated painter L.S. Lowry. The Manchester artist frequently holidayed in the historic seaside town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and fell for the Georgian charms of Lions House in 1947. He was, however, deterred from buying it by talk of ‘rampant damp’ and the imposing building, guarded by two seventeenth-century Venetian lions set on plinths by the front entrance, fell into disrepair.
The current owners of Lions House have sensitively restored the Grade II* listed property – named ‘an icon of the Berwick skyline’ by the Berwick Civic Society - to its full glory. Set on the bastioned Elizabethan town walls, Lions House is an imposing house with six-over-six double hung sash windows and a grand central front door topped by a fanlight. Step inside to discover an eye-popping entrance lobby with an exquisite ornamental plaster ceiling, rose and arch (created by a local craftsman of the period using real shells, which remain intact beneath the plaster coving) leading to a sweeping staircase.
The lobby’s soft grey walls, pristine white plasterwork, inky blue staircase and cast-iron radiator set the pared-back design tone of the entire house. The owners are avid art collectors, and their eclectic art and antiques collection decorates the property with impeccable taste while clean, neutral interiors keep the focus on the house’s period features and its breathtaking views.
It’s well worth tearing your eyes away from the antique maps of Berwick in the fire-warmed snug and the vibrant Barbara Rae abstract landscape that hangs above the freestanding bath in the master bedroom’s bathroom to soak up those views. The highest building in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Lions House delivers panoramic views across the Tweed Estuary, Berwick’s wide sandy beaches and out to the North Sea; framed to maximum effect by the large, white painted timber shutters that flank the lofty paned windows.
When viewed from the front, Lions House appears to comprise three storeys yet when you approach it from the rear, through a pretty walled garden, an additional lower ground floor level is revealed, complete with its own entrance. Guests will enjoy three expansive dual aspect en-suite bedrooms and a wealth of living areas, with a garden-view living room on the ground floor, a cosy snug/study on the first floor and a large, light-filled sitting room on the second floor.
All three bedrooms and much of the living space benefit from views both over the sea and over the town, creating a wonderful flow of light throughout. But, as is so often the case, it’s the kitchen where groups tend to congregate most: set off the entrance lobby, with two vast windows overlooking the town walls and the sea beyond them, the bespoke deVOL kitchen is the perfect spot for prolonged meals gathered around the rustic timber dining table.