About this listing
Once Royal residence to the Romany Kings and Queens – stay in a stylish traditional cottage with diamond paned windows, beautiful garden grounds, fascinating history, charm and spellbinding views from the foot of the Cheviot hills.
We are so excited to be able to share with you The Gypsy Palace. A totally unique cottage which was once home to Queen Esther and her son King Charles Faa Blythe known as the Gypsy King and Queen of the Romanies. In a stunning location close to the Pennine Way the Gypsy Palace is tucked away in a tranquil valley amongst the Cheviot Hills. If only walls could talk! This gem of a cottage on the edge of the Northumberland National Park with a fascinating royal pedigree is the perfect location for your holiday in the Scottish Borders.
A fascinating historical connection
It is likely that the Gypsy Palace was first used as a gypsy dwelling in the 17th century. Queen Esther Faa Blythe, perhaps the most famous Gypsy monarch of all, took up residence in the Gypsy Palace on November 16th 1861. In August 1866, she was visited by George Burrow, a writer and acknowledged Romany expert and the Gypsy Palace was described as ‘a single storey, whitewashed thatched cottage with ivy covered walls. The single room was kept neat and tidy and was relatively well furnished with two beds, in recesses on either side of the fireplace, a chest of drawers, a clock, pictures and a cat’. Visitors came from all over the world to visit Queen Esther and claim to have seen two large swords hanging from the ceiling; one was the royal ceremonial gypsy sword and Queen Esther claimed that the other was taken as a souvenir from the Battle of Flodden Field in 1513. After Queen Esther’s death in 1883, the Gypsy Palace was renovated by the local wool manufacturer and owner of much of the village, Peter Govanlock. It is probable that the renovation included the addition of the porch with its unusual arched window and the replacement of the original thatched roof with a slate one. Queen Esther’s son, Charles Faa Blythe (shown below) continued to live in the Palace though 15 years were to pass before his coronation as the new Gypsy King. The coronation took place on May 30th 1898 and was a huge event with over 10,000 people descending on Kirk Yetholm. King Charles II, as he was known, continued to live in the Gypsy Palace until his death just four years later. King Charles’ wife continued to live there until her death and then after successive ownership it was lovingly restored and refurbished to create a stunning accommodation venue that you see today.
Inside your Romany palace
Inside you’ll find a cosy lounge area with stone fireplace and log burning stove as well as a cute snug window seat from which to enjoy the sunlight in the morning and the stunning views surrounding the property. Immediately upon entering you will notice the dining area, which reveals a regal 19th century arched feature window with diamond panes. Fully central heated with all the mod cons for when you want them, flat screen TV and DVD player, wifi etc. Dotted around you’ll see occasional tributes to the noble occupants of yesteryear as the owners have collected images from the Romany Royals who occupied the Palace.
The kitchen houses smart granite worktops an electric hob, oven and microwave as well as an original Belfast porcelain sink and leads out into a useful utility room with washing machine, dryer etc. The Utility room downstairs has a charming stable door, which leads out to the Selkirk stone patio area. This includes garden furniture ideal for those lazy days resting in the sun. There is also a tranquil summerhouse located in the southwest corner of the garden, which is a converted railway waiting room. This has a cool, curved bench and provides yet another viewpoint of the remarkable scenery surrounding Gypsy Palace.
On the way upstairs to the two bedrooms, you pass another arched window containing a stained glass design commemorating King Charles Faa Blythe’s Coronation Crown and a small patch of tartan glass that captures the beautiful afternoon sun.
Heading upstairs are two bedrooms. The main bedroom has a romantic wrought iron double bed while the second bedroom (which can only be accessed from the main bedroom) has a single bed, which also houses a second pull-out bed if required. Suitable for three adults maximum, ideally two adults and one child and a second child by prior arrangement. Both bedrooms have the most breathtaking views – south, over the Bowmont Valley and north across to the church, Town Yetholm and the valley beyond. The fully tiled bathroom has a traditional 3-piece suite with shower and cast iron bath.
The property enjoys an enclosed garden and has lawns to the front and side along with a stone patio and cobbled paths. At the southwest corner of the garden is the summerhouse; an old but cute salvaged railway station waiting room which was rescued many years ago. It features a very comfortable curved bench with coloured leaded windows in its door. Perfect walking country the property is situated right on the Pennine Way and you can take a wonderful walk straight from the door of the cottage where (within a few minutes and as the road climbs), the views will take your breath away. Within 10 minutes, you really feel as though you are in another world with the most stunning views over the Cheviot Hills.
There’s so much to see and do Floors Castle, walk the Pennine Way, go mountain biking, visit Holy Island, Alnwick and Berwick-upon-Tweed all only a short drive away or for your city fix you can be in Edinburgh within the hour.
This pet friendly stay lends itself beautifully to couples and small families wishing to relax and switch off with so much to do in the area you just won’t want to leave.
3 night weekend breaks (Friday to Sunday) and four night mid week breaks (Monday to Thursday) as well as weekly bookings.
Minimum stay 3 nights. Please contact the owners for an accurate quote for your dates.
“Fantastic weekend cottage to stay in. Lovely and well presented inside. Cracking wee garden too. Just up the road a few hundred yards and some lovely scenery with horses in fields and the walls are tremendous.”
“The cottage and location was absolutely wonderful, quaint full of character and left us wanting for nothing. The neighbours were helpful and delightful. We were very happy with everything, nice bath with plenty of hot water after a fabulous day walking the hills. I would go again.”
“Thanks for letting us stay at Gypsy palace. We had a lovely week with better than usual weather. The biscuits and champagne went down a treat. We found the cottage to be cosy and ample for a week’s break. We did lots of walks from the door and visited both the Plough and Border inn pubs. The villages have some characters.”
“Lovely location on edge of village and on Pennine Way. Full of character and history, but fully equipped and comfortable. Pub in the village and shop nearby.”
- Guests: 4 | Bedrooms: 2 | Beds: 2 | Bathrooms: 1
- Dog Friendly
- DVD player
- Free Parking
- No Smoking
- Open Fire/Woodburner
- Tumble Dryer
- TV Cable
- Washing Machine
Terms & rules
- Smoking allowed: No
- Pets allowed: Yes
- Party allowed: No
- Children allowed: Yes