The cottage was as described, except the en-suite does not include a toilet, which was the reason we stayed here.. After setting off on a 300 mile journey, I got a call saying that the previous occupants had urinated (!) on the carpet and asking me to consider an alternative; the only alternative was in another county with no hiking nearby, so we pressed on. After several hours, a number of calls and emails, I was told that the owner had managed to clean the mess and we could still use the booking. In the end, there was an odd smell at the property, but we had no option but to stay. I don't have a good sense of smell, but others in my party have and said it was definitely noticeable. It was quite stressful not knowing if we'd have somewhere to stay at the end of our journey, to say the least.
The property is charming, with all bedrooms on the ground floor and kitchen/living room upstairs; it clearly has a serious damp problem, but it's superficially noticeable and didn't affect our stay. It's centrally located and very well placed for some moderately challenging hikes of 5-6 hours. I recommend Great Rigg, stopping at the pub in Rydal on the way back.
We went in high season, so paid just shy of a grand for five people for three nights at Rowan Cottage. A bit questionable at that price; it's worth more like fifty a head per night, I'd say. If we'd had a sixth person, that would have made it more economical.
Overall, a pleasant stay marred by a rather stressful few hours on the way up.
I've stayed in a Sykes cottage before and I'm slightly less likely to recommend them after this trip.