A Touch of Luxury in the North Yorkshire Moors
North Yorkshire is blessed with some of the most stunning scenery in the UK, with its rich textured moors striking in shades of purple and green, cool coniferous woodland, sturdy Yorkshire stone houses and a coastline studded with rocky bays, steep cliffs and traditional seaside resorts; there is certainly no shortage of things to do and see whilst enjoying a relaxing short break.
And what better way to enjoy a stay in this picturesque part of the countryside than in quality 5-star rated self catering accommodation provided at the Woodland Cottages, Thirley Cotes just a few miles northwest of Scarborough. I was invited to spend a couple of days in one of the cottages with my family and was delighted to accept. The cottages have been beautifully crafted from farm buildings within Thirley Cotes Farm which dates back to the early 19th century. Incorporating the original stonework and wooden roof trusses provides authenticity to the cottages, yet the fixtures and fittings are straight from the 21st century, with every mod-con available, including Blue-ray-DVD, iPod/iPhone docking station, dishwasher and much more (check the Woodland Cottage website for full details of facilities).
The cottages are very child-friendly with an enclosed gated courtyard featuring a large lawn, play area and games room. There is plenty of room for al fresco dining and a large hot-tub to help ease the aches after a busy day enjoying the countryside.
The cottage interiors are spacious with modern bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchen. Guests are provided with little essentials such as a starter supply of dishwasher tablets, tea/coffee/milk, toilet paper and a plentiful supply of towels all of which confirms the care and attention which has been put into this small holiday complex.
The owners Melanie and John have succeeded in combining hotel luxury with cottage cosiness in the heart of some truly wonderful countryside. There are plenty of walking and biking routes to be explored within the local area, and York, Scarborough, Whitby and Bridlington are all easily accessible by car.
Whilst the weather is one thing you cannot guarantee, we were lucky enough to have a day of ‘sunny intervals’ so decided to explore the local coastline. We headed for Robin Hood’s Bay first of all as I had fond memories of days out there as a child. It was much as I remembered although now slightly more commercialised. Much of the town is perched on the cliff side with a very steep walk down to a largely rocky bay. A great place for kids to explore rock-pools and to hunt for fossils along the cliff wall, Robin Hood’s Bay is definitely worth a stop. After the arduous climb up the gravity defying streets to the car park we continued to Whitby, just a few miles further north. There was a buzz about the place and once we parked up (discovering that the pay-and-display parking ticket purchased in Scarborough was valid for the whole coastline from Filey to Whitby) we headed to the busy harbour area. We were spoiled for choice with the number of restaurants all of which offered a great selection of seafood. We took a late lunch at the Quayside restaurant on Pier Road and enjoyed a plate of fish and chips. The service was good and the fish first class and the restaurant felt child friendly. The highlight of the day for all was a trip on the Bark Endeavour (a replica of Captain Cook’s Endeavour) which seemed a snip at only £3 per person.
In retrospect with only one full day to explore the area, Whitby should have been the choice for the full day, and we’ll definitely be heading back to see more of Whitby and more of the verdant North Yorkshire Moors.