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I have two young children, both girls, and this weekend I introduced them to a favourite pastime of mine – spa days!
And the wonderful thing about it, I didn’t have to book into an expensive hotel or worry about annoying all of those chilled out couples looking for some quiet time. Nope, I just packed up the car and headed for The Stables holiday cottage in the North York Moors.
The Stables is one of two very lovely barn conversions, just down the road from Castle Howard and about half an hour North of York. Read on to discover 5 things to love about The Stables and its neighbour The Hay Barn.
The Stables Holiday Cottage – North York Moors
1. Rejuvenate body and soul
The leisure facilities are just fantastic here. At both The Stables and The Hay Barn you have access to an outdoor hot tub, a sauna, a very well-equipped gym, a games room and even a treatment room where you can pre-book a therapist to come along and give you a massage or two. You can quite easily replicate a weekend away at a top spa hotel for a fraction of the cost. We particularly loved sinking into the hot tub at night and watching the stars twinkle above our heads. At the end of the weekend, I felt totally relaxed, completely refreshed and ready for the world again. The girls loved the leisure suite showers as they had lower sprays: "little ones, just for us!"
2. Sunday lunch at the best pub in Yorkshire
Okay, I’m gushing a bit now but we discovered a truly gorgeous Yorkshire pub a very pleasant walk away from the cottages in the neighbouring village. The Grapes at Slingsby is my idea of pub heaven, with effortlessly stylish interiors, a decent (very affordable) menu and very lovely staff. I could have happily spent every lunch and dinner here over the weekend, and if it wasn’t for my rather vociferous 2-year-old then we possibly would have done. Nearby you also have the renowned Star Inn at Harome if you want to push the boat out and treat yourself.
3. Picture-postcard villages
I’ve always loved this part of the North York Moors but until now didn’t appreciate just how pretty it is. Endless honey-coloured sandstone villages pepper the rolling green hills here: Slingsby, Nunnington, Hovingham – all picture-postcard villages and within a few minutes’ drive of The Stables. A little further North takes you up into the moors proper where you’ll find dramatic soaring peaks of purple heather and some of the best views in Yorkshire.
4. The little things
As always, it’s the little things which elevate a decent holiday cottage into a Gorgeous Cottage. For me, it was the freshly baked bread on arrival, the home-made lemon & lime marmalade (utterly delicious), the Molton Brown toiletries, the huge beds dressed in quality linen, the wood burner set ready to light, the immaculate kitchen with its heated flagstone flooring… I could go on. And also it was the warm welcome from owner Stuart Prest. A potato farmer by day, he obviously takes great pleasure in guests enjoying his cottages. The evidence is in the guest book – full of high praise, including an entry from Olympic swimmer Rebecca Addlington – a guest here a few years ago.
5. Fun days out
If you can drag yourself away from these luxury cottages in the North York Moors there are a whole host of things to do and see in the area. Follow the beautiful straight road down towards York and stop off at Castle Howard, one of Yorkshire’s grandest country homes. Head over to Dalby Forest for a mountain bike ride, take the kids to Flamingo Land or spend a morning in foodie town Helmsley – just a few miles away from The Stables. We stocked up on some fantastic local produce whilst we were here including one of the finest treacle tarts I think I’ve ever had. And if you’re a train enthusiast, pop over to Pickering and catch the North York Moors steam train down to Whitby.
The Stables & Hay Barn – tell me more
The Stables is a two-bedroom luxury holiday cottage set in the rolling Howardian Hills of the North York Moors. It sleeps up to four adults comfortably with room for a z-bed and cot.
The Hay Barn is the larger of the two barn conversions sleeping up to eight adults comfortably. All four bedrooms are en-suite, and one of the rooms also has a sofa bed which can accommodate another two guests.
Both cottages feature wood-burning stoves, flagstone flooring, sumptuous bed linen, Freeview TV and Wi-Fi.
They are available for holidays and short breaks throughout the year, including the summer months. Click on the links above to check availability or call us on 0844 736 6276 and we’ll be happy to do it for you.
Click here to view more of our luxury North York Moors Cottages