There’s something really special about the city of York. It manages to combine reminders of fascinating history with family-friendly attractions and a vibrant bar and restaurant scene.
It’s regularly named the UK’s favourite city to visit and also happens to be home to Sara Newson who owns a pair of luxury holiday homes near York – Birch House and Birch Tree Retreat.
This pair of handsome holiday homes are just 10 miles from York, located in the pretty and peaceful village of Sutton-on-the-Forest.
A boutique bolthole near York
Birch Tree Retreat was Sara’s first holiday home project, transformed from the annexe of her family home and is a great choice for solo travellers or couples:
“I wanted to offer something a little different with Birch Tree Retreat – a peaceful alternative to city-centre accommodation but in easy reach of the city. The bus stop just outside takes you directly into York which makes shopping and sightseeing so easy.”
The perfectly-proportioned one-bedroom apartment is like a stylish hotel suite but with the added benefit of kitchen/dining facilities. The sofa even turns into an additional bed to accommodate either an adult or two children.
State-of-the-art technology (including superfast broadband) is useful for working, catching up on the latest Netflix series (on the SMART TV provided) or listening to music on the Bluetooth soundbar.
A spacious holiday home with a hot tub
Sara was so pleased with the Birch Tree Retreat transformation that she decided to transform the larger family home into a holiday cottage too.
The result is a stunning four-bedroom property called Birch House.
“We’ve tried to think of everything families and groups of friends could want during their short break or holiday. SMART TVs with Netflix, a huge American fridge/freezer and, best of all, a bubbling hot tub in the garden. There’s even an instant boiling water tap so that no one has to wait for their morning brew!”
There’s certainly plenty of space in this very well-designed holiday home with a large open-plan lounge/diner and a separate cosy snug area. The outside space is rather lovely too, with a spacious lawned garden (perfect for kids to let off some steam) and a fabulous hot tub.
Your only dilemma will be whether to stay at Birch House to make the most of the facilities or head into nearby York.
“We want families to enjoy their holiday and not worry about a thing so we can help with organising private chefs, nannies, chauffeur-driven cars and can provide lots of information on things to see and do.”
Sara’s guide to spending the perfect day in York
Start the day with a delicious breakfast at The Ivy in York. It’s right in the heart of town and serves some gorgeous food. We love the hot buttermilk pancakes!
Work off your breakfast treat with a walk around the ancient city walls and really soak up the atmosphere of historic York. You can only imagine some of the sights and sounds that have taken place over the years within these walls and it’s amazing they are so well-preserved.
Experience some olde worlde charm as you explore the cobbled streets of The Shambles and Stonegate. There are some great little shops to discover along the way – you never know what little gems you’ll discover.
Marvel at the beautiful York Minster – guaranteed to take your breath away with its sheer size and grandeur. Venture inside to immerse yourself in the rich history then head up the central tower for a stunning view of the city.
Indulging in afternoon tea at Betty’s is a real must on any visit to York. Elegant pots of tea and buttery Fat Rascals make this a classic English (and Yorkshire) treat.
End the day with a few cocktails at one of York’s fantastic bars. Dyls Café Bar has a fantastic riverside terrace and the Yorkshire Rose cocktail is delicious – a mix of Mason’s lavender gin, rose lemonade, prosecco and red berries. Other good bars to try include Cut & Chase and The Biltmore Bar.
It’s worthwhile spending some time exploring Sutton-on-the-Forest, too – you’ll find a pub, tea room, playground and even a gin distillery within walking distance of the Birch properties. Great for spending the day mooching around the village.
Book your getaway to York
Birch House (sleeps eight) and Birch Tree Retreat (sleeps two) can be booked separately or together to accommodate larger groups of up to ten people. Both are available to book now through Gorgeous Cottages.