A weekend with friends at The Hay Barn in the Howardian Hills holiday cottages

A weekend with friends at The Hay Barn in the Howardian Hills

A great start to my weekend in Yorkshire

hay barn 1

At 4.30pm on a Friday afternoon, I was en-route to The Hay Barn with my husband Gary when I received a message from my friend (who had already arrived) announcing “fizz waiting”. What better start could you want for a relaxing weekend in the country with friends? This welcome surprise came courtesy of Stuart (the owner of Hay Barn) who has thought of everything you could possibly want when creating this luxury barn conversion in the Howardian Hills.

My third stay at The Hay Barn

hay barn 2

I was already a big fan of this gorgeous holiday cottage near Hovingham (this is, in fact, my third stay at the property), but it was the first visit for my husband and friends. Thankfully they loved this four-bedroom barn-conversion just as much as I do, so everything was set for a gorgeous Yorkshire break.

Hot tub, sauna….or both!

Our first evening was spent between the hot tub, sauna and the fabulous dining room where we ate a shared meal accompanied by a little drop of wine and beer. It’s the perfect place to catch up and put the world to rights.

Shopping in Helmsley then coffee and cake

hay barn 3

After a lazy morning on Saturday, we headed off to nearby Helmsley (a lovely market town in the North York Moors that’s just a short drive from The Hay Barn).

After mooching around the lovely shops, we headed back to have coffee and cake at the Hay Barn. Although there are lots of tearooms in Helmsley, we decided to enjoy the cake and coffee supplied in the welcome hamper (another thoughtful addition by owner Stuart). After all, we really wanted to make the most of our time at the property (and the hot tub)!

Fancy dining (with no designated driver)

After another quick dip, we put our glad rags on and headed to The Star at Harome (which has a Michelin star) for our evening meal – it’s always nice to treat yourself to some fancy food on holiday! Gorgeous Cottages provided a contact for a local taxi company – Rydale Taxis – which meant there was no hassle arranging the transport (and more importantly, no one had to be the designated driver).

A lazy Sunday morning (and more food)

hay barn 4

On Sunday morning, a couple of the girls had a lazy morning in front of the log burner (perfect for those colder winter nights). Meanwhile, two of us went for a run (yes, an actual run), across the fields to Hovingham (the nearest village to The Hay Barn) and two of the boys spent some time in the small gym (there’s also a games room, so plenty to keep everyone occupied).

There are lots of dog-friendly pubs in the North York Moors

Then we were off for more food at The Grapes in Slingsby, a short walk away. After returning and letting our Sunday dinner settle, the hot tub was again calling us.

Monday morning arrived too quickly and it was time to pack up and head off home via a little coffee shop in Hovingham and a few hours in York. Will I visit a fourth time? I very much hope so.


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