Cottage Owner Spotlight - Sleights Holiday Cottages
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Cottage Owner Spotlight – Sleights Holiday Cottages

Gorgeous Cottages owner Joe & Geoff Ellis are lucky enough to own not one but five stunning luxury holiday cottages in Sleights on the Yorkshire Coast.  Starting off with just one, the traditional and very pretty The Piggery, they went on to build a further four more contemporary but equally beautiful luxury cottages.

Having staying in The Piggery myself I can testify to how lovely it really is.  Read on to find out how cottage owner’s Joe & Geoff created these fabulous holiday homes on the Yorkshire Coast…

Holiday Cottages in Sleights – The owner’s story

Cowslip Retreat - A luxury holiday cottage on the Yorkshire Coast

Joe & Geoff Ellis are the proud owners of five luxury holiday cottages in Sleights on the Yorkshire Coast: The Piggery, Cowslip Cottage, Cowslip Retreat, Ewelands House and Eweland’s Retreat.  All set in the same location with break-taking views over the Esk Valley, each cottage offers something different.

So how did the Holiday Cottages in Sleights come about?

‘We had always loved the area around Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors and when we found The Piggery, an old cottage built in 1821, and renovating over a few years it seemed a shame to keep something so lovely to ourselves.  We had so many disappointing cottage holidays as we love to holiday with our labrador and always felt like second class citizens, when choosing a cottage that would take a doggie. And The Piggery was so lovely, warm, cosy and inviting with amazing views it seemed natural to want to share with people that also wanted to stay in a gorgeous cottage.’

What made you choose this particular cottage and this location?

The view of the Esk Valley from our luxury cottages in Sleights

‘We had 2 prerequisites for our holiday cottage – the first that you must be able to walk to a decent pub and the second that it had an amazing view!!  After years of searching in various locations  we loved we stumbled across The Piggery, set on the edge of the Esk Valley  whilst on our way to view another cottage.  It was fate as we bought it by sealed bid without even viewing the inside.  From day one we knew it was to be a challenge but it had such a lovely feel to it  we just loved everything about it ….  

We then set about painstakingly renovating it over the next 2 years and over time built another four holiday cottages next to The Piggery.  Our other cottages are now three years old and have proved to be a labour of love, hard work and sheer determination to complete.’  

What work did you have to do to the holiday cottage?

The Piggery luxury holiday cottage near Whitby, as it once was

‘We completely stripped back The Piggery and started again, keeping the lovely beams and stone fireplace, working around them making the most of the views over the valley and the North York Moors.  From the outside it looks like a quaint gorgeous cottage, but the inside has every modern convenience you need to make your holiday cottage fabulous…

Renovation work on The Piggery luxury cottage in Sleights

In the grounds of The Piggery was an orchard which over the years we chopped down  as the trees didn’t bear any fruit and gradually we realised there was a lot of land at the side of the Piggery that all had the amazing views over the valley……and so we started building our other cottages: Ewelands House, Cowslip Cottage and the two retreats, which again have superb attention to detail.  

They were completed 3 years ago and are built in the natural stone mined just across the valley.  They are decorated with lots of Farrow and Ball walls and woodwork and I gave in to Geoff’s wish for up to date sound systems and underfloor heating!’

What are the highs and lows of owning a luxury holiday cottage?

‘The highs are having guests stay that love the holiday cottages and the area as much as we do, their comments are reflected in the visitors book  and in repeat bookings.  The lows … well one was when the new cottages had just about been finished and Geoff, my husband and I were spending weeks cleaning every last spot of paint from the floorings and Geoff dislocated his knee, which was a knee replacement and ended up having emergency surgery, leaving me to finish off the cottages!!  

I remember one day travelling up to them while Geoff was in hospital. I was crying,  the builders had  left and having top soil delivered for the front gardens, thinking “what have we done” and how will I ever finish them on my own.  But now we are truly proud of what we’ve created which is a truly stunning set of luxury cottages near the Yorkshire Coast.’

Any fascinating or interesting facts about the cottages?

The  Piggery was built in 1821 for the workers who mined in the valley.  We called it The Piggery because of the 2 pigsties that remain at the end of the cottages, now used to house our garden tools and logs for the fires etc. Lots of our guests that stay add to the Pig collection in the cottage which is lovely.  Our other holiday cottages Ewelands House and Retreat and Cowslip Cottage /Retreat were named after the animals in the fields around the cottages.  We have had a wedding from the cottages which was lovely and also lots of anniversaries and special occasions.  One of the most romantic wasone of our guests on leave from Afghanistan proposing to his girlfriend with a plane flying low over the valley, before returning to duty the next week! Luckily we had supplied champagne and tissue for the tears afterwards!

What would be your advice to anyone looking to buy a luxury holiday cottage?

‘My advice to anyone looking to buy a luxury holiday cottage would be to be ready for lots of hard work, dedication, and be ready for the challenging times ahead!’

Tell me more about these luxury cottages in Sleights

The Piggery, Cowslip Cottage, Ewelands House, Eweland’s Retreat and Cowslip Retreat are all situated in the village of Sleights, just a few minutes from Whitby and the Yorkshire Coast.  Each one offers something very different and all have an amazing view of the Esk Valley and the steam trains of the North York Moors Railway. 

The Piggery holiday cottage in Sleights

The Piggery – a real character Yorkshire Cottage sleeping 6 people.  Very cosy with an open fire and a homely ambiance.

Cowslip Cottage - a fabulous luxury holiday cottage near Whitby

Cowslip Cottage – again sleeping up to 6 people comfortably this contemporary luxury cottage features a wood-burner and a stunning master bedroom

The cosy and romantic Cowslip Retreat holiday cottage.

Cowslip Retreat – a very romantic cottage with stunning views from the patio across the Esk Valley.  Perfect for 2

The fabulous master bedroom in Eweland's House holiday cottage.

Ewelands House – a 3-bedroom holiday home with a contemporary look.  Again expect those stunning views from the large terrace of this luxury holiday cottage

Eweland's Retreat - a romantic Yorkshire cottage for two near Whitby

Eweland’s Retreat – an idyllic holiday cottage for couples.   Hide away with your loved one…


All of these holiday cottages near Whitby are available to book for holidays and short breaks throughout the year.   To find out more and reserve online just click on the links above.  

Alternatively call us on 0844 736 6276 or email and we’ll be happy to help.

Or click here to view all of our luxury Yorkshire Coast Cottages.

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