Owners of Blacksmith’s Barn, Lisa and Martin, relocated from the hustle and bustle of London in 2015 to a more relaxing pace of life in the North York Moors. They now live next door to Blacksmith’s Barn in the beautiful village of Ruston with their dog Baxter and two Shetland Ponies (which reside in the field outside).
You can take your own dog with you to Blacksmith’s Barn and there are lots of good walks to try in the Moors surrounding Ruston. I paid a visit myself recently and met with Lisa Matzak to find out more about this stunning property.
What first attracted you to Blacksmith’s Barn?
We really wanted somewhere that had a countryside location without being too isolated. It was important to us that there was a wide choice of things to do nearby and the North York Moors fitted the bill perfectly.
We are just a few metres from the National Park and there lots of great foodie pubs to visit nearby. We’re within easy reach of places like Whitby and York as well as pretty villages such as Thornton-le-Dale and Robin Hood’s Bay on the coast.
How did you go about renovating the property?
The old barn was just a shell so required complete transformation. Martin is a builder so was able to do all the work himself. This gave us real flexibility to create exactly what we wanted. We’ve kept original features wherever we can so you’ll find exposed walls and wood from the old barn.
One of the features we think works really well is the double height vaulted ceiling and mezzanine bedroom in Blacksmith’s Barn. Martin designed a large bespoke light fitting to complement this space which receives lots of compliments (and even a couple of commission orders)!
Did you design the interiors yourself?
Yes, it was all completed designed by us. Martin is used to designing kitchens and bathrooms so was able to work out where everything should fit while I looked after sourcing items for the interiors such as mirrors, paintings and the antique bed which came all the way from France.
We really wanted to give the property a real mix of modern and antique furnishings to match our own style and the feedback we have had from guests so far has been great!
What do you think sets you apart from other properties?
As we live next door to Blacksmith’s Barn we are here to give help and advice to guests if they want it. We are happy to book a restaurant for visitors and have even been known to drive them to Ox Pasture Hall if they are attending a wedding there. I’m renowned for my Full English Breakfasts (which use eggs from the local farm) and can cook this for guests by prior arrangement for a small supplement.
We have a couple of mountain bikes available at the property which guests can use to explore the Moors. The sunsets here are really amazing and light up the whole property through the large picture window. Finally I think our Shetland ponies are definitely a talking point for visitors who love popping over to say hello to them!
Do you have any recommendations of what to do while staying at the property?
There is so much to do in the area that it completely depends on what people want from their short-break. The coast is very close to us so I would pay a visit to Cayton Bay – a peaceful beach that is great for surfing. You can also stop at The Copper Horse which has recently been redecorated and does good food.
Forge Valley is about 5 miles away and is a beautiful woodland walk to try and there are also lots of walks in the nearby Moors.
There are lots of pretty towns and villages to visit such as Helmsley and Hutton-le-Hole, which has a good pub called The Crown. Another great place to eat is The Anvil Inn at Sawdon – you can walk there from the cottage in about 40 minutes. For somewhere a bit closer try the Downe Arms which is a pet-friendly pub that’s just down the road.
If this has whetted your appetite for a stay at Blacksmith’s Barn, you can book the cottage here or give the Gorgeous Cottages team a call on 01642 263 249.