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


A great start to my weekend in Yorkshire

At 4.30 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

The Hay Barn - a 4-bedroom luxury holiday cottage in the North York Moors

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 4-bedroom barn-conversion just as much as I do so everything was set for a gorgeous Yorkshire break.

Hot tub, sauna….or both!

Enjoy a soothing spell in the hot-tub each evening. And when the stars are out it's truly magical...

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.

The fabulous double height dining room in The Hay Barn. A large luxury cottage in the North York Moors

Shopping in Helmsley then coffee and cake

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 round the lovely shops, we headed back to have coffee and cake at the Hay Barn. Although there’s 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)

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 2 of us went for a run (yes an actual run), across the fields to Hovingham (the nearest village to The Hay Barn) and 2 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 (or do you call it lunch?) 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 4th time? I very much hope so.

Gorgeous Cottages Team

This blog was written by Maureen Ovington who recent joined Gorgeous Cottages as a Booking Agent. Maureen loved her breaks in Gorgeous Cottages so much that she decided to join the company!

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