The Best Boltholes to Make Your Own This Winter
Log-burning fires, cosy creature comforts and space for your whole family (including four-legged friends)
At Marston Lodge Farm in Hutton Wandesley, this contemporary barn conversion boasts open-plan living and dining for all the family (sleeping up to eight). It’s dog-friendly too! Large exposed beams throughout, cosy underfloor heating, a log burner and private garden with a hot tub make this a great space to unwind, even on the coldest of days. The keen cooks and entertainers of the family will feel at home in the contemporary kitchen, while the rest can keep warm by the fire. Watch the sunset from the terrace (and if you’re quiet enough, you might hear the resident barn owl). There are two other properties to choose from too: The Granary (a former Granary and cattle barn) and The Farmhouse. All three (which together sleep 28) can be booked as one large holiday let.
Marston Lodge Farm
Recently-renovated, this charming fisherman’s cottage in Craster dates back to 1823, and its exposed stone walls and beams mean it still has heaps of character. Sleeping up to six guests, with a wood-burner in the sitting room, the unbeatable views of the village, sea and harbour are our highlight (perfect for watching the sunrise). Whether you enjoy fishing, bird watching, walking, golf or getting a dose of history from nearby historic landmarks, there’s plenty to see and do around you. Then head back to base, warm up by the fire and make the most of the Apple TV and BOSE speaker system.
This luxury cottage is in Christon Bank, a sleepy village just a five-minute drive from Embleton and Low Newton’s beaches, and dates back to 1839 when it was originally two separate cottages. Now one large retreat, its original features and quirky charm make it the perfect family retreat, sleeping up to seven in four bedrooms. There’s a large living room, snug, dining kitchen and conservatory, but the lavish outdoor hot tub is what you’ll be drawn to most – even in winter. You’ll find it in an alcove in the garden, so you’re protected from the always unpredictable elements, and there’s a heated changing area too.
CHURCH LANE COTTAGE
This pretty, two-bedroom cottage dating back 200 years is ideally located in the beautiful village of Elvington, just a 10-minute drive from York – perfect for exploring the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Wolds and North Yorkshire moors. Retaining charm and character, this period property has a fullyequipped kitchen, flatscreen TV and a log burning stove – but our highlight is the pretty secret garden providing an idyllic, private outdoor retreat. The ancient walled city of York has an eclectic mix of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms, the famous Minster and quirky cobbled streets lined with lots of great independent shops. Venturing further afield, you can explore the Yorkshire coast, the Dales and the North York Moors. Explore nearby National Trust properties (the Treasurer’s House and Beningbrough Hall), or enjoy fun-filled family days out at Castle Howard and the York Maze.
York Cottage Holidays
Seeking something a little different? Stay on the Hill promises a unique experience not far from Hadrian’s Wall. The recently refurbished three-bedroom Laverick Cottage overlooks the River Tyne and its private garden offers perfect peace. This cottage is the epitome of a luxury rural retreat, with Egyptian cotton bed linen, a roll-top bath and two superking beds, while the feature fireplace with wood-burning stove and ground floor underfloor heating mean you’ll be cosy whatever the weather outside. If you fancy venturing out, rolling hills, dry stone walls, Roman roads and acres of pine forest are on your doorstep.
Stay on the Hill
BRINKBURN NORTHUMBERLAND HOLIDAYS
Situated in the heart of Coquet Valley, Brinkburn offers no ordinary place to stay with six unique cottages all complete with wood burners and all within driving distance of Rothbury, Morpeth and many beautiful beaches. The cottages can be booked together or separately and range from boltholes for couples to group accommodation packages. Our favourite is The Stables, a stylish and comfortable home-from-home with two wood-burning stoves, sleeping up to eight guests right on the ravine of The River Coquet and overlooking the manor house. Where better to spend your winter? Especially with the 12th century Brinkburn Priory right on your doorstep. If the weather isn’t against you, there are plenty of scenic walks on the surrounding Brinkburn Estate.
The largest of Kidlandlee’s renovated stone farm cottages, Dipper Cottage is an idyllic place to get away from it all in the very heart of Northumberland National Park. Sitting 1,400 feet above sea level, it’s truly off-grid and whether you enjoy the great outdoors, or love the stars, winter is picturesque here in this designated Dark Sky Park. Warm up by the wood burner in the living room, wine and dine in the kitchen and treat yourself to the delicacies in your welcome pack – locally-sourced produce paired with a bottle of Berry Bros & Rudd English sparkling wine. Well-behaved dogs are welcome and the property can be let in conjunction with the adjoining Chaffinch Cottage (which sleeps four), so larger parties can holiday together. Don’t want to cook every night? No judgement here. A drive of just four miles will take you into Harbottle where you’ll find The Star Inn – a traditional country pub with a wood fired oven serving delicious pizza, pasta and fish. The little village shop will provide you with your essentials too.
Originally a blacksmith’s forge, this pet-friendly holiday home which sleeps four is tucked away just a stone’s throw from the seaside village of Staithes. Perfect for exploring the North Yorkshire coastline and moors, this stone-clad retreat may look small at first glance, but the comfortable interior is warm and welcoming. Although contemporary in style, its traditional features are highlighted perfectly, and the wooden flooring and furniture creates a rustic ambience. Upstairs, the living area with log burner is a perfect place to curl up after a day of sea air with your four-legged friend (who is also welcome to stay).
Bucklaw Cottage, sleeping two guests, is set on a converted farm steading on the outskirts of Alnwick (within easy reach of Alnwick Castle and Gardens). The sandy beach at Alnmouth and historic Warkworth are nearby, and the Cheviot Hills, Bamburgh and Holy Island are within easy reach, so castles, coast and countryside are all around you. Wherever you choose to explore, a comfortable king size bed is waiting for you on your return and underfloor heating ensures the rooms are as cosy as they look.
Northumbria Coast & Country Cottages
WILD CHERRY & WILD ROSE
Flowery Dell’s luxury pine lodges are set in a peaceful valley just one mile from the market town of Richmond. A unique alternative to holiday cottages in the Yorkshire Dales, Wild Cherry and Wild Rose are two luxury Scandinavian lodges which sleep up to six guests each. Cosy and compact, they have all mod cons (LCD TVs and cinema surround sound) and bundles of character (traditional wood burners and Scandinavian pine floors). The American hydrotherapystyle hot tub inset into the balcony is perfect for pure relaxation. The 12 hydrotherapy jets can be turned on and off for a fabulous massage to soothe away stress.
Flowery Dell Lodges
In the tiny village of Harome, this magnificent, renovated Methodist chapel is crammed with character. A stunning and unique holiday home, the chapel now sleeps eight guests in four luxurious bedrooms, all ensuite. High vaulted ceilings and stained glass windows, plus your very own pulpit (now a snug seating area), simply add to the appeal of this special place which boasts a spacious sitting room, a beautiful kitchen, and there’s even a sauna room (Bluetooth speakers and bathrobes supplied). The rear garden has an outside seating area and barbecue. The pretty village is home to The Pheasant Hotel with its fabulous three-AA Rosette restaurant, and the market town of Helmsley (just a fiveminute drive away) has a Medieval castle and lots of independent shops and cafés. Harome is on the edge of the North York Moors and close to Kirkbymoorside and Pickering where you’ll find the North York Moors Railway, so there’s plenty to keep you occupied during your stay.
In the quaint fishing village of Staithes, this picturesque cottage is packed with charm. It’s a homely hideaway, sleeping up to six guests, with a log burner in the wood-panelled living room, a bright dining room and well-equipped kitchen. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, the master with ensuite, a cosy double and a third bedroom perfect for children with modern bunk beds. Outside there’s a paved area which sits right on the water giving you a bird’s-eye view of the boats as they pass below. It’s the perfect place from which to explore the beautiful village of Staithes, clustered around the tiny harbour and known for its winding streets mismatched cottages, the beach here is well known for it abundance of fossils. Just steps away from the pub (the village deli is across the street and you can park outside) Gull’s Haven is dog friendly too, so importantly your four-legged friend won’t have to miss out on the holiday.
Host & Stay
THE OLD ALE HOUSE
This cosy, rustic cottage in Dunstan is just outside the popular village of Craster. The former 18th century ale house is full of vintage charm, from the up-cycled furniture to the grand inglenook fireplace with welcoming log burner. Cute and relatively compact, the dining kitchen opens out into the rear garden and there’s a good-sized utility too. Upstairs are two bedrooms and a family bathroom. There’s plenty to explore nearby, stroll into Craster and walk up to the ruined Dunstanburgh Castle before refuelling at the local pub and picking up some fresh seafood from the famous Robson’s of Craster (home of the Craster kipper). Head south to Alnmouth with its wide estuary, long sandy beach and golf courses, or north to the popular fishing village of Seahouses and historic Bamburgh. Inland, and just a 10-minute drive away, is the market town of Alnwick with its famous garden and many shops, pubs and restaurants.