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See Inside This Yorkshire Cottage Turned Art-Lovers' Paradise - and How to Book a Stay

See Inside This Yorkshire Cottage Turned Art-Lovers' Paradise - and How to Book a Stay
Places to go
June 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

A neglected 18th-century property in the Yorkshire Dales has been restored as an immersive canvas, in the form of a holiday cottage, showcasing the beauty of its rural surroundings in paint

Owner and artist Kitty North shares the project and more of her paintings with Living North.
Meghann Clancy Meghann Clancy
The Art House Bedroom The Art House Bedroom
The Art House Sitting Room The Art House Sitting Room

The cottage sits in the pretty village of Arncliffe, where parts of the recent adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small is filmed, and where Kitty lives and works. Her home, studio and contemporary art gallery (Prospect Gallery) all sit alongside the cottage, and surrounded by rolling fields and dry-stone walls, it’s easy to see where Kitty gets her inspiration from.

Kitty was brought up near Kirkby Lonsdale and went to school in the Lake District. ‘From painting Ingleborough from my bedroom window at the age of 12, I just thought this is it, this is what I want to do,’ she says. She’s never stopped and has been painting for decades. ‘I’m a Northerner and I just love this area – the limestone, the Yorkshire Dales, heading over towards Pen-y-ghent,’ she continues. ‘I’ve spent years painting this area. It’s a very special landscape.’

The Art House The Art House

She’s a painter of both people and places and her artwork is widely exhibited and collected around the world. Her recent exhibition at Salts Mill (Continuum) displayed a series of oil paintings on canvasses inspired by the Yorkshire landscape. ‘Those were layers and layers of paint,’ Kitty says. ‘They’re timeless and metaphorical. I’ve taken a long time to paint them, but I won’t be doing anything like that again. That’s a series of work.’ Kitty simply rolls onto her next project, always finding new ways to depict her rural surroundings. ‘I go out into the landscape and paint in all weathers and I love that,’ she adds. ‘I like the drama of nature and the elements. It’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’re really painting outside in the wild, there’s always a drama, like getting stuck to a wet painting, but it’s permanently exciting. Nothing quite beats the beauty of nature.’

Wherever you are, Kitty transports you to the Yorkshire countryside as you lose yourself in her art… and that’s exactly what you can do at The Art House, her recently refurbished three-bedroom cottage. ’The building dates back to 1720–1730 and the idea was to really bring the Yorkshire Dales indoors,’ says Kitty. ‘I was actually going to use the cottage as a studio or maybe to run workshops. I put in for planning at which point I was actually painting pictures in the house. I got slightly carried away and it transferred onto the walls,’ she laughs. This was a collaborative and experimental project with designer and artist Robin Lucas.

As with any of Kitty’s paintings, it all started with a blank canvas – a base coat of white. ‘The whole house from head to toe was painted and that was the base on which to paint the Dales scenes,’ she says. ‘[Our paintings are in] acrylic paint called Lascaux, as in the original cave paintings from thousands of years ago, and it’s beautiful paint that I get sent up from London. It just lends itself to it. It’s very durable and it lasts. There was nothing to spoil really. The idea was just to cover as much wall space as possible. That was the objective, rather than being confined to a mural space of five foot by six foot, the beauty of it was that it’s immersive. You’re living completely in this space, rather than looking at a picture. It’s sort of like living in a museum piece. I mean, even the cushions and the lampshades – we did everything!’

Prospect Gallery Prospect Gallery

The Art House is a haven-from-home for art-lovers, and each room tells a different story. ‘When you walk in through the front door you have a green Dales scene to the right above the dining room table with wishbone chairs. That’s literally the Dales that you step out of the cottage to look at. There’s also The Falcon Inn [the original Woolpack in Emmerdale Farm], the viaduct above the fireplace and the boxing hares. In the kitchen you have vegetables. In the bathroom it’s based on the trout out of the River Skirfare.

‘It’s immersive. This is actually on the walls and it’s not moving, it’s to embrace and inhabit the space. To live and dream – and it feels like that. Then at night it feels very different again with a big roaring fire going.’ With its Emmerdale and All Creatures Great and Small connections, Arncliffe isn’t shy of visitors, and whilst they’ve been in the area, or visiting Prospect Gallery, they’ve unsurprisingly been intrigued by The Art House. ‘A few people who’ve been in the pub [The Falcon Inn] have come along the next day and said “wow, that house looks amazing from the outside looking in”. I’ve had to show a few people who’ve been keen to see it. I haven’t seen anything like it. This is literally from floor to ceiling, covering as much of the wall as possible. It’s about using the space, using the walls.

The Art House Dining Area The Art House Dining Area

‘I’m finding increasingly quite a lot of people are taking photos of the outside of my house, when they haven’t even seen the inside. A lot of the farming scenes [in All Creatures Great and Small] are done from the farm opposite my house so every time the car leaves the farm, you’re looking at my house in the background.’ Kitty is excited for more visitors to see what she has created.

With The Art House complete, Kitty is continuing to work on commissions and has an idea to spend a year painting all the seasons in the landscape, quite sure she’ll never run out of inspiration. ‘[Art is] your language to express whatever it is you want,’ she says. ‘You somehow get it to work a bit like a writer. Look at Simon Armitage and the way he uses words to bring things together, it’s just magical. I think the best painters try to do that. Without the Turners, the Coleridges, the Wordsworths, I don’t think we’d be nearly as attached to the landscape without the voice that people have created for us. I think they’ve enabled us to see it in many different ways. How they express the beauty around them does help other people to understand it I think. You start to see things. Artists can open other people’s eyes to new experiences which they might not otherwise have.’

Kitty says ‘no two days are the same’ in Yorkshire. ‘There’s lots going on. There always has been a lot of creativity in Yorkshire,’ she adds. Whilst Kitty says you never know what’s around the corner, she’s excited to embrace new projects. ‘I’d like to do some sculpture, pottery… I’d like to carry on working in many different mediums – oils, acrylics, mixed media,’ she says. ‘But in this part of North Yorkshire, I’ll always be particularly attached to all the limestone, the country, the mountains, the hills, the Dales.’

A stay at The Art House is available to book. Contact Kitty on or call  07894 797300. You can view more of Kitty’s artwork at, or visit Prospect Gallery by appointment.

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