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North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds - Eating and sleeping
The following places to stay in the North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds are extracted from Slow Travel: North York Moors & Yorkshire Wolds. They have been selected for their good location and because they embrace the Slow mindset, either in terms of their overall feel or because they embody a ‘green’ approach.
La Rosa Hotel East Terrace, Whitby YO21 3HB; 01947 606981; www.larosa.co.uk. This classic early Victorian hotel once frequented by Lewis Carroll has been given the ‘La Rosa’ treatment and is furnished almost entirely with curios and antique finds from auctions, flea markets and car boot sales. All eight double rooms are themed, with Stoker for instance full of Dracula memorabilia and Arabesque like a sultan’s boudoir. The attic is a self-contained flat for six people called the Crow’s Nest and featuring three double bedrooms and a dressing-up box.
Middlethorpe Hall Hotel Bishopthorpe Rd, YO23 2GB; 01904 641241; www.middlethorpe.com. The National Trust owns three historic hotels and this is one of them, restored and opened in 1984. It’s not just a perfect William and Mary country house but a high quality hotel as well. There are 29 bedrooms, ten in the house and 19 in the courtyard. Twenty acres of garden and parkland have also been restored. You might expect to pay through the nose for this historic opulence and you would be right, but this is a special place.
Laskill Country House Near Hawnby YO62 5NB; 01439 798265; www.laskillcountryhouse.co.uk. The tiny hamlet of Laskill in Bilsdale is almost entirely a family run holiday village. Mandy is responsible for the house with its sumptuous B&B facilities (one four-poster and two other doubles) and her mum Sue runs The Grange next door with more B&B and seven self-catering cottages sleeping two, four or six people. You could have a quiet, get-away-from-it-all stay with excellent walks from the door, the ancient Quaker meeting house over the road and fly-fishing on the nearby River Seph; alternatively you could do what I did and take over most of the accommodation for a family event – my wedding, as it happens. Prices are reasonable and dogs are welcome.
The Wolds Retreat Kilnwick Percy YO42 1UF; 01759 305968; www.thewoldsretreat.co.uk. This is a separate building within the grounds of Kilnwick Percy Hall which offers B&B (two doubles ensuite, one twin ensuite and two singles). Prices are reasonable but there is a two night minimum stay. If you wish to stay only one night the alternative is a more basic room in the hall itself which doubles as the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre. This Buddhist organisation owns the whole estate so wherever you stay you will benefit from the relaxing sense of peace and tranquility that seems to pervade everywhere.
Troutsdale Lodge Near Hackness YO13 OBS; 01723 882209; www.troutsdalelodge.co.uk. Troutsdale is a wonderful secret valley that many people in nearby Scarborough have never even heard of, and this charming timber-framed building sits on a hillside overlooking the heart of the dale. Originally built in the early 1900s as a shooting lodge it is now a private house, still with a distinctly Edwardian feel, which the owners offer as B&B accommodation in five comfortable rooms. Its location, tucked between the huge forests of Dalby and Wykeham, is magnificent but very isolated (nearest village four miles away). Prices are very reasonable, evening meals are available and dogs are welcome.
Cold Harbour Shed Hovingham YO62 4NF; 01924 502256; www.theshedcoldharbour.co.uk. Never was a place more unfairly named. Cold Harbour is an old-fashioned term meaning ‘comfortless shelter for wayfarers’ and this cosy little self-catering barn conversion is certainly not that. With one en-suite double bedroom, kitchen and living room it sleeps just two people but there is no shortage of space, especially outside in the garden and orchard. What makes staying here a particularly special experience are the little thoughtful extras like complimentary wine on arrival, real coffee- and tea-making basics provided, bikes to borrow and fruit and herbs to pick from the garden. All this and reasonable rates – a welcoming shelter for wayfarers after all (except dogs).
The Boathouse Whitby harbour YO22 4BH; 01947 893201; www.welovewhitby.com. You could hardly get more central to town than this as The Boathouse is actually ‘afloat’ in the harbour (by the lifeboat pier) and accessible only by walking along a gangplank straight into the living room. This room also has a dining area that could seat six, a task that would involve four guests as the building only sleeps two. The one bedroom, with a double bed and en-suite bathroom, is upstairs. The seaward side of the building is surprisingly private and has a sizeable decked area, ideal for watching boats coming and going. A fully fitted kitchen lies below deck.
Jollydays Luxury Camping Village Farm, Scraylingham YO41 1JD; 01759 371776; www.jollydaysluxurycamping.co.uk. What the Van Outersterp family set up here in 15 acres of woodland in 2008 is camping but probably not as you’ve ever known it – more like staying in a hotel in the woods except that your walls are made of canvas and you hear owls in the night, not cars. Jollydays have 22 tents ranging in size and opulence from basic bell tents (sleeping four on two sofa-beds with a small stove and heater), to top of the range luxury tents (six-berth, ensuite with four-poster beds!). It’s not cheap to stay here, but there is the option of paying in kind with 20 hours’ work in the woods, collecting firewood, planting seedlings and such-like, earning a week’s free stay in a bell tent. No dogs.