Friends, Fun, Food, Fire and Fizz – A Girls Weekend to Yorkshire

Friends, Fun, Food, Fire and Fizz – A Girls Weekend to Yorkshire

Have you stayed at Spring Cottage with the family or your other half?

Did you love it there, and think your holiday couldn’t get any better?

Let me tell you it can – in a different way!

Enjoy it with the girls.  I can 100% recommend it.

A weekend of friends, fun, food, fire and fizz. Lots of laughter, lots of natter and an escape for 48 hrs from the norm. No worrying about who needs to be dropped off at what activity at what time and what to cook for tea.

girls weekend to Yorkshire
K, L, Karen & K on our girls weekend to Yorkshire

It’s funny our girly weekends are a well oiled machine.  I didn’t even need tell them I’d booked a table at the village pub, or that we were catching the 10.13 train to York on Saturday, they just knew that’s what we would be doing.


We set off from Newcastle mid-afternoon to arrive around 4 pm.  The heating timer had kicked in and the cottage felt welcoming and cosy from the moment we stepped inside.

girls weekend to Yorkshire in the village pub

My first job was to light the fire while my friends unpacked and popped the kettle on.  After a couple of hours catching up in front of the fire, we headed to the village pub, The Grapes. As always the food did not disappoint.  I opted for a potato rosti with pork, mushrooms and bacon, K lamb dumplings and K and L a pea and ham risotto with monkfish.  All freshly cooked, beautifully presented and worthy of any smart restaurant.

Followed by a two minute stroll home and back to the cottage for more chat and a caffeine-free, pre-bedtime coffee.

girls weekend to Yorkshire breakfastSaturday

The day started with croissants, pain-au-chocolat and orange juice for breakfast. I’d booked a taxi to take us into Malton to catch the train. It’s only takes 25 minutes to get to York. We could have stayed on the train and chosen to visit Manchester or Liverpool instead, but we thought we’d save that for another time.

Arriving in York, the first thing we did of course, was find a coffee shop.

We then headed for the quaint cobbled streets around York Minster with their mixture of high street chains and independent boutiques.

shopping on our girls weekend to YorkshireNewcastle has some amazing shops but York has so much charm and a visit to York’s White Stuff, The White Company and Jo Malone seem so much more exciting than the Newcastle versions.   Purchases were made in all 3 stores, some treats for us, some Christmas presents.

Lunch and prosecco were beckoning. We headed to Kennedy’s bar in Stonegate, and ordered several sharing platters of houmous, chips, a token salad and nachos.  We initially ordered these dishes while deciding on what main course to choose, but soon realised we’d ordered enough food.  So a picking-sharing lunch it was.

By 5 pm the warmth of Spring Cottage beckoned.  So back from York to Malton on the train and back to Great Habton in a station taxi.

We’re Strictly Come Dancing fans so the early evening involved us once again sitting in front of the log fire this time with the television on. Though how much of Strictly we saw and much we talked over is debatable.  Before Strictly have even started K  and K had changed into their pjs.  An evening of chat, laughter and frozen pizza followed.


Croissants or a bacon sarnie were on the breakfast menu today.  We planned to do an autumnal walk but the weather was against us so we headed home at lunchtime.  Not before getting our diaries out and inking-in next year’s girls weekend to Yorkshire.

So how does that sound to you? You bring the friends, food and fizz. I’ll provide the cottage, the fun and the fire!

Check out Spring Cottage’s availabilty for your girly weekend here: Girly Weekend to Yorkshire Dates


Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:

Guide To Yorkshire

5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to an Autumn Break in Yorkshire

5 Reasons to Treat Yourself to an Autumn Break in Yorkshire

As autumn starts to kick in and the days become shorter, the air crisper and a scarf soon becomes part of your daily attire (yes really!), it’s easy to think that the holiday season is behind you. But I ask you to embrace the splendid early autumn.

An autumnal break at Spring Cottage is a delight and here are our top 5 reasons why you should treat yourself to an autumn break in Yorkshire.

  1. Bubbles, bubbles and more bubbles!

There is no better feeling than getting in a hot bubble bath after a refreshing walk through the exquisite North York Moors. That is why Spring Cottage offers luxurious bathrobes and fluffy white towels to hand. The free-standing roll top bath is perfect for two!  Ease-away your troubles and take a long soak, using our complimentary Wolds Way Lavender goodies.  Light the candle, lie back and star gaze through the rooftop window. enjoy your autumn break in this luxury bathroom

  1. Toasty log burner

After a day out crunching autumn leaves under your feet and exploring all North Yorkshire has to offer, unwind next to our toasty log burner. Let the warmth sink into your skin as you listen to the crackling wood and pinecones. The log burner sits opposite our squishy sofa, perfect for a cosy night in with a big bowl of marshmallows. And just to keep you extra snug, the cottage also has a full oil central heating system so you can set the temperature that’s right for you. luxury cottage with wood burning stove

  1. Local countryside walks

What’s better than an autumn walk through the forest admiring nature’s colour scheme. Do you prefer a 10 mile hike or a 3 mile stroll? Do you want to do a walk with a pub, tea room or art gallery en-route?  We can recommend to you the most beautiful autumn walks to suit you.  Dalby is a particular delight this time of year but we also know of some hidden treasures and are happy to share them with you. Dalby Forest North Yorkshire

  1. Your choice of Yorkshire eateries

Autumn is a delight for foodies.  Unlike spring or summer, autumn is the time of year to unashamedly appreciate the comfort gained from a hearty meal in a Yorkshire eatery, preferably one with a roaring open fire. Whether you prefer a traditional Yorkshire village pub (The Grapes Inn in Great Habton) or a restaurant (The New Malton, in Malton) or a Michelin star dining experience (The Star at Harome), their autumn menus will not disappoint. Or if you’re doing the cooking, help yourself to herbs from our garden and if you’re lucky some autumn raspberries or apples from Spring Cottage’s cottage garden.

Autumn break in Yorkshire and pick apples

  1. Peace and quiet

We don’t just mean the peace and quiet surrounding you in Spring Cottage.  We mean quieter roads, restaurants, tea rooms and market towns such as Malton, Pickering and Helmsley (except on market days!)  Also historic houses such as Castle Howard and Nunnington Hall are still open, until the beginning of November. Just avoid October half term! You won’t exactly have the place to yourself but you’ll be able to enjoy the delights of Yorkshire at a much more relaxed pace.

Escape to the country and visit Castle Howard
Spectacular Castle Howard

So what are you waiting for? Treat yourself to an autumn break with us in Yorkshire.

Spring Cottage is available from Friday 25 September from as little as £540 for 4 nights of autumn luxury. 

For other availability please click and check the website or email [email protected] and I’d be delighted to help you plan your autumn break to Spring Cottage.


Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:

Guide To Yorkshire



 Escape To The Country

North Yorkshire is a haven to escape to; a change of pace for those living in a city and this was noted in a travel review, entitled “Get Me Out of The City” by Donnie Rust from Little Publishing.  He also mentioned that Spring Cottage is the perfect retreat to do just that. Here are some excerpts from the review.

It’s no surprise that the review mentions that “the vast swathes of purple and brown heather that dominate the landscape of the North York Moors, its quaint villages and market towns with tucked away boutiques and coffee shops; ensure this part of Yorkshire is a haven to escape to, for the weary city dweller.”

Escape the the country and cycle on the North Yorks Moors            Surprise View at Gillamoor North York Moors
Cycling on the North York Moors     Surprise View at Gillamoor

And Spring Cottage gets a big mention too: “Retreat to this beautiful part of England and enhance your precious time here with a stay in the luxurious and stylish bolthole that is Spring Cottage.   This luxury Yorkshire cottage combines easy access to the peace and tranquillity of the North York Moors, with a truly luxurious and comfortable cottage to call home.”

Escape to the country in Yorkshire Escape to the country and the roll top bath at Spring Cottage

“Guests take advantage of the two bedroom cottage’s quiet village location and the privacy of its south facing cottage garden.  The garden is perfect for al fresco dining or enjoying a glass of wine, while watching the sun set. Or take a short stroll to the village pub for a pint of real ale.”

Escape to the country and the cottage garden at Spring Cottage

“Spring Cottage offers views over open countryside and a number of  North Yorkshire’s treasures are on the doorstep; the North York Moors for walking and cycling enthusiasts, Yorkshire’s Heritage Coast with its popular towns of Scarborough and Whitby is only a short drive away and stunning Castle Howard, a must-visit stately home is even closer still.”

Escape to the country and visit Castle Howard
Castle Howard

“Nearby Helmsley with its range of boutique shops, tea rooms and restaurants has a market day every Friday which is a great source of local food.  Or a visit to  Helmsley Castle and the Walled Garden gives you an insight into the history of this area.  Malton, self-styled “Yorkshire’s food capital” is a must for food lovers who flock to its monthly food market.  Or head to Pickering, the home of the North York Moors steam railway.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself. Thank you Donnie!

Why not book your own escape to the country

book your luxury cottage in yorkshire


Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:

Guide To Yorkshire

The North York Moors – A Place of Timelessness and Beauty

The North York Moors – A Place of Timelessness and Beauty

luxury holiday cottage near the North York Moors

The North York Moors takes its name from the spectacular moorland plateau at its heart – the largest area of uninterrupted heather moorland in England, internationally recognised for its important habitats and the moorland bird population it supports. However, this part of North Yorkshire is about so much more than the moors! Stay, discover and explore for yourself!

Discover North York Moors Villages

Each market town and thriving village has its own character and personality, with independent shops, pubs and restaurants and historic buildings.


This popular market town is known for its galleries, boutique shops, luxury hotels, coffee shops and restaurants. Friday is market day. Children will love to explore the impressive ruins of Helmsley Castle, enjoy the Walled Garden or jump right into the outdoor swimming pool (seasonal for obvious reasons!)

luxury Yorkshire holiday cottage close to Helmsley Castle


This small town has a broad, cobble-lined main street and fine Georgian buildings, with a market on Wednesday. A great playground is tucked away down Howe End, just off the Market Place.  Walks starting in Kirkbymoorside take you straight onto the North York Moors.


Pickering is one of the area’s oldest towns, founded in 270 BC. It has a castle, an eclectic museum called the Beck Isle Museum and a wide variety of shops, cafés and pubs including The White Swan Inn. Pickering is also famous for being the starting point of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which runs steam trains across the moors to Whitby.


This picture-postcard village nestles beside one of the many streams flowing south towards the River Rye. Sheep roam at will, ignoring the distinctive white fencing as they enjoy the gently undulating grassy areas beside the babbling beck. Children bring your wellies and you too can paddle in the beck while Mum and Dad take a rest outside The Crown Pub!

luxury holiday cottage close to North York Moors villages

Get Active on the North York Moors

Travelling by steam? Steam engines, rural stations and uniformed staff make a trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway feel like a step back in time. Travel from Pickering to Whitby under steam power.  There are many picturesque villages to stop at along the way such as Grosmont, Goathland and Levisham. Various events and special trains run throughout the year such as the popular Friday Summer Story Trains.

North York Moors steam railway close to our luxury Yorkshire holiday cottage

Walking the Moors – Depending on your family, walks for all ages and ability are available to download from the North York Moors National Park website. Click here and select the North York Moors walk you’d like to do.

Cycling the Moors – experience the miles of country roads, bridleways, forest tracks and disused railways lines. Bikes can be hired (including children’s trailers) from the visitor centres at Sutton Bank and Dalby Forest. Cycle some of the Moor to Sea Cycle Network, and you can download the brochure here.

North York Moors Landscapes to Explore

Farndale – children and adults alike will enjoy the magnificent wild daffodil walk which comes into bloom March to April. There’s a cafe en route and pub at the end, so something for all the family. A charming walk at any time of the year; walking alongside the River Dove and returning through farm land.

North York Moors Hole of Holcum close to our luxury Yorkshire cottage

Hole of Horcum, R Baines

The Hole of Horcum – one of the most spectacular features in the National Park – a huge natural amphitheatre 400 feet deep and more than half a mile across.  There’s a roadside carpark on the A169 Pickering to Whitby road to visit the Hole of Horcum.  On the North York Moors National Park website they explain “legends hang easily upon a place known as the ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ – the best-known says that it was formed when Wade the Giant scooped up a handful of earth to throw at his wife during an argument.”

Traditional Places to Eat

The White Swan Inn, Pickering

Elizabeth Botham’s Tea Rooms, Pickering

The Black Swan, Helmsley

Luxury Places to Stay

luxury yorkshire cottage bathroom

Spring Cottage

If you are ready to come and discover this beautiful place, then why not rest your head at the beautiful Spring Cottage after your days of exploring. With a luxury roll-top bath and log burner, it is the perfect place to relax and enjoy all the North York Moors area has to offer.

book your luxury cottage in yorkshire


Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:

Guide To Yorkshire

The Wonderful Works of Yorkshire Artist Ian Mitchell

The Wonderful Works of Yorkshire Artist Ian Mitchell

Here at Spring Cottage I have a passion for Yorkshire products and a passion for all beautiful things.  When these two passions combine I get so excited!

Let’s take the artwork in the lounge as an example.

Having seen the work of Staithes based artist Ian Mitchell online, a visit to his studio was a must.  I knew his modern artwork and colour palette would hang beautifully in Spring Cottage’s lounge and contrast so well with the original features in that room.  I was right!

Here is “Baytown” in situ; Towards Ravenscar hangs on the other wall.

Yorkshire Artist Ian Mitchell at Spring Cottage


Yorkshire Artwork at Spring Cottage

Ian’s studio in Staithes is his creation and thinking space.  It’s a small room on the first floor of an old fisherman’s cottage, with stunning, inspirational views across Staithes harbour and cliffs.

Ian kindly took some time out to answer some questions about his work and his passion.

How would you describe your artwork?

I create limited edition prints of landscapes using the minimal reductive approach of less is more. My unique delineation of the landscape is based on a stripped down, pared back reality and pays homage to the early 20th Century graphic poster designers.

The end results are highly stylised versions of the original place, something that the audience can relate to, but they can put their memories and imagination into the things left out.

Artwork of Scarborough by Ian Mitchell

“The Spa Bridge”

How do you find inspiration?

Firstly I walk the landscape and get to know and love a place. I often have to revisit in different light and conditions to get to the real essence of the place. I try to see each place with fresh eyes and I take photographs and very rough sketches. I’m looking for a different viewpoint.

Filey Breakwater by Ian Mitchell

“Filey Breakwater”

How do you go from photograph and rough sketch to your contemporary Yorkshire landscapes?

I start to manipulate the photos, stretching, squeezing, changing to create a rough view that feels just right. For me it’s all about the design and aesthetics, not whether or not it is accurate. I’ll start to draw in a drawing program using a tablet and stylus, this gives me more fluidity and freedom than the mouse. I build up the landscape using vectors, altering things as I progress using the minimum of lines to create paths & shapes which I overlay to arrive at a final layout. Typically, I’ll work in grey scales at this stage as it’s all about the design at this stage.

Once I am happy with this, I’ll then start to assign the colours. Initially with Pantone swatch colours.  I’ll often have a pre-conceived colour scheme for that particular view, which has been collected and built up over my visits.

I could fine tune the artwork indefinitely, but somehow, I often know when to stop.

Towards the Brigg at Filey

“Towards The Brigg” – Filey

Sandsend Beach towards Whitby

“Sandsend Beach Towards Whitby”


Why did you choose this profession?

As we’ve all got to make a living, what better way than doing something you love: walking, drawing and selling. I don’t have a TV, my spare moments are spent drawing, designing or researching; it’s a job, a hobby, my life!

Ian Mitchell’s artwork is available for viewing and purchasing from Prices range from £20 – £450 from A5 open editions to larger scale framed limited editions


Do you want more ideas and inspiration on where to visit and what to do while on holiday in Yorkshire? Then click here and download a copy of my guide to North Yorkshire’s hidden gems, to help you get the most out of your time here:

Guide To Yorkshire