In 2014, Farndale Cottages Estate scooped a prestigious, ‘best listed building conversion’ award so frazzled parents can look forward to somewhere pretty special to relax and recharge in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Perhaps what sealed the award is the way the cottages are brimming with original character, enhanced by boutique styling and finished to luxurious standards, but the owners also include helpful baby gear and extras that tick the BFB boxes.
High beamed ceilings, exposed stone walls and an original farmhouse range fireplace in one cottage are some of the features that have been lovingly restored to maintain the traditional ambience. Yorkshire flagstone and smooth wood floors look fab and controllable underfloor heating makes them nice and toasty for little toes, as well as deep, soft rugs in the living rooms and bedrooms.
Parents can flop into leather sofas and put their feet up in plush fabric armchairs by wood burning stoves to watch Freesat TV, a family DVD or stream movies, music and games on a tablet with the free Wi Fi. Kitchens are state of the art, with top quality units, sleek black worktops and all the latest appliances, plus the owners provide a welcome hamper including fresh bread, butter, milk, eggs, bacon and a bottle of wine. Most of the bedrooms are ensuite and have solid wood furnishings, luxury linen, lush throws and space for a cot which the owners will happily provide. The bath and shower rooms feature tactile natural surfaces and modern fittings, with fluffy towels and premium toiletries.
From the cottages, families can spill outside to patio areas and lawns where children can play and have picnic lunches by day then do some amazing stargazing in the black night skies, well away from the light pollution of any towns or cities for miles around.
West View (6 + baby) was the main stone farmhouse and is the largest of the cottages, with original features including a cast iron range fireplace in the living room and a stone trough in the downstairs bathroom. The cosy lounge has, leather sofas, fabric armchair, Freesat TV and a DVD player, plus there is free Wi Fi access. The large, farmhouse kitchen has had a sleek, modern makeover, with contemporary fittings, range cooker, all mod cons and a dining table for six. There are smooth flagstone and wood floors throughout the cottage which are all nice and warm for little feet thanks to the room-by-room controllable underfloor heating. All three bedrooms are on the first floor, comprising one with a king-size bed, one with a double bed and one with twin single beds. The main family bathroom is upstairs but there is also another downstairs and a small utility room.
Farndale Cottages are set in the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, where dramatic landscapes of heathery hills, rolling dales and old English villages are just the place to get away from it all. In particular, Farndale boasts a spring spectacular of daffodils which would leave Wordsworth lost for words, so families visiting at this time of year should pack the wellies to do the riverside stroll from Low Mill to Church Houses.
The Feversham Arms is the ‘local’ in Farndale, serving cask ales and homemade dishes including a children’s menu, but there are many more country pubs to try out, including acclaimed gastro pubs like The Star Inn at Harome. On windswept Blakey Ridge, at the highest point of the Moors, The Lion Inn promises amazing views and keeps the real fires roaring.
The cottages are about half way between the pretty little towns of Kirkbymoorside and Castleton, which have local shops and services, including banks, convenience stores, tea rooms and country pubs. In Castleton, families can also take a trip on the famous North Yorkshire Moors Railway, to the bustling market town of Pickering or the village of Goathland, where TV’s Heartbeat was filmed.
The North Yorkshire Moors tumbles to the North Yorkshire Coast which has more great days out in store for families, including lively seaside towns, sandy beaches and twee fishing villages. Robin Hoods Bay (30 miles) is the quintessential fisherman’s village, with a steep cobbled street wending its way down to the slipway, now lined all the way with tea shops, gift shops and arty little galleries. A little further North, Whitby is a working harbour town with a fun seaside vibe, where families can blow a few quid in amusement arcades and indoor crazy golf, eat Britain’s Best Fish & Chips at the Quayside and dare to delve into the town’s links to Dracula.
One of the major family attraction in the area is Flamingo Land (17 miles), which is a theme park and zoo in one, with rides and attractions for all ages, from junior coasters and carousels to white knuckle screamers to close encounters with penguins, giraffes, meerkats and lemurs.
Nearest medical services: GP, The Kirkbymoorside Surgery, 9 miles. Urgent Care Service, Guisborough General Hospital, 13 miles. A&E- The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, 16 miles.