Saturday, 27 January 2018

Yorkshire getaway

Unpacking the cases was emotional, it confirmed that our long weekend was over, however with each item that was pulled out and separated for washing, there was a moment taken to take in the scent one last time, attempting to preserve the feeling of being tucked away in our little log cabin in North Yorkshire, as each item of clothing held within its fibres the scent of oak & pine. A reminder of the place that captured our hearts 3 years ago and only gets better each year.

Upon a friend of Beth's recommendation, we first visited the Sun Hill Lodges in January 2015 and we have booked it each year since, with next years visit already confirmed. This is our yearly tradition now (until we can afford to either buy or build our own!)

The lodge, named Lillie, has essentially become our second home now. We wouldn't want to book another one for fear of being traitors to the lodge that has provided us with so many memories (including being the perfect place for me to pop the big question last year) It's just perfect for a couple wanting a cosy getaway.

The moment I walk in, I head straight for the log burner and my cave man instincts kick in and I have to create fire!! What is it about us men and wanting to burn things?!  (I used to do it at school in the science labs, with the little wooden sticks to volunteering to clear my Gran's gardens in the Autumn just so I could be in charge of the bonfire. But I digress...) Lille Lodge is one of six available. Two additional ones are being built now ready for Spring 2018. 

Set in the village of Constable Burton, the lodges are set in a location that gives you the feeling of being remote, in your own little world, but within reach of local pubs and villages and comfortable driving distances to bigger towns and tourist attractions. 

* York is an hour away 
* Whitby an hour & a half
* Harrogate 50 minutes
* Yorkshire Moors 40 minutes
* Fountains Abbey 40 minutes 

All of the above must be visited by the way. We generally try to visit one of these in on the way up and on the way back to make the most of the time we have in the area.

The first year we tried to stick to some form of itinerary, visiting the must see places around, mainly situated in the list above. However as we always go in January, there are certain places not open at this time of year. This really isn't a problem though, because everywhere you go there is a place of natural beauty to be explored - there is always a great pub close by to grab a bite to eat and a couple of local ales to wash it down with. 

Speaking of which, whether you stop at the Sun Hill Lodges or not, make sure you are close enough to be able to make a visit The Blue Lion in East Witton, this place has such a unique style. Walk in and you feel you are in a homely, countryside village pub, a roaring fire in each room, dark wood and characterful features. The locals and staff welcome you with a warm smile. However it would be a crime to not experience the food here. Whether you opt for a table in the bar or the main restaurant, you can be assured of a challenge in trying to choose from the delectable options on the menu. The service is of the highest standard from all of the front of house staff. Nothing is too much. They are extremely well presented and attentive. As for the food, every dish we have had so far has been delicious, substantial in portion size and excellent value for money - a delightful mid-way between traditional, heavy pub-grub and fine dining. 

There had been a snow shower the night before and in the area around us there had been six inches of snow fall, it had settled and provided an extremely picturesque scene to look out on. This did cause some problems for the places we visited the next day as the rain and snow had frozen and some places had become either difficult to get to or too icy to walk around.

More snow was forecast, lo and behold it snowed and snowed for several hours and there was going nowhere by car. The big kids in us couldn't contain ourselves and we donned our thermals, walking boots, coat, hat and gloves and were straight out there building the biggest snowman we could. I can't recall too many times I have seen snow like that, but it was such a fun experience.

We were well prepared and welcoming of being snowed in, films selected, plenty of food, alcohol & brews (Yorkshire tea of course) and our guilty pleasure of a selection of board games, which get way too competitive, neither of us like losing. Simply because we could, we enjoyed a brew in the hot tub with the superb back drop of the Yorkshire hills to enjoy. 

When feeling this relaxed and enjoying ourselves so much, the four days pass so quickly and never feel like enough. 

So until next year, we can treasure the memories contained within those wooden walls, and start planing and looking forward to the new ones that will be made there in 2019.

Thank you to George & Ann Duffield for creating these stunning lodges, I look forward to hopefully reading in the visitors book comments of people that have visited because of this post.



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