You know how it is with your friends, one of you suggests a girls weekend away and you are the one who volunteers to find somewhere to fit the brief? The brief being somewhere for six tired working mum’s, no more than 1.5 hrs away, somewhere remote, somewhere luxurious and with a hot tub; no problem!? After a quick Google search that consisted of’Yorkshire, luxury and hot tub’ up popped Amazing Dales – luxury country retreats in Yorkshire, Flatt House Barn (near Ingleborough Cave and Ingleton Waterfalls in the Yorkshire Dales) seemed to fit the bill.
One quick snoop around their website and I was sold, I could feel the fresh hill-air filling my lungs already! I emailed the link around to the girls, several of whom have high expectations and thankfully all agreed this was the place. Six Mum’s/working women can organise anything in an instant, so with the food, fizz and wine organised, we were ready to go. Once you are off the M6, there are endless perfect winding country roads getting more twisty and higher the further you go. Easy enough to find from the instructions (don’t rely on Sat Nav as the signal is hit and miss) you soon find Flatt House Barn, just about remote enough atop of a hill, with views over Kirby Malham.
I was first to arrive, I just sat on the floor looking out of the window, rolling green hills, stillness, quiet, calm, no voices. In daily family life moments like this never happen, there is always noise of some sort, I could even hear my heart beating. I then went to a look in every room, of course, to pick the best bedroom, which was hard because they were all divine with tonnes of cushions, clean fresh bed linen galore, perfect for us all Mums to be fully off-radar and off-duty.
The whole place is just stunning, elegant touches everywhere you look, with some quirky things that are just perfect, like the big ram’s head with sparkly horns in the hallway; a huge driftwood lamp base; elegant cushions in the living room, so many gorgeous fabrics! And as it was in the run up to Christmas we even had a delightful tree and decorations throughout, making it feel even more special. My personal favourites were the three little lambs looking out of the window in the utility/drying room, just so cute.
One Mum travelling from some work in Northumberland arrived about 10pm, she got lost in the dark and we took our torches and head torches to form a beacon to guide her in from the tiny hamlet below us. The stunning views were a welcome sight in the morning, for those who came in the pitch dark the night before.
We, of course, spent a lot of time in the hot tub, talking and drinking, plastic glasses thoughtfully provided. With some subtle lighting and under shelter, it was heavenly to sit in the bubbles and watch the sun set. So relaxing and we all did unwind, helped by heaps of laughter! It was a good job we were miles from the nearest place with all our shrieking out loud. With the hugest TV I’ve seen and we spent each night fully engulfed in a great movie with wine, snacks and chocolates.
You can either eat casual, in the kitchen, which we did for breakfast and lunch, or in the dining room where we ate dinner, Indian cooked by Kate and Laura and very tasty.
Underfloor heating throughout made the place especially cosy, with walls as thick as your forearm we all felt heavily protected from the elements and the outside world. We ventured out on Sunday and visited The List Arms for Sunday lunch which was very busy but still managed perfect service and food, with head-sized Yorkshire puddings with the Sunday Roast!
We were not going to do much sight seeing or miles of walking, we just wanted to sit and be, talk, not have a schedule or places to go. We did have a shortish walk down the hill, around a bit and back up again! We stayed three whole nights, Sunday too, no Monday morning school run – woo hoo!
What did we all think?
Kate – ‘Simply delightful’ Amanda – ‘Peace, just what I needed’
Laura – ‘Luxury, luxury, luxury’ Kath – ‘Gorgeous, hot tub was perfect’
Celia – ‘I want to take all of the gorgeous stuff home!’
Caroline (me) – ‘Just what we all needed and in such a beautiful place inside and out’
When looking for a holiday cottage online you do come across some that stretch the description somewhat and are not all that they seem, but with Flatt House Barn your expectations are exceeded and then some! We’d all go back, in fact, we are thinking about booking again for some more R&R. Adele and her team at Amazing Dales were great to deal with and nothing was too much trouble, including me texting about towels the day before.
A great base to discover Yorkshire, and only coming from the Cheshire it’s not far for such luxury and beauty. With two barns to choose from Bookilber Barn and Flatt House Barn, these are the best the county has to offer.