North Yorkshire is a stunning part of the country and being from East Yorkshire ourselves, it is right on our doorstep, how lucky are we? Even though we say that, we often neglect places close to home in favour of far-flung destinations. However, after our visit to Pickering in early January to visit some friends who live there, we have decided to focus this year on beautiful places in and around our local area and North Yorkshire is certainly one of them.
During our recent visit, we had the pleasure of staying at The Barn, which is one of three 5 Star self-catering luxury properties, which are collectively known as Noelle’s Cottages located in Middleton, just on the outskirts of the charming market town of Pickering. The cottages are situated in the grounds of the owner’s house, Middleton Hall, with beautifully landscaped grounds in peaceful surroundings with plenty of off-street parking.
The Barn (Sleeps 5)
The Barn, as the name suggests is a converted barn. Gone are the bales of hay, farm equipment and animals, of course. Replaced now with a high-end contemporary, light and bright living space, whilst still retaining some of the characteristics of the pre-converted barn. Including revealed stone walls and the original roof, perfect for a weekend, or longer, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the ideal place to base yourself when exploring the local area.
We visited Noelle’s Cottages with a couple of friends and their 6-month-old baby. Sharing a space with other people can result in getting under each other’s feet. However, this was not an issue when we stayed in The Barn as it was certainly big enough to accommodate our party of four adults and one child with ease. In fact, there was even a bedroom that we did not have a use for, but more on that later. Our first impression was that it really did have the wow factor, which was evident from quality furniture, furnishing and accessories that have been used throughout The Barn making it a fabulous place to stay.
The layout and use of space in The Barn are fantastic, it was evident that a lot of thought went into the design of it. The main area of The Barn was the kitchen-cum-dining-cum-family area, which was the perfect place for us all to congregate, chat and hang out in. I must admit we didn’t use the kitchen during our stay, however, it was fully equipped with everything we would have needed, including a modern induction hob, fridge freezer, dishwasher etc and also a dining table which seated ten. It is a shame that we did not have the opportunity to use it. If cooking is not your thing or you simply want a break from it, not to worry, Noelle’s Cottages can arrange an expert chef to cook for you during your stay, meaning you can just sit back, relax and have a chilled out break. With a comfortable seating area with flat-screen TV and huge patio doors which allowed the late winter sun to flood into the area, it really is a lovely space.
Off the main area was the bedroom that we didn’t use which I mentioned earlier. It has been designed to be a study, or as a single bedroom, ideal for a child, or someone who couldn’t manage the stairs to the other bedrooms, both of which are upstairs. Also on the ground floor was a beautiful bathroom, we are currently redesigning our bathroom at home and have taken a lot of inspiration from the one in The Barn. Complete with toilet, basin bath AND shower, the bathroom was, in fact, bigger than some hotel rooms I have stayed in. Overlooking the main area was a massive mezzanine bedroom, our friends and their baby had this space as it allowed them to have room for themselves and their luggage together with space for the travel cot for the little one. It also allowed them to have access to the kitchen for bottle making etc in the middle of the night.
Now for what I consider the best part of The Barn, the north side. separated by a sliding door from the rest of the property. Here we found the snug, which was a cosy sitting area with a flat-screen TV and DVD player. It was the perfect place for us to relax once the baby had been put to bed, we simply closed the door so not to disturb her whilst we enjoyed a bottle of wine or two. As we visited in January we were so pleased to find a wood burning stove with plenty of logs to create a lovely relaxed atmosphere and keep us warm, of course. We chatted into the early hours before our friends retired to their room and Mr ESLT and I headed up the stairs to our mezzanine bedroom with its own dressing room. The north side also had a shower room meaning we had everything we needed for a great stay without disturbing our friends. Because of the two very separate areas, we all had plenty of room without being under each other’s feet, making it the perfect accommodation for groups of friends or family who still like a bit of alone time and space from each other.
The Barn is set in beautiful gardens complete with an outside dining area to the front and a secret garden off the north side. Again, as it was January when we visited it was simply too cold to sit outside, yet it is a perfect space should you visit when the weather is nicer.
From £140 per night. The Barn can be booked via Airbnb, simply click on this link to make your booking.
The Applestore Cottage (Sleeps 4/6)
As we were the only people staying on site during the weekend that we visited, we were offered a look round the other two cottages, which we jumped at the chance too. First up was The Applestore, again a luxury 5-star self-catering cottage. This cottage is attached to the owner’s house, however, still offers complete privacy even outside as it has its own ‘secret’ walled garden with table, furniture, and barbeque. Again, the name hails from its original function, an actual apple store.
This cosy cottage is very different to The Barn, decorated and furnished in a more traditional homely way, think country cottage with plenty of cosy cushions and blankets, yet still extremely welcoming and to the same high standard. We walked straight into a lovely sitting room with wood-burning stove, natural flagstone floor and oak features. Just off the sitting room and down a couple of steps we found a country-style kitchen which fitted in perfectly with the style of the property, complete original quarry tiled floor, farmhouse table and seating for six. Again the kitchen had all the mod cons making it ideal for a great self-catering break.
Upstairs we found a large master bedroom with king-sized bed, exposed beams and a seating area. Off the master bedroom was a stunning newly built en-suite bathroom set on stilts over the garden with large windows overlooking the bird feeders in the trees outside. As with The Barn this bathroom also had a toilet, basin, shower and a bath. The second bedroom was a twin that we entered through a low door, again this bedroom also had its own en-suite bathroom.
Starting from £130 per night. The Applestore can be booked via Airbnb, simply click on this link to make your booking.
The Coach House (Sleeps 4)
The last but certainly not the least property that we had the opportunity to look around was The Coach House, which is decorated in the same fashion as The Applestore – cosy and homely and again is set in beautiful grounds. The Sunday Times chose the Coach House as one of its ‘100 Coolest Cottages for 2010’ and it was easy to see why. It’s a lovely cottage perfect for a couple’s or small family getaway.
The ground floor had a lovely sitting room, again with a wood burning stove for the colder months with plenty of seating and a beautiful floor. There is also a well-equipped kitchen, again with all the mod cons necessary to cook up a storm, together with a dining room with table and chairs for six, perfect for a romantic meal for two or a formal family dinner.
Upstairs we found two lovely bedrooms. The first a spacious twin room which can be converted into a double if requested and the second a lovely double, again with homely yet indulgent furnishings. Both have ensuite bathrooms.
Starting from £130 per night. The Coach House can be booked via Airbnb, simply click on this link to make your booking.
When choosing accommodation it is of course down to personal choice, therefore as we visited with friends I’m glad we chose The Barn because of the space it offered. However, if we had visited as a couple, I think we would have chosen The Applestore because of its cosiness and the fabulous bathroom. We had a lovely time catching up with lovely friends and would visit Noelle’s cottages in a heartbeat.
To keep all the cottages in tip-top condition no pets or smoking is allowed. The cottages are however family friendly and cots and high chairs can be provided.
The properties are in a great location, a mere 20-minute walk into Pickering or a couple of minutes drive. Middleton Village itself has a wonderful pub serving food and drink, a petrol station, a convenience store, a post office and a tea room. If you want to explore a bit further afield there are plenty of amazing and family-friendly attractions in the area.
Top Attractions close by
We stayed in The Barn at Noelle’s Cottages in Pickering on a complimentary basis in exchange for review.