We've just got home from a stay in Wykewood, a holiday cottage we booked through Gorgeous Cottages, on the Yorkshire coast and we were fortunate enough to have struck gold and have had the best weather of the year so far.
We didn't only strike gold with the weather, Wykewood was pretty special too.
So, what made it so special to us? It's been hard to narrow it down, but here are the 5 things that we most loved about this cottage ...
1 The location
The location was just what we were looking for. The cottage can be found close to the North Yorkshire coast, down a very quiet lane, through a farm, tucked away at the bottom of the field.
When wanting to get out and about, the location is perfect for exploring the Yorkshire coast, in both directions, with Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby to the North and Scarborough to the South.
Or, if you fancy a change from the coast, you can head inland across the moors and explore picturesque villages like the chocolate box Thornton-le-dale. If you're a steam railway fan then you can easily head to Pickering, Goathland or Grosmont, either by car or by train.
You will be able to read more about our days out and about in my next few posts.
2 The setting
As you approach the cottage you can see that it is nestled against a backdrop of woodland, with the brook babbling down below. The outlook from the front is across open fields and countryside. It really is in a lovely spot.
When hanging around the cottage it is quiet, peaceful and very private. For all the time we spent in and around the cottage we didn't spot another sole. It was heavenly.
3 The 'Gorgeousness' factor
It's the first time we've booked a cottage through Gorgeous Cottages, and with a company name like that, I guess they have a lot to live up to. I'm pleased to say that we weren't disappointed, and we aren't that easily pleased.
From the minute we approached Wykewood we just knew it was going to be something out of the ordinary. You can just see that the cottage is well thought out, well loved and well looked after.
The front door of the cottage is a delight, it is so pretty and definitely makes you want to go in and explore further.
We were excited to see what we would find inside and we weren't in the least bit disappointed. You enter via a very spacious and light hallway with beautiful wooden double doors opening off either side and a door through to a utility area in front of you.
To the left is a beautiful spacious double en suite bedroom, with the comfiest looking bed and really cool light fittings and lamps; and to the right the living area. Through the living area, to the back of the cottage is another en suite bedroom, just as spacious and beautifully decorated as the first.
It was just how you wish your own decorating would turn out but never quite does, with some really quirky and pretty statement pieces dotted throughout. Even the kettle was really pretty!
It was also toasty warm, which was great as it was quite chilly when we arrived. When it warmed up later in the week it was easy to control the temperature and if we were too warm, we just opened up one of the numerous sets of double doors to let a cool breeze blow through.
And, really importantly, it was absolutely spotlessly clean, even the cutlery drawer!
I must confess that, when I booked the cottage I didn't really read the small print when it came to the hot tub. It was only when mum said we'd got a log fired hot tub I thought I'd better have a look
Well, having found out a bit more info I couldn't really see us managing to fit in a use of the tub, with it taking half an hour to fill and four to five hours to get to temperature, whilst loading on more logs and stirring every ten minute. It didn't sound that relaxing to me.
We did get back fairly early one day, we were achy from riding our bikes and the afternoon sun was glorious and we decided to take advantage of the unlimited log supply and give it a go.
We kept checking the temperature, stirring and loading on more logs and we were really surprised to find that it actually got up to about 35 degrees in about two hours. So, a lot sooner than expected, we were making the short dash from the kitchen door, nipping up the steps and sinking into the luxurious warmth of the tub.
This type of hot tub doesn't have bubbles, which we thought would be a bit odd, but when it came to it, it was just so peaceful with no noise of the motor and the water bubbling around. All we could hear were the sounds of the birds singing and the brook babbling away down below.
It was just like being in a huge outdoor bath with water loads deeper than you can have in your bath at home and enough room to stretch out and just lay there chilling. We left the log burner going whilst we were in and it was just lovely sat next to the inlet, feeling the lovely warm water replacing that which was cooling in the evening air.
So, our verdict ... yes, you can't deny that it is a bit of effort, but it is oh so worth it, for a truly relaxing experience. We liked it so much that we managed to use it three times in total during our stay. I'm certainly glad that we decided to give it a go.
5 The devil's in the detail
Whenever we stay in a holiday cottage we always go very well prepared, after all, you never know quite how well equipped it will be.
Wykewood didn't let us down.
Outside there is an unlimited supply of nice, dry wood for using in the log burner inside or to heat the hot tub on the decking behind the cottage. Not only was there wood, there were also plenty of firelighters, something that we've often found missing.
There was a welcome pack, with wine, milk, bread, butter, cheese, eggs and a local ginger cake, so just enough to get you started. And if cooking is your thing there is a pot of herbs growing outside the front door, along with two lovely bay trees.
There were nice big fluffy towels, bathrobes, slippers and more towels for use outside with the hot tub.
Boring I know, but there were plenty of cleaning materials, including washing up liquid and soap dispensers in each bathroom.
Could anything have made it any better?
The only thing that could have improved our stay would have been a better TV reception. The web site does warn that this can be a problem, but we were unable to get an uninterrupted reception on any channel, so had to resort to watching DVDs, so, on the upside, we did get to watch Les Miserables and can now see why everyone thinks its amazing!
We will definitely use Gorgeous Cottages again, the next time we decide to holiday in Yorkshire and have already recommended them to a number of our friends.