When I said I would be the first one to venture off somewhere for an overnight stay as soon as it was given the green light I wasn't kidding. On the 12th April, the first day of slightly relaxed restrictions in the UK and self-catering accommodation stays were given the go ahead, myself and the other half booked a couple of nights away from it all.
It was actually Ste's suggestion to venture a few miles down the road to Ellerburn, a tiny village close to both Pickering and Thornton-Le-Dale in the heart of North Yorkshire Moors. Here he found local business owners Lesley & Andrew who host Gumboots and Wellingtons - A beautiful, peaceful and cosy set up comprising of a reclaimed and refurbished shepherds hut, aptly named 'The Hut' and their self-build project 'The Den'.
We were fortunate enough to be staying in The Hut for 2 nights. When we arrived, we were greeted by our hosts (all socially distanced, covid compliant and safe) and some rogue chickens that just sorta roam around and do their own thing - They were very entertaining to watch it has to be said! We were quickly shown to our home for the next couple of days which was situated towards the back of the communal garden area, next to a field of the cutest newborn lambs (you really couldn't get much more stereotypical Yorkshire if you tried!) - And the best thing? There was a window in The Hut looking out towards the field with said lambs and you could sit and watch them bouncing around with their little lamby friends! Oh, my heart. They were just too cute.
The Hut we were staying in is a reclaimed Shephers Hut which has been extensively refurbished and made to feel like a home from home with all of the essential home comforts. Everything has been completed to the very highest of standards. You can tell so much thought and love and care has gone in to making this quaint little hut so wonderful. From the log burning stove, to the reclaimed pallet cupboard doors, the en-suite bathroom with shower facilities, to the wood panelling and the finishing interior touches - it is absolutely beautifully done.
Our first evening in The Hut, we decided to bring some bits and pieces to cook and eat to save us from venturing out again. The kitchen area had everything we needed - pots, pans, cups and glasses, utensils, a hob, everything. So we made our tea and sat in each others company without any distractions from social media, group chat messages or work e-mails for the first time in months and it was bliss. To be able to 'shut off' from everything around you for the first time in however long felt so incredibly liberating. That evening we sat outside as the sky was clear and took our first look up at the dark skies and wow. I have never seen anything so incredible in all my life. Gumboots & Wellingtons is situated in a dark skies area of the North Yorkshire Moor's, making it a perfect location for keen astrologers wanting to capture a glimpse at the incredible skies above. Now I'm no astrologer, and neither is Ste but we are both infatuated with stargazing and we both agreed that what we had witnessed was by far the most impressive we've seen. And it was right on our doorstep - Not in Iceland; not in Northumberland; Our very own Yorkshire.
The following morning, we had breakfast outside with blue skies and sunshine accompanied with the sounds of the lambs in the field behind, the birds tweeting, the clucks of the rogue chickens and pheasants. We ate the delicious breakfast produce provided by our hosts including Lesley's homemade granola, wholemeal bread and yogurt as well as a freshly brewed pot of tea, naturally. I'm a Yorkshire lass - No breakfast is complete without a good brew!
After breakfast, we then headed off to the coast first stopping at the picturesque village of Sandsend, just a little further up from Whitby. Sandsend is a beautiful chocolate box village situated on either side of a small valley which runs down from the hills and into the sea. Complete with thatched cottages aplenty, luscious green grassy riverbanks and the sounds of the stream trickling down the valley, topped off with the abrupt shriek of quacking ducks, there are holiday cottages, a local pub and a couple of local shops. Over the road, there were people surfing at the beach, children paddling and dogs enjoying the sea albeit was a little too cold for me to dip a toe in! The beach at Sandsend is a lovely stretch of jurassic coastline, known for fossil hunting and for it's stunning natural beauty. The beach itself runs for approximately 1km and is a fantastic walk to stretch the legs, blow away the cobwebs and take in some of that fresh sea air which is exactly what we did.
We then headed over to Whitby. My favourite seaside town along the Yorkshire Coast. Whitby holds many special memories for me. As a child I'd come to Whitby with my parents for days out; we celebrated my Mum's 60th birthday in Whitby a couple of years ago and my parent's actually honeymooned in Whitby before I was even thought of! It is by far my favourite. We walked through the famous whalebones and down into the new town and along the front, we walked across the swing bridge and over to the old town while trying to avoid the crowds. We climbed the 199 steps up to the abbey, something which I have not done in years and evidently showed how unfit I was (I blame lockdown), however we were rewarded with the most beautiful views right across the bay. We went into the gift shop at Whitby Abbey which felt strange given it was probably the first shop we'd been into now covid restrictions had been relaxed. A strange first-time post-lockdown shop choice, but good nonetheless because they sold Whitby Gin. A firm favourite for a fellow gin-lover. Hiccup.
As we came back down the 199 steps with a bit of a hunger pang, the only thing on our minds were fish and chips. Because a trip to the seaside isn't complete without fish and chips, am I right? So we went to our favourite place for a late lunch - The Magpie. Unfortunately we couldn't sit in the restaurant to eat on this occasion, so opted for takeaway. Just. So. Good. They really do make the best fish and chips, without a shadow of a doubt. I wish I had a photo to share with you but for once, I don't. Because I inhaled the lot and I'm not even ashamed to admit it. Fish and chips at the seaside just taste so good, don't they?
On our return back to our cosy little hut to bed down for the evening, the skies took a turn for the worst. It got dark and cloudy really quickly and I think at one point it even started to snow! So we stoked up the fire, got showered and changed into our comfies, set out a deli board of cheeses, cured meats, Yorkshire chutney's and various other nibbles, and opened up a bottle of fizz (thanks for the recommendation @Yorkshiretippletales). Another lovely evening in each others company, playing board games, listening to the hooting of the owls outside and just being present in the moment. Before bed, we decided to take a look outside to see if the skies had cleared incase we were able to catch a final glimpse at the Milky Way and I'm so glad we checked. It was even clearer than the previous night and although it was freezing cold, we wrapped ourselves in blankets, sat outside with a glass of fizz in hand and absorbed the beauty of what was above us. A truly perfect moment.
(Apologies for the naff quality - I'm not quite the dark-skies photographer I used to be, I definitely need some more practice in this field again!)
Our final morning at Gumboots & Wellingtons, check out wasn't until 11am so we had plenty of time to have breakfast so we made pancakes using the pancake mix Lesley had so kindly provided us with, topped with all the good stuff as well as the delicious Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice. We sat, we ate, we cleaned and we packed up our belongings to head off. Andrew and Lesley were both there to have a chat with us about our stay and send us on our way. In all honesty, there wasn't a single negative to say about anything. Everything was perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. The Hut at Gumboots & Wellingtons is genuinely one of the loveliest homely places I have ever had the pleasure of staying and we will be coming back here to stay again in the future, without question. What a way to kick-start our travels again post-covid!
Thank you to Lesley & Andrew for your wonderful hospitality and for hosting us, you guys have got it down to a tee! And if anyone would like to book The Hut or even The Den at Gumboots & Wellingtons then you can do so by messaging @Gumbootsandwellingtons through Instagram or clicking here to go through and book via Airbnb.
- Sophie x
Ps. This is not an ad or a paid post, just an honest and open review from myself and there'll be plenty more of those on their way now travel and accommodation has re-opened again! Yay!