Ad| Press Trip. I was well in need of a rest and break from work so when I finally managed to book a last minute week off I knew I needed to do something to help me relax. As tempted as I was to make May the month I got on a plane, I knew it wouldn’t provide me with the right kind of detox I needed. As I was looking around at what I should do fate jumped in! Harewood Holidays * are a group of holiday cottages in the grounds of Harwood Estate, Leeds and they asked me if I’d like to go and spend some time there.
If you’re not from around these parts, Harewood House is a massive country house to the north of Leeds about half way to Harrogate. The grounds and estate are massive and are also host to some offices and local businesses, a working farm and the outside of the Emmerdale set. They have two groups of cottages: one a cluster of cottages in the heart of the estate, and the other a couple in a more rural part of the estate with these guys and gals as neighbours….
I figured if I wanted to escape and relax, one of the ones with views for days would be perfect and so our trip to Carr Cottage * was born. First impressions were fab. Besides the cows roaming in the field next to us, there’s also a resident pig who we got to see! Cyril the pig thinks he’s a cow and its super endearing. On our last morning, we got up out of bed and looked out of the window and he was there happily trotting along with the cows! If walking is more your thing, there’s a public footpath that goes by the cottage that leads to a wood with bluebells covering it. You can also see the very top of Harewood House across the fields and lake. It was the perfect location away from it all.
Holiday Cottages at Harewood Holidays
There are 7 Harewood Holidays Cottages * and ours was a semi-detached cottage next to Carr House. Their gardens are adjoining so if you have a larger party then you could book both out for a big family trip for ten. Each cottage is decorated so well, and all slightly different. Ours was open plan downstairs with a wood burner. Upstairs was two double bedrooms and a shared bathroom, which came with their own Chapter Organics toiletries. They smell so heavenly, Luke was already looking to buy some when we got back. Holiday Cottage guests can get 15% off online purchases with a discount code so it’s a definite must purchase!
We visited some of the other cottages on Shears Yard, which is a combination of old workers cottages and stables in a U shape. These have some fabulous rooms and decor. I personally loved the big arched windows in Cherry Blossom Cottage and the beamed bathroom of Mulberry Cottage. There’s also a beautifully done one bedroom cottage (Lavender Cottage) which would be perfect for a couples week away. They are also currently creating a bridal cottage and have discovered some original murals on the walls painted by an artist who did work on Harewood House! They’ve also added an amazing copper bath. Once that’s finished there are plans for a wheelchair accessible cottage too which was really good to hear!
All the cottages have been renovated with sustainability in mind. They are powered through their own biomass plants and none of their waste goes to landfill. I loved this part as I’ve been starting to think more sustainably about travel. I even created my ‘Waste Not Jaunt Not’ Instagram account to focus on that side of travel as my hobby account.
Upon arrival, you go to the estate office and then get shown around your cottage. You can pop in anytime after that (during opening hours) with any queries or issues you may have and the team are so lovely! There’s lots of info about local walks and attractions in the cottages to help you plan your stay, and a lovely welcome basket with all the necessities – locally sourced of course! My fave was the Longley Farms butter, here I was thinking they were bosses at cottage cheese and yoghurts but their butter is the best I’ve ever had! We had it with toast every day as it was just that good. More practically, there’s also plenty of cleaning equipment and a dishwasher and tabs for those who hate washing up.
Things To Do
It wasn’t all about relaxing, my feet often can’t stay put for long. Luckily for me, there were lots of local things to do and explore!
Visit Leeds or Harrogate
So the aim was to relax but we did end up planning a few things into our visit. Leeds is about twenty mins away on a good run, so we met some friends at our fave Mans Market for dinner on our first night. It was nice not to have to drive over an hour away once we had finished! Plus the food was a solid 9 out of ten as always. Harrogate is also a similar distance away which would be nice for a day trip too as it’s super pretty.
Get a Massage
We visited Rudding Park Spa which has been on my list for a spa visit ever since Lauren got married at the hotel and I saw how lush it was. It’s less than 15 mins away so it was perfect timing to visit and relax even more. You could also try the famous Harrogate Turkish Baths which I’ve added to my list as one to visit. Harewood Holidays have also paired up with The Treatment Rooms in Harewood who offer massage, reflexology and more and can be booked and planned in with the team before you arrive. They really have thought of everything.
We knew one of the three nights we were there was going to be spent cosying up in front of the log fire in our cottage. So we had already picked up some food at our local M&S Food at the Moto Services. Budget tip- if you download the Moto App they have daily deals. Tuesdays are all about 20% off food at M&S which makes it that bit more affordable. I saved about £10 on a £30 shop thanks to that and some sparks offers I had too!
Anyways I digress and I’m aware that’s not local, but the Muddy Boots Cafe in Harewood Village is. It served up some lovely food when we stopped by for lunch and decimated their Tarte and Berry cakes selection. Luckily Harewood Holidays residents get 10% off in the cafe so it cost a little less! Lunch was lovely and we got chatting to a few residents whilst there- everyone was so friendly including the doggos. If you do go- head towards the village hall as it is at the rear of that. Take some change as the parking is payable through an honesty box. (£2 from memory for a couple of hours). We also picked up some gin whilst we were there. The Greystone Gin is made from botanicals grown in Harewood and I have to say I love it! Its £40 for a big bottle and residents save £5. To be super organised you can even order the gin whilst booking so it’s there on your arrival!
Spot the Wildlife
So we’d already seen cows, a pig and numerous Geese before even parking up at our cottage but there was more to see! The area is known for Red Kites and if you drive towards Harewood House from the estate office you can go through the fields and see all the deer too. Once at Harewood House there are penguins, flamingos and other birds plus a small farm area which hosts two alpacas. Which I was most excited to see of course.
Go to Harewood House
Entry to Harewood House is free if you’re staying with Harewood Holidays. Plus you have access to roads that link the two together during your stay. So it takes less than 5 mins to get there. As well as the Farm Experience and Bird Garden there are lots of gardens and grounds to walk through. My favourite was the Himalayan Garden reachable by a chain ferry across the lake. The House itself is host to the ‘Below Stairs’ section which showcases a lot of the servants quarters. Whilst the upstairs is currently host to the ‘Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters’ Exhibit. They are both so interesting and a great way to spend a rainy day as we did.
So the main reason I went was to relax! We got a cat pageant programme on Netflix on the TV, lit the fire, poured the gin and stacked the brownies. We just switched off from the outside world and it was bliss! By far my fave bit of our holiday!
I loved taking time out in such a lovely cottage. I’m a stickler for good decor and cosy vibes and we got just that. There was enough of the city nearby to get my fix but enough countryside to feel like bliss. So let me know what you think, won’t you? Personally, I’m trying to figure out how soon I can get myself into that freestanding copper bath in the bridal cottage!
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