As one of the sponsors of East Yorkshire’s premier tourism awards, the Pocklington Post this week continues its occasional series, “Pride of East Yorkshire”, looking at local companies associated with the industry. Here, we feature the award-winning self-catering accommodation at Wolds Edge, Bishop Wilton.
British holiday destinations are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, fuelled by economic necessity and the realisation that, whatever the weather, we have some of the most beautiful countryside imaginable.
Latest figures from regional tourist organisation Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) back this up – there were 4,120,000 visitor nights recorded in 2014; an increase of four per cent on the year before.
And it’s not just established destinations that are benefitting... tourism bosses report that more and more people are discovering the Yorkshire Wolds as a great base for activity holidays, particularly walking and cycling.
“For the past five years we have organised the Yorkshire Wolds Walking and Outdoors Festival, which from humble beginnings of 12 events over one weekend has grown to more than 70 events over nine days,” says VHEY tourism manager Andy Gray.
“Part of that is down to the beautiful Wolds countryside but success is also down to the quality of accommodation people can choose from. We have some wonderful hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation.”
A great example in the latter category is Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges, on the outskirts of Bishop Wilton, winner of the 2015 Remarkable Self Catering category in Visit Hull and East Yorkshire’s annual tourism awards, the REYTAs.
Nestled among trees just five miles from Pocklington are five wooden lodges and two shepherd’s huts. With the Minster Way and Chalkland Way passing through the Wolds Edge, and with the Wolds Way just a short distance away, it’s perhaps not surprising the site is popular with walkers.
A new attraction this year is organised Nordic Walking, complete with an expert guide who also offers meditation sessions.
The small but exclusive development is the brainchild of Ruth and Clive Rowland, who moved to the area from Essex 15 years when Clive took up a farm manager’s job on Lord Halifax’s Garrowby Estate.
Wolds Edge is a more recent development and the lodges, which have Visit England 4-star gold status, and the shepherd’s huts are beautifully furnished and, with names like Fairydale, Rabbitdale and Deepdale, are all named after local dales.
They sleep either two, three or four people but increasingly, families and groups of friends are booking properties together.
“We’ve even had a wedding party take over the whole site for what was a marvellous occasion,” said Ruth. “We work with some great local people, including a private dining firm who were able to come in and lay on a special wedding breakfast.”
The accommodation is fitted out with lovely soft furnishings and each boasts its own wooden decking area plus all the mod cons you could possible want.
Ruth even has a supply of pizza ovens and barbecues - perfect for this most relaxed al fresco dining.
One of the lodges, Honeydale, has been designed with romantic breaks in mind – super kingsize bed, deep luxurious bath and shower and even its own hot tub.
“It’s so popular. We get so many repeat bookings,” Ruth said.
The shepherd’s huts (or snug huts) take clamping to a whole new level and are popular for short breaks.
Based on huts that shepherds would move from farm to farm during lambing season, hauled by horses or traction engines, they can sleep up to three people and with their own fridges, TV and DVD player, microwaves and miniature log burners, their offer all the essentials in a quirky manor.
“We had them specially built. They really are snug and cosy – hence we call them snug huts,” said Ruth, who explained each hut had its own private shower facilities, laundry and drying room nearby.
“Winning the tourism award was so important and once it had been announced we were inundated with bookings,” says Ruth. “Awards like the REYTAs make you realise that you must be doing something right but it also makes you think about what you are doing and how it can be improved.”
n Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges are in Thorny Lane, Bishop Wilton YO2 1RX. For more information email email@example.com, visit www.woldsedge.co.uk or you can call Ruth on 07768 534434.