Inclined To Stay Put

Slap bang in the middle of the Tour de Yorkshire cycle route is Hollins Lodge. A great place to stay whether you’re saddle sore or just world-weary

You may or may not choose to bring your bicycle to Hollins Lodge.

On the plus side it nestles at the bottom of the serious Blakey Bank – and all the whizzy fun that might entail on two wheels. More daunting is the ride up which demands low gears, similarly low blood pressure and calf muscles to rival those of Bradley Wiggins and co.

So it’s perhaps worth banking on a four-wheel drive and your sturdy two legs rather than two wheels for a stay here.

Hollins Lodge is ideally-placed for cheering on the cyclists as they confront the Cote de Blakey – a key climb on the Tour de Yorkshire route.

But at any time of the year Hollins Lodge serves as the ultimate ‘away from it all’ retreat in beautiful Farndale.

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The Dale has two claims to fame this year – one is the ever-faithful Farndale daffodils which bring in thousands of visitors every year with their dazzling display of bursting, joyful yellow along the riverside in spring.

And the second is the Tour de Yorkshire bike ride which zips along the seriously high-up Blakey Ridge, famous for its eponymous pub and devilish winters.

Both daffs and bikes will serve to transform the silent and virtually unpopulated dale into visitor central – for just a few days.

It is a gem of a place to visit and at its centre is little more than a pub, church and village hall.

Hollins Lodge is part of the Farndale Estate, a collection of smart restored farm buildings and cottages which have a definite boutique factor about them.

The Lodge is the daddy of them all, a luxurious property that’s just made for happy gatherings at any time of the year.

In the summer there are few places to rival the magnificence of Farndale and the surrounding North Yorkshire Moors.

Seaside favourites like Runswick Bay, Staithes Sandsend and Whitby are but a short drive away but there’s a definite Enid Blyton appeal to just staying put and adventuring once you’ve arrived.

In the summer you can spill out in to the fabulous south-facing patio and gardens from the sunny conservatory.

In winter just settle yourself in and cosy-up by a roaring fire in the wood-panelled dining room with its sink-in sofas and cosy armchairs.

The Lodge is as luxurious as it comes in terms of facilities.

A great gathering spot is the farmhouse kitchen with its Aga and two large fridge freezers (meaningful wine-chilling capacity).

It’s a great place to indulge your inner Nigella. Make a gourmet day of it in nearby foodie favourite towns Malton or Helmsley then serve up a fabulous supper in style in the Lodge’s lovely dining room.

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There are six ensuite bedrooms all with flat screen TVs and WiFi (ticking every possible box for the fussy teenagers in the party).

If room-time is your thing, then this is definitely a place to luxe-out. The property has been stylishly restored with warm airy bedrooms with lovely luxury linens, well-appointed ensuite showers and bathrooms, and stunning countryside views.

If you needed some real relaxation there’s much merit in a simple wardrobe of Barbour and wellies for stepping out from the back door flagstones and walking to the moorland beyond.

The fresh air is free and the big skies scenery and long walks make for a genuine ‘away from it all’ restorative break.

Aside from walking and exploring the dale, good spots nearby are the aforementioned Helmsley and Sandsend or maybe a trip to big city York.

But really the Hollins holiday is all about holing up, staying put and bringing with you a stash of good wine, gourmet treats and good friends. Job done.


Hollins Lodge is part of Farndale Cottages. It sleeps 12 and stays start at £1250 | farndalecottages.co.uk

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