LUXE: Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and your journey to Beautiful Escapes?
BE: Yorkshire is simply the best. For us, there is no better place to be. I (Angela) have spent my whole life here. I was born here, I grew up here, and I brought up my own family in this wonderful county of ours. I love it.
So when I reached a point in my life – about two years ago now – when I had the time to pause and think about what might be next, it felt really special to have the time to walk by the coast, amble across the moors and mooch around our wonderful market towns. It struck me that it was a rare moment. In the busy lives we all lead, it seems so much harder to stop and just be.
I knew then that whatever path I took next, it would have to take me to something I love doing, like breathing new life into properties for them to be enjoyed by the next generation. But more importantly, I wanted to share my love of being here – in Yorkshire – with the space and the pace to just be.
LUXE: What did you do before and what made you make the jump?
BE: Alongside a successful career in the corporate world, my passion has always been property development – from building houses to renovating listed buildings, this is where my heart is happiest, especially in my native Yorkshire.
As a holiday cottage owner, I understood the ins and outs of this market, so after I left corporate life and was thinking about my next move, it seemed natural to combine my love of property with my passion for Yorkshire.
My daughter Charlotte is a successful photographer and marketeer, and she too was keen to get involved in the new venture. Her work takes her all over the country, but Yorkshire remains her favourite place to be.
That’s how Beautiful Escapes evolved. The more we thought about it, it just felt like a step in the right direction, working collaboratively with holiday homeowners to curate a portfolio of Beautiful Escapes for people to enjoy at their leisure.
LUXE: Your corporate world and Charlotte’s creative world collide in this business. Was there always a plan to work together?
BE: We have always chatted about ideas to work together and when Beautiful Escapes evolved after we purchased another holiday property, it seemed like the natural next step to combine our experience and expertise.
It’s a very special thing to have a mother-daughter team, and we’re so excited about what’s in store in the near future.
LUXE: Where can we find BE properties?
BE: Our properties are spread across Yorkshire, so you can find your perfect escape whether your ideal location is a stone’s throw from the beach in a fishing village, set atop rolling moorland, or in a historical market town in the heart of the Dales.
LUXE: What makes a BE property?
BE: They must have that extra sprinkling of magic we know our guests are looking for. A picture-postcard location, a bit of history and stunning interiors.
We visit every property and work closely with our owners to create the perfect Beautiful Escape – so there’s definitely an element of consistency across our portfolio.
LUXE: Your favourite property features?
BE: Each property has its own unique features, which make it a perfect fit for Beautiful Escapes. All have cosy fireplaces to snuggle up by after a long day exploring, some have hot tubs for a romantic retreat, others have their own private walled gardens with meandering paths – and there’s even one set by a millrace.
LUXE: How is the Yorkshire staycation market looking right now?
BE: We are all ready for that much-needed break, a change of scenery and some space to explore away from home. Now we are allowed to travel once again, we are really enjoying welcoming visitors back to Yorkshire.
We have worked closely with our property owners to ensure that the correct deep cleaning procedures are in place and offer contactless arrival where possible.
We have also listened closely to guests and understand that they are anxious about what might happen if they were prevented from travelling or if they needed to cancel. Every booking with Beautiful Escapes is automatically covered for free cancellation for any reason including COVID-19.
LUXE: How can a BE guest enjoy the ultimate Yorkshire staycation with you?
BE: From the moment you book, we offer a bespoke concierge service to connect you with brilliant Yorkshire people for whatever you need during your stay.
We have been making connections with superb local suppliers so that our guests can really experience this wonderful county we call home.
From hiring one of Yorkshire Vehicle Hire’s Land Rover Defenders, to having a wonderful Italian chef, Rosalind, make you a sumptuous dinner or host a private cookery class.
If you would like to mark a special occasion during your stay, The Wilde Floral can deliver a stunning arrangement or decorate the property ready for your arrival. Firth & Co. will deliver wine for your arrival and can provide a tasting evening, too.
If you want to relax and unwind or go on an adventure, we can organise yoga, guided climbing, walking routes and much, much more. And of course, each property owner makes sure your stay starts with a beautiful welcome hamper filled with goodies.
LUXE: Your ultimate Yorkshire day out?
BE: Starting in the pretty market town of Helmsley, stopping off at Mannion & Co for a tasty breakfast to set us up for the day. Then we would enjoy the drive over to the coast through the North York Moors National Park.
Pulling up on top of the hill of Robin Hood’s Bay, we would walk across the cliffs to Ravenscar for some of the most spectacular views. We’d finish the day by heading back inland to The Black Swan at Oldstead for a beautiful dinner by Tommy Banks.
LUXE: Three places to take visitors?
– A day trip to the little fishing village of Runswick Bay.
– The majestic Castle Howard is one of our favourite stately homes.
– The beautiful Dales – a day spent rambling and taking in the wonderful scenery, visiting the local markets, stopping off in Middleham to watch the racehorses on their way to the gallops.
LUXE: An in-the-know Yorkshire secret?
BE: If you are a foodie, we have the most wonderful fish and chips from the coast and more Michelin star restaurants than anywhere else in the country – oh, and farmers’ markets offering the very best local produce. Perhaps not so secret and we are a little biased, but we think the people really are the best here in Yorkshire.