“If you are considering a stay at ...”
If you are considering a stay at Thornyfield Lodge as part of a multi-stop trip, I would encourage you to make this place the final destination on your trip. Any place that you are likely to stay at in Northern England after residing here is likely to be a disappointment. We have been happy customers of Sykes Holiday Cottages for years, but this place tops the list of all their managed properties that we have rented by a comfortable margin. It is also amongst the nicest places that we have ...
If you are considering a stay at Thornyfield Lodge as part of a multi-stop trip, I would encourage you to make this place the final destination on your trip. Any place that you are likely to stay at in Northern England after residing here is likely to be a disappointment. We have been happy customers of Sykes Holiday Cottages for years, but this place tops the list of all their managed properties that we have rented by a comfortable margin. It is also amongst the nicest places that we have stayed at in years. You may be able to find a place that more fully meets some technical definition of luxury – perhaps the neighboring Thornyfield Barn of the same owners – but I believe that you will be hard pressed to find one that has a better sense of place or value for money.
We knew that the lodge was new, but we didn’t realize that we would have the privilege of being part of the inaugural season – it even still smelled new. I won’t rehash the details of the complete inventory, but I would like to highlight that the owners were humble in their description. The kitchen was extremely well stocked, was nicely laid out with a luxurious granite countertop and quality appliances throughout, and lacked for no cooking or eating utensil that we could think of. I think they were expecting us to entertain guests considering the volume of dishes and glassware. I won’t give the proprietors credit for the fact that we had the rare treat of having sharp knives in a holiday rental cottage: I already mentioned that everything is new. It is worth mentioning that our expectations were surpassed with regard to consumables, which I do think justify being summarized here (albeit for memory). The kitchen had dishwashing liquid and tabs for the dishwasher, a sponge, wet towel and a paper towel roll. We were also supplied with a more than ample supply of English Tea – amongst other sorts of tea, hot chocolate mix and coffee. There were also salt and pepper grinders, a jar of mixed spices and a bottle of (olive?) oil. There was also a pint of fresh milk (for those who want their English tea to be authentic) and a bottle of Prosecco. I wouldn’t expect the owners to always supply a bottle of Prosecco – this might have been a special thank-you for being amongst their first guests. And, this is probably the first place we have stayed at where we have been greeted by a bouquet of fresh cut flowers on the kitchen table. This attention to detail was typical of our stay.
The cottage is modestly sized, and the open plan living and dining area felt a little bit smaller in real life than it appeared in the pictures. This was not to it’s detriment as it also felt cozier than I had imagined and is certainly ample for a group of four. Having the shower room separate from the toilet was a nice plus. The two bedrooms were small but tidy and quite sufficient for our needs. The right-hand bedroom has more daylight and the one on the left offers an exquisite amount of privacy which highlights the cottage’s best asset: the location.
The cottage is separated from the outside world by more than a mile of single-track road with a steep bit that at the end which leads up to the property’s gate. The cottage is part of a grouping of three houses including the proprietor’s home and Thornyfield Barn, which accommodates eight guests. I believe that “our” little cottage had the best location of the three. It is situated half way up the side of the valley, so it gives a beautiful panoramic view over the owners’ rooftop into pastures of grazing sheep and cows, with Thornyfield Barn situated to the right – at a comfortable distance – above the owner’s home, but still below us. There are footpaths that leave right from the doorstep in several directions. The proprietor’s pictures failed to capture the beauty of the location. The property is framed by trees, yet the beautiful vista remains unhindered. The valley continues upward behind the property with ferns and a small patch of forest.
You don’t need to leave the property to enjoy the surroundings. The cottage is framed by a more than generously dimensioned wooden deck with a table and four chairs, suitable for dining alfresco, there is another seating arrangement for four on the lower part of the property adjacent to the hot tub.
The owners are helpful and pleasant yet unobtrusive. They were reachable via telephone, but we were encouraged to contact them via E-Mail should we need anything, and they were responsive to requests made via E-Mail. The rules posted by the hot tub gave me the hint that the proprietors both want us to feel at home, and that they have a sense of humor. They were certainly respectful of our privacy.
As I often do when on holiday, I scanned the area during my travels to see what other properties were on offer for guest accommodations. I can honestly say that I didn’t see a single one that I would have rather stayed at than this lovely place.