Perfectly placed in the unspoilt North York Moors sits the village of Ruston. Just a few miles from the coast you’ll find the 17th century Blacksmith’s Barn; the perfect setting for a couple’s country retreat.
On arrival, we were warmly greeted by Lisa and her trusty steed Baxter the dog; who is always looking for new friends should you wish to bring along your canine companions too.
Lisa was the perfect host and took the time to give us an in-depth overview of the property to ensure our stay would be as comfortable as possible.
Lisa and her husband Martin relocated to the area after escaping the hustle and bustle of the big city down south in 2015 to find a more relaxing dwelling in the North York Moors. A builder by trade, Martin took the old barn, which was just a shell on acquisition, and completely transformed it into the place we would call home for the evening.
As we stepped inside this historic barn we immediately felt the warmth underfoot as the underfloor heating was waiting with a warm welcome.
What we saw in front of us was a perfect blend of a traditional yet contemporary style with dramatic ceilings, exposed walls and statement lighting. The bedroom, set on a mezzanine level has a stunning inset bath peering over the balcony; which offered a perfect place to relax after a busy day exploring the stunning surrounds of the barn.
Downstairs, the open plan kitchen/living area boasts a décor that is proud of its history but welcoming of modernity. There are two snug sofas surrounding the glass coffee table where you can enjoy a spot of television or listen to some music on the BOSE sound system, and perching in front of the large window is the grand, solid oak dining table where we chose to eat for the night. The kitchen was ideal for what we needed, with all the modern bells and whistles you could imagine. The barn is so well equipped, you would be forgiven for not wanting to leave.
Once we settled into our surroundings we embarked out of the barn to discover what the local area had to offer.
Ruston is in an idyllic location overlooking the Vale of Pickering, the small village just a few miles from the coast has an abundance of things to do. As we were taking in the beauty of the local area we stumbled across The Downe Arms, just a 10-minute walk out of the village towards Wykeham.
On this particular November evening, the cold began to bite and there was no better feeling than the warm atmosphere that welcomed us as we stepped inside this friendly country inn complete with roaring open fire. Despite only popping in for a swift drink, the chap behind the bar made us feel very welcome and, while the rest of clientele were clearly local, we were made to feel like one of their own as we enjoyed some of the finest local ale.
Although we were so charmed by our accommodation that we just had to sit around the majestic dining table to sample some of the local wares, there are plenty of opportunities to eat out nearby.
The renowned Yorkshire coast is easily accessible and with it comes the opportunity for relaxed or fine dining. Jeremy’s, in Scarborough’s North Bay, offers both under one roof. A sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience, the menu and welcome that Jeremy’s offers is second to none.
However, when by the sea it’s only right to enjoy fish and chips right?
In May this year, disaster struck one of the region’s most popular eateries as a fire ripped through the distinctive black and white building that houses some of the finest fish and chips in the UK. The Magpie Café is in a stunning location and has the food to match and when it re-opens again this December, you will be sure to see the queue form as people rush to enjoy the experience that this venue offers once again.
However, we know that sometimes there is just no beating classic Yorkshire pub grub. In which case, the offering is unrivalled. The White Swan Inn in Pickering is sure to tantalise your taste buds in its traditional 16th century coaching inn and if you’d like to visit one of the county’s six Michelin Starred restaurants then venture over to the The Star Inn at Harome for a sampling of Chef Pern’s sumptuous menu.
After a wonderful experience in the local pub talking to some of the local residents about why they loved this part of the world we decided to head back to our haven.
As we arrived back to Blacksmith’s Barn we noticed the fire had already been constructed and to warm ourselves up and to make the most of the authentic log burner, we lit the firelighters and as soon as the flames began to rise, the heat started to pour into the room.
Curling up on the large comfy sofas we took the time to notice even more of the finer details that this converted, historic barn possesses. There’s a real mix of modern and antique furnishings making this place so unique, Martin, who clearly has an eye for design, has made use of the space perfectly creating areas for everything you could possibly need during your stay. Lisa has complimented this tremendous handy work exquisitely with her eloquent interior design; with items such as the paintings, mirrors and bed all coming from France.
The next day we awoke to the wintery sun casting soft marigold rays through the skylights. With plenty to do it was difficult to decide what we did that day; and with the comfort and picture-perfect awakening we had experienced, it was hard to decide whether we should leave at all.
The area is just as stunning as the barn and, being from the city, we couldn’t let the opportunity to discover some of Yorkshire’s more hidden gems escape us so we wrapped up and headed out.
Despite being so close to the coast there’s a wealth of things to do further inland. The ancient market town of Pickering, known as the ‘Gateway to the North York Moors’ is extremely popular with tourists and it is easy to see why. The quaint independent shops and historical attractions such as Pickering Castle will keep you occupied for hours. One of the most popular things to do in Yorkshire, let alone Pickering, is to climb aboard a North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam locomotive that takes in 24 miles of amazing Yorkshire scenery with stations at Levisham, Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby.
This being said, we don’t often get to the coast so were excited to explore a little more of Whitby than we already knew. This gorgeous gothic town is one of Yorkshire’s best-loved seaside towns and it became clear why almost instantly.
We began our experience by starting up at Whitby Abbey which is as imposing as it is beautiful. These striking ruins can be seen from much of the town and ambling around this atmospheric town it is clear to see where the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula came from.
We then took the admittedly easier route of Whitby’s famed ‘199 Steps’ as we descended them from the East Cliff, towards the cobbled streets and cosy taverns of the town that is divided by a handsome harbour.
To end our mini break, we headed back through Seamer, where we had a late lunch at The Copper Horse and sampled some fresh, wholesome food. The relaxed atmosphere here gave us a great opportunity to reflect on our time at Blacksmith’s Barn. The overall experience allowed us to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and appreciate this wonderful part of the world.
The stylish, elegant hideaway that Blacksmith’s Barn provided us with was both relaxed and adventurous and a true place of tranquil sophistication.
Blacksmith’s Barn is part of Gorgeous Cottages, a hand-picked collection of the finest luxury holiday cottages in Yorkshire. You can find full information about the property and book here: https://www.gorgeouscottages.com/property/blacksmiths-barn/