Inspiration

A wave of red and burnt orange autumnal colours enlighten the A65 as our car pootles its way through the southern tip of the Yorkshire Dales as we make our way west across the county towards Settle. Yes, Yorkshire looks majestic in all seasons – like when the daffodils pop through in Spring as new-born lambs take their first steps or when happy households descend in the sunshine of summer to the county’s various sandy beaches – but, for me, nothing quite beats Yorkshire in autumn. Especially when you’re in this part of the world too.

It’s a Tuesday, which we soon discover is perhaps the best day to visit Settle. When we pull into the market square we are greeted by the hustle and bustle of market day which is taking place. There’s a buzz of activity as stalls selling fruit and veg, breads, fish, cheeses and wines all carry plenty of appeal. For now, though, we park up and make our way to our abode for the evening, Dugdales Barn.

Dugdales Barns is situated just off the market square, down one of Settle’s many different snickets & alleyways, which help give this Dales town such character. As we crunch through the fallen leaves up the path towards the property, we’re struck initially by the distinctive glass arched window, which we will later learn is a window for one of the two bedrooms.

The building is so special that I actually knew right away what I wanted to do. I wanted it as open and light as possible so the double-height living space was an integral part of the design.”

These are the words of Amy, the owner, and you can’t help but admire the way they’ve achieved the bright, light environment within the property. As you walk through the door, you are immediately welcomed by a bright, open, contemporary kitchen with everything you’d need for your trip away. At the far end of the kitchen is a bespoke oak staircase which leads upstairs to a spacious, open living room with a large, comfy L-shaped sofa, a wood burning stove and a large flat screen TV with a huge selection of DVDs to enjoy.

Throughout the property, the exposed oak beams overhead help to link this modern-looking, stylish property with its historical past. The building was once home to Dugdales Agricultural Engineers and, as a really nice touch, the original sign sits high on the kitchen wall and can also be seen from the upstairs sitting room.

On our way into Settle, we had stopped at The Courtyard which is just on the outskirts of the town. This treasure trove of a place is packed full of delights from furniture to fashion, but we’re interested in the award-winning Courtyard Dairy which, simply put, is one of the best cheese shops in the country. As it’s crisp, bordering on chilly day we waste no time in firing up the wood burner and within 30 minutes we’re enjoying a selection of delicious cheeses (and a cheeky Chianti from Buon Vino, also in The Courtyard) in toasty heaven.

For dining options, eating in is very much an option due to the quality of the facilities available in the kitchen, however Settle is also well stocked when it comes to eating out too. We choose to go to The Lion, a 2-minute walk from Dugdales Barn, where we enjoy a simple but tasty pub meal. Well-fed from our meal, we amble back to the property, where a gorgeous bedroom and a luscious king-size bed is waiting for us and a divine nights' sleep.

The following morning, with a heavy heart, we depart this stunning place, feeling completely relaxed and re-energised. For couples and small families, this really is a perfect escape to the countryside and well worth exploring.

Dugdales Barn is part of Gorgeous Cottages, a hand-picked collection of the finest luxury holiday cottages in Yorkshire. From family-friendly barn conversions in the Dales to romantic boltholes by the sea, Gorgeous Cottages can help you to find your perfect Yorkshire holiday home.