5 Most Instagrammable Places in the Yorkshire Dales

Want to impress your friends and relatives with fabulous snaps? Here are 6 fantastic places to visit after lockdown to impress your Instagram followers.

Malham Cove
Malham Cove has an enigmatic feeling about it no matter what time of year you visit it. You can enthrall your followers by taking stunning views from the top or base of Malham Cove. There is nothing more majestic than Malham in the snow!

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A day in the life of a Holiday Cottage Owner

When my late husband and I first thought about starting our holiday cottage business all those years ago, we never dreamed that it would flourish into the business it has now become.  From our very first two bedroomed cottage, we now have eight cottages of varying different sizes, to accommodate guests travelling on their own, right up to large family groups.

We farmed the surrounding land until 2001 so when we first got going, we not only looked after our guests, we had farming duties to do each day too. As you can imagine, we always had an early start, especially as our herd of cows needed milking twice a day, and they would let us know when it was time to come in.  No excuses for late milking according to them!

I used to do all the cleaning and preparation myself in the initial years. It was quite manageable with one or two cottages, but as we added more, the workload increased and I had to draft in some local help to get through it all.  Now, I manage a fabulous team who know the ropes.

These days, although no early morning milking, there is still plenty to do.  I usually have a catch up with the team most mornings.  We go through the extra protocols put in place since the pandemic to ensure the safety of our guests and staff, check cleaning supplies, and discuss what needs doing that day for expected departures and arrivals.

Once I’ve caught up with the team, I can usually be found sat at my laptop dealing with booking enquiries, sending out deposit confirmation letters and replying to email enquiries.  Afternoons are usually spent shopping for supplies and items for the cottages.  I am really keen on ensuring I buy as much local produce as I can. 

Spring and summer time gets super busy.  I love producing my own jam and chutneys made from fruit and vegetables I grow here at Layhead.  There’s the vegetable plot to dig over in spring and in summer all the fruit and vegetables need gathering and making into jam and chutney.  My homemade raspberry and strawberry jams and chutney is well known with the many families that come back year after year. Not to mention the fresh eggs I collect each day from my hens which live in the croft at the back of my house. 

I love meeting and greeting all my guests at both the cottages and caravan pitches, socially distanced these days of course! It’s usually part of my morning or evening routine when I catch up with everyone.

So, if you call one day and I am not about, you’ll know that I am busy doing cottage duties… somewhere.

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#5 things guests tend to forget to pack

You’re tired, ready for a break but you still have to pack. It’s easy to forget items when your mind is dealing with a thousand other things you have to think about before going away.

Here are five things guests tend to forget to pack.

1. Prescriptions. Check well in advance that you have enough medication for your travels (plus a day or two beyond). If you have a pet travelling with you that needs drugs, remember to make sure they have enough to get them through the holiday too.

2. Phone chargers. A classic one to forget, especially if you usually leave your charger plugged into a socket all the time. We live by our phones these days and we all know that sinking feeling when the phone goes flat and then realise the charger is still at home.

3. Appropriate clothing and footwear. If you’re staying in Blighty, chances are it’s going to rain at some point throughout your hols. Check you’ve packed your waterproofs.

4.Special Friends. Travelling with little ones? Most toddlers have a special teddy. It’s good to do a last-minute check to make sure they’re safely packed too.

5. The dogs bed. Taking pooch away with you? Remember to take their bedding. Many dogs need somewhere to sleep that is familiar to them. Their own dog bed/blankets will give them somewhere that has smells they recognise and you’ll probably find they will settle down fairly quickly.

Want to add to our list? Let us know what you think guests should add to their checklist. Email me at rosehyslop@layhead.co.uk and we’ll add and publish them to the one above.

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Brandied Fruit Day

In the throes of the current pandemic where there’s confusion and constant change, we all need cheering up. So, we did a bit of research on the ‘net and found out that 20th October is National Brandied Fruit Day.

Who knew?

According to our research no-one really knows how this national day started but it’s here, so let’s enjoy. Basically, National Brandied Fruit Day is a celebration of preserved summer fruits.

If you’re not so keen on brandy, you could try the German alternative – a Rumtopf – preserving fruit in rum instead.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, how about making your own sloe gin? You can usually find sloes in hedgerows along country lanes and along canal banks. Do be careful and check to make sure you are a) not trespassing and b) you can identify sloes. If you’re not 100% sure about the berries, don’t pick them!

Summer fruits have become so readily available over the years preserving skills, usually passed down to the next generation, are being lost because in the 21st century we can buy most fruit 365 days of the year.

It’s never too late to learn something new though.

Here’s how to get started.

Step One: If you don’t grow your own, check out local supermarkets and greengrocers. They may have a glut of cheap summer fruits on sale at this time of year. Buy the best quality as damaged fruit will go mushy.

Step Two: Do your research. Have a look for videos on YouTube and recipes online. Or if you’re anything like me and prefer the paper version, you’ll probably find an easy recipe in one of your cookbooks.

Step Three: Find something to store your fruits in. You don’t need to buy special jars. You could sterilise empty jam and pickle jars. If the lids are not re-useable, they are easy to buy online.

Step Four: Leave it to preserve based on the time frame given in your chosen recipe.

Step Five: Enjoy!

Preserved fruit makes a fantastic and unusual Christmas present too. Wrap some red ribbon around the top of the jar and add a Christmas tag made from a recycled Christmas card.

We’d love to see a photo of your end product. Send it to rosehyslop@layhead.co.uk

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Easy Holiday Cooking

#travel #travelfood #recipe

So, you’ve booked your holiday cottage. You’ve planned your excursions.  You know what you need to pack.

So, who’s going to do the cooking?

Someone has to, right?

There’s no reason why all the cooking should be left down to one person.

If you’re travelling with members of your ‘bubble’, why not ask your ‘bubble’ buddies to choose a recipe (and bring along the ingredients) so they can cook it over the holiday period. That way everyone brings something to the table (literally).

The next thing to consider is what type of food makes great holiday food?

Well, you don’t want to make it too complicated. Being chained to the kitchen for most of the day is no fun.

Something that can be chucked in the oven after simple preparation is the best type of meal to conjure up.

And you could even cheat a bit, without every meal being processed food.  For example, you could buy pizza bases then get the kids to put on the toppings made from fresh vegetables and cheeses and anything else they like.

Or you could buy some fresh bread from the local bakers to accompany a one-pot stew.

By putting in a little bit of thought and doing a bit of pre-holiday preparation, no-one needs to be left sweating in a hot kitchen.

If you want to find some easy holiday recipes, check out the BBC Good Food website.

Have fun and enjoy your break!

Have any favourite holiday recipes you fancy sharing? Send them to rosehyslop@layhead.co.uk and we’ll pop them on our blog.



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