#12 days of Christmas

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#5 Simple Tips for a Happy Holiday Cottage Christmas

If you’re planning on celebrating Christmas away from home this year here are #5 simple tips to make it special.


1.Most holiday cottages will already have Christmas decorations. If you have children in your party, to make it a bit more personal, take along some Christmas decorations to make so they can add them to the tree or hang them up around the cottage.

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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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