Wedding News

30th July is fast approaching – my daughter’s wedding so we are busier than usual at Layhead.  My main tasks at the moment are to get the garden and the house looking spick and span! The wedding is English Country Garden with a hint of  Caribbean sunshine – hopefully! The colours are therefore deep purple, deep pink, orange,  yellows and lime green.  I have planted up lots of tubs in these colours  so all the guests get in the Caribbean mood.

I have also cleared a corner of the garden and planted shrubs with yellow/lime green foliage which look very showy but are at the moment they are fenced in to keep the pesky rabbits from eating them before the big day.

Niccola and Mo are being married in Rathmell church which is under going major roof repairs at the moment.  They ensure us that by the big day it will look less like a building site.


After the ceremony the bride and groom will the lead the guests through the village back to Layhead for the reception. There is a local tradition in Rathmell of tying the church gates during the wedding ceremony so that nobody can leave. The bride and groom have to throw money over the gate to local children in the hope they will untie the gate. The church bell will be rung for the first time in 10 years thanks to the kindness of a local campanologist (bell ringer).

More news soon.





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Exciting News


Layhead ChickensExciting news!  The 2nd Tour De Yorkshire Cycle Race is coming to Settle on Friday 29th April 2016.  Many of the businesses around Settle are working together to decorate and organise Settle for a really fun day in the town for the finish of the first day of the race.  The race starts on the Friday morning in Beverley and the competitors will pedal their way across to the finish in Settle Market Place in the afternoon.  As Settle is only 3 miles from Layhead Farm Cottages, it will be possible to walk, cycle or go by car from here to join in the festivities and watch the race, and there will be big screens to watch on too. Hopefully, we will also be able to organise other events over that weekend, as it is the Mayday bank holiday. For more information and updates go to

The new hens have arrived , and so now the egg production has at last increased.  I purchased some pure bred ones and some hybrids, and so now have a really colourful crowd of ‘girls’.  As yet the  old and new hens both keep to their own groups and don’t really mix.  The new hens include a Brown Leghorn, 2 Rhode Island Reds, a Light Sussex, 2 Black Rocks and a White Star, which should lay white eggs.

We are busy in the cottages at the moment painting and decorating, spring-cleaning (spring I hear you mutter!) and doing essential maintenance ready for the coming season.  I also have another exciting event to look forward to in 2016, my daughter Niccola and her long-term partner Moses are getting married in the idyllic surrounds of Layhead Farm Cottages at the end of July, so we are eagerly awaiting this event, and to welcoming their guests to the cottages.

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Apple tree - small

Busy week, lots of visitors and lovely sunny Autumn (nearly) weather.  The Tour of Britain cycle race passed very close to the cottages on Monday – Bolton-by-Bowland, Gisburn, Slaidburn and Forest of Bowland.  Wonderful views of surrounding hills and dales.  Not quite in Yorkshire but nearly!

I have had a break from preserving for a few weeks following 50lbs of home grown strawberries which I made into jam. Now there are lots of cooking apples, so I am thinking chutney and pies!  No plums this year though.

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Le Tour de Yorkshire has not been forgotten!

What a lovely August bank holiday weekend we’ve just had – warm and sunny as it was for the wonderful Tour de France weekend that we had back in July. I was reminded of it this weekend as we spent the day at the annual Kilnsey Show and as there was an excellent insert in Saturday’s Yorkshire Post!

Even though two months have now passed, Le Tour de Yorkshire has certainly not been forgotten!

Owl on Bike

Le Grand Depart 2014 from Leeds and the race starting point at Harewood House was said to be the BEST EVER.  The race was ‘seen off’ by royalty and from then on the peloton could be seen racing through the beautiful Yorkshire countryside – Otley, Skipton (Airedale), then into Wharfedale –  Cracoe, Kilnsey, Kettlewell, and then to ‘Cote de Cray’, where there was an enormous crowd and then into Wensleydale – Hawes, ‘Côte de Buttertubs’, Masham, Ripon, and finally finishing on the Stray in Harrogate.

Kilnsey 2

We watched the race at Kilnsey, there was a great atmosphere – beer from Tennants Arms, a lively crowd from around UK and the world who enjoyed all the spectacle of the publicity caravan, and a fantastic view of the peleton whizzing by. We then enjoyed the rest of the race on the big screen, that was situated on the Kilnsey Showground (in the middle of a field!), which also hosted a number of stalls selling food and souvenirs of the race. Just as exciting was the second day, we only viewed on TV but we still ‘lived’ the race from the settee! Leaving from York through the rolling North Yorkshire countryside, and then over Cote de Blubberhouses and into West Yorkshire via Addingham, and then a sprint along the Airedale Valley trunk road and to Keighley, Haworth and through villages and towns and up to the moors, where there were stunning views of the countryside. The second stage was finally won in. Sheffield by Nibally who was the overall winner.


Since then we have welcomed lots of new visitors to the Layhead Farm Cottages, coming to view the stunning countryside and meet the friendly people in God’s Own County! Be sure to have a look at my new cycling page on the website – to be released very soon! You will be able to find out more about following in the footsteps (sorry that should be wheels!) of the professionals, riding all or part of the route, and how to hire bikes locally when you come to stay.

See you soon at Layhead Farm Cottages!

Find out more about Le Tour De Yorkshire and Le Tour itself at:

Yorkshire Dales National Park
Le Tour De Yorkshire Dales
Le Tour De Yorkshire

Visit our cycling page on out website for more information

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Rain Doesn’t Stop Play in the Yorkshire Dales!

Blue sky!

Even though it is a beautiful sunny day today at Layhead Farm Cottages and all the flowers are looking fantastic,  we have had a little rain this summer!  A far sighted marketing lady, Susan Briggs here in the Yorkshire Dales, has produced a very comprehensive list of things to do in less clement weather! Our guests have found these suggestions really useful and they have been much appreciated. The rain hasn’t stopped the celebrations either, the most recent ones being a wedding reception following the wedding which was held at Taitlands, and 50th and 80th birthday parties – also a proposed party at Taitlands.

We are always trying to make guests holidays more enjoyable and stress-free, and we strive hard to find local firms to help us with this mission!  To this end we have recently found a new chef, ‘Simply Homemade’ based in Settle, providing frozen or fresh meals made from locally sourced produce.  And also, Dukes, a firm from Wigglesworth, who will deliver other essentials – wines, beers and spirits,  however it is necessary to order these in advance.

“Just wondering if I could borrow your coat?”

Mango, Pepper and the hens are all enjoying the summer, although the hens egg-laying is on a bit of a downer at the moment? I think all their energies must have been put into other activities.  I went outside the back door yesterday and found Billy the Hen on the house roof! – Why?  I really don’t know.

Pepper and Billy are good friends which is more than can be said for Pepper and the sheep.  The sheep in the field by the hen house chase poor Pepper!  Are my animals normal?

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Rosemary supports English Tourism Week

Rosemary & Julian Smith MP

English Tourism Week, organised by VisitEngland, is a week-long celebration of events from the 10th – 18 March 2012 to promote English toursim.

Rosemary, who is a Farm Stay – Regional  Director for Yorkshire, took this opportunity to promote Farm Stay Yorkshire – 90 members offering top class accommodation – B&B’s and self-catering cottages in stunning locations all over Yorkshire.

Rosemary is pictured here showing Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon, the 2012 Farm Stay guide.

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Brilliant Business!

After hot-footing it back from Susan Briggs’ excellent marketing event on Tuesday this week, I came home with all sorts of  new ideas for marketing Layhead Farm Cottages. So, imagine my delight to find that Yorkshire Dales National Park had launched a new section on thier website, ‘Brillaint Businesses’, in which I put in an appearance!  Read all about it here Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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