Converted from a Grade II listed church
St. Aidan’s is a breath-taking Yorkshire cottage set just outside the market town of Helmsley. Sympathetically updated with a dashing contemporary extension, it offers a truly unique luxury holiday experience.
Built by one of the Gothic Revival’s greatest architects, Temple Lushington Moore, St Aidan’s dates back originally to 1882. The accommodation is split between the historic old building and the stylish new extension. In the listed church space there is a lounge and dining area decorated in the rich colours of the Gothic Revival. A beautiful hand-painted ceiling arches high above while warm central heating, a wood-burning stove and large sofas to sink in to make this a relaxing and comfortable space. And if you momentarily tire of admiring this handsome building an LCD TV with Freeview & Netflix is available as is a Bluetooth speaker some 21st Century distraction. Hi-speed Wi-Fi is also available.
The main bedroom is also housed in the church, an atmospheric and peaceful space to rest. There is a king-size double bed which can be made up as two singles if required.
Walking into the new extension and you are immediately struck with the juxtaposing styles. Old meets modern with pleasing contrast as the contemporary kitchen sparkles with colour and light. It’s the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch and gives a particularly good view of the church itself through the opening in the wall. A bright and airy corridor covered with glass leads down towards the family bathroom with bath, separate wet-room and second sitting room. There is a double sofa bed in this room sleeping an additional two people comfortably. The slate flooring on the extension is heated throughout. So lovely and cool in the summer and toasty in the colder months.
Step outside and admire the private garden of this Luxury Cottage in Helmsley. It comes complete with terrace, outdoor furniture and heather garden – a nod to the stunning North York Moors landscape all around. When the sun is shining, it’s a heavenly spot for dining al fresco, with only the sound of birds for company.
St Aidan’s is set in a quiet little hamlet just a few minutes from the market town of Helmsley, possibly one of the prettiest cities in Yorkshire. Nestled perfectly at the foot of the North York Moors but just 24 miles north of York, its timeless elegance is a magnet to the Yorkshire elite.
At the heart of the town square is a statue of Lord Feversham, a distant ancestor of the current Lord who resides in Duncombe Park. This stunning baroque mansion sits on the outskirts of town and is the right choice for an afternoon’s sightseeing. If you want to indulge some more architectural desires, the equally grand Nunnington Hall a few miles south-east of the town is another luxurious abode worth a peek. Helmsley is a foodies heaven, packed with exquisite tea rooms, cafés and on the pulse organic delis, It’s also surrounded by some of the best gastropubs in the UK. Tucked alongside these culinary delights are lots of unique shops, galleries and antique dealers, quickly enough to build up an appetite for lunch. Oh, and pop into Foster & Hawkes Toy Shop if you have time – it’s fantastic and not a Wii in sight!
The neighbouring town of Pickering is similar in many ways and is host to its own delightful set of shops, cafes and restaurants. A few miles further on takes you to Thornton-Le-Dale – a chocolate-box North York Moors village with thatched houses and a sleepy little brook. Stop for some ice-cream here and remind yourself how nice life in the slow lane feels like.
With the North York Moors on your doorstep, you can be heading for a tour over the hills in no time. This glorious expanse of the heather-clad countryside is simply stunning, and it’s well worth taking some time to explore it properly. Somewhat smaller than the Yorkshire Dales, the North Yorkshire Moors still covers an area of almost 600 square miles, and like the Dales, you can easily find yourself miles from anywhere relatively quickly. But there is something distinctly more civilised and less remote about the Moors. There is a sense of wilderness, particularly on top of the high central moorlands, but its cast in comforting soft focus. And if you are something of a foodie there are lots of excellent gastropubs and restaurants in the area – be sure not to miss the Star Inn at Harome, excellent food and a lovely setting.
You’re also close to Castle Howard, York and the Yorkshire coast, so lots of choice for day trips