There’s nothing quite like packing the car for a self catering holiday in the pouring rain with a pile of soggy bags and a damp dog.

So after a long summer packed with wedding cakes, business events and birthdays celebrations, it’s finally time for our little holiday. Time to switch off, kick back and read a book that doesn’t involve recipes. No baking, no decorating, just relaxing!

If you know the North Yorkshire Moors at all, you’ll know Helmsley – a gorgeous little market town full of character complete with castle and medieval monastery. You’ll also know Pickering – the home of the N Yorks Steam Railway that chugs up to Whitby every day.

Our home for the week is about halfway between Helmsley and Pickering right on the edge of the Moors, a little village called Gillamoor.

After what Mr Bond described as the worst drive of his life, through tropical rain and shocking visibility, we arrived 4 hours later to a cosy upside down cottage welcomed by a family of pheasants.

Surprise View Cottage is found on a working farm surrounded by lush green fields, and a trickling stream. As we sit in the early evening, it’s so peaceful you can hear a pin drop, if it wasn’t for the (very cute) snoring Dachshund.

The lounge and kitchen diner is upstairs to take advantage of the delightful views and the bedroom and bathroom downstairs.

The very kind Mrs Wass, owner of the cottages, had left us a warm loaf for breakfast and freshly baked cake for immediate consumption with a delicious cup of Yorkshire tea. A rather good spongy cake with sultanas and dried fruit topped with flaked almonds.

So as we settle into our temporary home we have plans for places to visit, but mainly plans to relax and breathe deep.

More soon ….

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