TRAVEL: A slice of heaven on Earth

Joe Cawthorn took a trip to West Yorkshire to sample a rural retreat with added perks... In the middle of January!

For a lot of people, the weather can make or break a holiday.

Whether they plan to soak up the rays on a tropical island or need a hefty breeze to catch some waves, a holiday can be one to remember or one to forget because of the weather.

So when my partner and I headed to the West Yorkshire village of High Eldwick (about a 15 minute drive from Ilkley) and the weather reporter suggested possible snow for that region, a look of trepidation appeared on both our faces.

We heard it was going to be cold – possibly the coldest weekend of the year – but snow was a whole different matter.

We were heading north to a picturesque village, set just on the outskirts of the North Yorkshire Moors, to visit a five-star rural retreat that goes by the name of Faweather Grange. (Even the name of our destination had the word ‘weather’ in it!).

The description told us to expect a luxury lodge, with en-suite jacuzzi and sauna and an outdoor hot-tub with valley views, the perfect ingredients for a relaxing weekend away from the hustle and bustle of modern-day living.

And upon arrival, we weren’t disappointed.

The five-star quality immediately oozed from this woodland getaway as we sloped down a gradual decline to the parking bays and reception.

After signing in, we were taken to our lodge, which was aptly named Serenity Three, on a buggy so we didn’t have to lug our luggage in the dark.

After being given a few instructions about how certain features worked, such as the hot-tub and sauna, we were left to our own devices.

The lodge was jaw-droppingly unique, with quirky features such as a log burning fire and a real elegance that you won’t find in all log cabins.

The four-poster bed with memory-foam mattress was a particular highlight and a must for a truly uninterrupted night’s sleep.

And with a complimentary bottle of champagne on ice and the log fire roaring in the corner, it was clear we had just entered a slice of heaven on earth.

Our first evening was spent getting used to our new surroundings, trying out the sauna and jumping in the hot-tub, where we stayed until the early hours of the morning.

The valley views coupled with the blanket of stars up above and the warmth of the hot-tub created a truly magical experience, and one I certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

The fact that each lodge has a private tub that sits in a remote location adds to the magic, meaning no-one can see you and you can’t see anyone else - bliss.

The next day, a trip to the historic town of Ilkley was on the cards and, as it was just a 15 minute journey by car, it was the perfect location to grab a bite to eat and explore.

During the day, the bitter cold had started to set in and snow was on the horizon, it was inevitable. As the famous Yorkshire folk song goes, I was ‘on Ilkley Moor Baht’ at!’

After purchasing some necessities for later in the evening, we headed back to our base at Faweather Grange and settled in front of the log burner.

Not long later, the snow outside was falling thick and fast meaning only one thing, we had to use the hot-tub.

The sensation of being in warm water while outdoors at midnight, with snow falling as thick as ever, was another fine experience. The few glasses of wine helped the situation, too!

After another deep night’s sleep in the four poster, we arose the next morning to the realisation that our time at Faweather Grange was coming to an end.

But there was one positive to this. The feeling after a couple of good night’s sleep and relaxation, as well as quality time as a couple, meant that we were leaving in a far better mood than what we had arrived in.

If word of mouth is one of the best forms of advertising, then flicking through the guest book of Serenity Three before we left just rubber-stamped what we already knew.

Hundreds of people over the last few years had written the same words that I was thinking, such as ‘magical’, ‘heavenly’ and ‘we will certainly be back’.

It is clear to see why Faweather Grange has a whole host of awards and accolades to its name, including the winner of the best holiday park in Yorkshire in 2010 and 2011, along with a diamond award for customer service in 2011.

There’s too many to name them all, but I can verify that this beautifully luxurious and relaxing location deserves each and every one of them, plus plenty more in the future.

There are a variety of lodges available, some which sleep just two and the largest which sleeps seven with baby facilities. The most economical lodge is Tamarisk and the midweek short break in low season is £299, going up to the most expensive lodge in peak week which is £2,049 for a week and sleeps six, all with en-suite rooms.  

If you’re planning a break in the beautifully diverse county of Yorkshire, visit www.yorkshire.com for some great ideas and help in finding your perfect retreat.

Faweather Grange, The Grange, Sconce Lane, High Eldwick,

West Yorkshire, BD17 6BG

Please note: enter Sconce Lane from Mill Lane. Use BD17 6BG Postcode in Sat Nav.

Tel: 01943 878777