Saturday, 28 February 2009

Enjoy A Day At The Races

There are a number of race courses in the area so that you can combine a day at the races with a stay at Valley View Farm Cottages.

Race courses close to Valley View Farm, Old Byland include:
If you would like to book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online by clicking on the link or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221 or +441439 798221 .

Friday, 27 February 2009


One of the girls who lives on a farm in East Yorkshire was woken in the night recently by a caterwauling sound which she thought was ferral cats. However it turned out to be two badgers fighting. The badgers didn't take much notice of the flashlight and the human!

The badger's fight could have been a territorial battle as the male badgers patrol their territory during the breeding season when cubs are usually born between January and March. When another male badger is encountered on another badgers territory then a fight usually ensues and this is probably what woke Sara up.

Badgers are nocturnal mammals that are a protected species in the UK. Some badgers carry TB and it is hotly debated as to whether badger populations spread bovine TB which is a real threat to cattle herds.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Humanity in the Commons

Thank goodness that the usual 'in-fighting' was put on hold as a mark of respect to David and Samantha Cameron on the tragic death of their son, it is sometimes difficult to remember when I am listening to Prime Minister's Question Time - and feeling like throwing the radio through the window - that these members of the Governement are people with families and lives to lead just like us.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Cycling Trails Near Old Byland

Make your base one of my six stonebuilt Valley View Farm Cottages at Old Byland, near Helmsley whilst you cycle the region.

  • Cycling Trails, Dalby Forest or Sutton Bank – Take to the countryside on two wheels, following cycle trails through beautiful moorland and forest landscapes.
  • Moor To Sea Cycle Route – This cycle route links the towns of Scarborough, Pickering & Whitby in a scenic long distance cycle route of over 80 miles which can be ridden at your own pace.
If you would like to book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online by clicking on the link or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221 or +441439 798221 .

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Outdoor Activities In North Yorkshire

One of my six stonebuilt Valley View Farm Cottages at Old Byland, near Helmsley would make an ideal base whilst you take part in one of the many outdoor activities that North Yorkshire has to offer.

Ability Outdoors –Challenge yourself with paintballing, archery, orienteering and rope course activities in Dalby Forest.

Clay Pigeon Shooting - Learn the sport of clay target shooting at the North Yorkshire Shooting School, Felixkirk catering for individual tuition and coaching as well as parties.

Craft workshops - Take part in the Chocolatier and the Tea Pot Pottery at Leyburn.

Fishing – All year round you can relax and watch the world go by as you wait for a ‘bite’at Pickering Trout Lake.

Fossil Collecting, Saltwick Bay and Runswick Bay – Pick up your bucket, spade and fossil hammer in your hunt for ammonites, jet and shells.

Gliding Club, Sutton Bank – Glide over the Yorkshire countryside with professional instruction for the beginner or learn to glide with one day or up to a week courses.

Go Ape, Dalton Forest – “Go Ape” for a day at the award-winning high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides all set high up in the trees at Dalby Forest.

Golf – Enjoy a round or two of golf at the 9 hole golf course at Rosedale Abbey.

Helmsley Treasure Hunt - A fun and entertaining way to learn some interesting facts about Helmsley whilst enjoying the fresh air.

Horse Riding - Explore quiet lanes, bridleways and disused railways of the National Park on a four legged friend.

Pheasant Shooting –Take part in a seasonal pheasant shoot at Duncombe Park between 1st September and 1st February.

Pony Trekking and Trail Riding – With a range of horses and ponies for beginners and experienced riders alike, you can enjoy a short ride or a longer trail through varied terrain and stunning scenery at Boltby near Thirsk.

As you can see there are plenty of outdoor activities in the area so book a stay at Valley View Farm Cottages. If you would like to book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online by clicking on the link or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221 or +441439 798221 .

Monday, 23 February 2009


Well done Danny Boyle - 8 Oscars awarded for Slumdog Millionaire - and Best Director - not bad for a Northern Lad who was going to go into the priesthood. Danny was persuaded against his choice of career by a priest, Danny has since said that he did not know if the priest was saving Danny from the priesthood or the priesthood from Danny - I am sure his sermons would have brought the crowds in though.....

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Ready Steady Cook

One of my staff is to appear on Ready Steady Cook next week. They contacted Sara as she farms quail and has quail eggs and asked if she would like to appear on the new series which started this January.

The quail eggs are in the "Quicky Bag Challenge" where the chefs have 10 minutes to come up with some dishes. If you like quail eggs but are not sure what to do with them, then this is the show to watch, so tune in to BBC2 on Wednesday 25th February at 4.30pm.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey is in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, on the banks of the River Wharfe. With just under 30,000 acres of beautiful countryside, over 80 miles of footpaths and ample space to run around and enjoy the fresh air, there is something for all ages. Explore the ruins of the Priory and discover a landscape full of history and legend, wander along the riverside, woodland and moorland paths, enjoy local produce in the excellent restaurants, tea rooms and cafes, treat yourself in the quality gift shops and food shop or simply relax beside the river with a picnic whilst the children play.

Why not make Valley View Farm Cottages your base and then spend a day at Bolton Abbey.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Found in Virginia

So a cunning FBI agent has managed to track down Sir Allen Stanford and issued him with the civil legal papers for a 'fraud of shocking magnitude' according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. I have to say that I am stunned that Sir Allen has not even been taken in for questioning and was allowed to go on his merry way - there will be people who will be devasted financially as a result of this fraud, and not able to drive off into the sunset...

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Missing Billionaire

I am sure it is no surprise to the Securities and Exchange Commission who filed a complaint against Sir Allen Stanford, that he is now missing along with £5.6 billion. For someone who has been knighted and is a leading figure in the cricket world - a gentleman's sport - Sir Allen is just not 'playing ball' and needs to come out from hiding along with his £5.6 billion...........

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Morning Exercise

Now the weather is more clement the horses from the renowned stables of Kevin Ryan and Brian Smart were out on the gallops this morning.The gallops are right next to the road to Cold Kirby so you get a good view of the horses -and judging by the amount of prancing about they were very keen to be off, the jockeys had their hands full trying to stay seated this morning!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Career Choice

When I was at School our careers advisor said that Banking and Insurance were jobs that were 'safe' and for 'life' I would imagine that this advise is not readily dished out at the moment by current careers advisors - indeed if there is such a thing in schools anymore. And even more so in light of the proposal by a Scottish Advocate who is recommending that Scotland changes the law so that those to blame in the Banking sector are taken to court by all the customers who have fallen foul of their inept management skills, as is the law in America. Watch out for the up and coming CEO vacancies.........

Monday, 16 February 2009


Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and positvely 'balmy' at 6 degrees, the daffodil shoots have been hiding in the snow and are now revealed and with apparently little in the way of ill effects, so we appear to be well on the way for our long awaited Spring - and I know it is going to be welcomed with open arms. The bad weather has been blamed for many things, John Lewis has cited the snow for its poor sales figures last week, nothing to do with the 'deep and prolonged recession' then - thats good news.

Sunday, 15 February 2009


Goathland is at the heart of the North Yorkshire Moors. It is a pretty village set around wide areas of open grass common land. Goathland is the famous location of the long running TV series ‘Heartbeat’ and where some of the filming for the Harry Potter movies took place. There is a steam train that runs between Grosmont and Goathland.

Things to do at Goathland:
  • Good picnic areas available.
  • Walks.
  • Steam train ride from Goathland to Grosmont.
  • Have afternoon tea at the tearoom.
  • Browse the villages shops.
  • Stop for refreshments at the local pub.
  • Visit the exhibition centre with exhibits about Goathland.
  • Visit the landmarks of the TV show 'Heartbeat.'

The village has parking and toilets.

Why not make Valley View Farm Cottages your base and then spend a day at Goathland.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Father's Day Weekend - Special Arrangements At Valley View Farm

Fathers Day is the 21st of June.

Valley View Farm Cottages can offer special arrangements for your Father on Father's Day.

We can arrange:
  • Champagne/wine in the cottage on arrival.
  • A hamper of Yorkshire fare in the cottage on arrival.
  • Dinner reservations at any of our excellent local restaurants.
  • A day’s fishing, shooting or gliding.
  • Recommend and advise on an action packed day’s activity for the whole family.
If you would like to treat your Father on Father's Day then why not book a stay at Valley View Farm Cottages and we can help make the weekend extra special with our special arrangements. To book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online or alternatively book over the telephone on +441439 798221.

Friday, 13 February 2009


Another very wintery scene here yesterday and today - Sutton Bank was closed shortly after I had a very slow trip down it yesterday but it was re-opened again a couple of hours later, some of the by roads are slushy but clearing quickly now that the sun is shining brightly - I thought you may like to see how the lambs are progressing - there are only 3 at the moment, and are keeping nice and warm in the barn, this one had a trip out into the snow for the photo, and some fresh air, before being ushered back into the barn by mum.

Snow At Valley View Farm

Over the last few weeks we have seen a lot of snow at Valley View Farm.

Although the Wintery weather hinders farm work, the work still continues. The animals must be fed twice daily when they are housed indoors and the pregnant ewes continue to lamb regardless of the weather.

The drive up Sutton Bank and into Old Byland has been difficult in the last few weeks although the views have been spectacular, so I thought I would share some photos of the snowy drive into Old Byland and the Wintery cottages.

If you fancy getting away from it all and staying in this rural idyll then why not book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online or alternatively book over the telephone on o1439 798221 or +441439 798221 .

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Hunters Of Helmsley Hampers

'Hunters of Helmsley' specialise in creating hampers packed with Yorkshire fare.

There is a wide selection of hampers ranging in prices from £25 to £175. For special occasions why not choose the 'After Dinner Box Hamper' or treat yourself with the 'Champagne and Chocolates Hamper'. Click on this link to view the Hunters of Helmsley Hampers.

Valley View Farm is delighted to announce that we can arrange for you to have the Hunters of Helmsley hampers in your cottage, if you would like to arrive to a hamper full of goodies.

If you have ordered a hamper directly with Hunters, then they will arrange delivery of your hamper with an additional delivery charge of £5, please make them aware that you are staying with us as this charge is reduced for our guests.

Remember you can contact Valley View Farm by email: or via telephone: 01439 798221 or +441439 798221.

Natural Selection

Today marks the 200th aniversary of Charles Darwins Birth. His theory on natural selection should serve as stark reminder to our CEO's in the Banking world, it will be interesting to see how this vital sector, which influences business and personal growth, evolves in the light of recent events, it is easy to talk but action is needed now and the sooner the better.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Mother's Day Weekend - Special Arrangements At Valley View Farm

Mothers Day Weekend is the 22nd of March.

Valley View Farm Cottages can offer special arrangements for your Mother on Mother's Day.

We can arrange for such treats as;

  • Bouquet of flowers in the cottage.

  • Bottle of Champagne/wine/chocolates in the cottage.

  • A hamper of Yorkshire fare in the cottage.

  • Dinner reservations at any of our local excellent restaurants.

  • Book a pampering treatment at the local beautician.

  • Advise and recommend on a fun filled day with the whole family.

If you would like to treat your Mother on Mother's Day then why not book a stay at Valley View Farm Cottages and we can help make the weekend extra special with our special arrangements. To book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221 .

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Treasury Select Committee

It is snowing quite hard up here this morning and I would imagine that Sir Fred Goodwin, Sir Tom McKillop and Andy Hornby are wishing that bad weather could prevent them from attending the Treasury Select Committee questioning over the mistakes they have made which has led to the Banks being bailed out by the Government, to escape their jobs with large payouts does not sit comfortably with me.
Although the weather has presented some challenges here the girls have all made it into work with the exception of one day last week. The roads are kept clear, the views are fantastic, the cottages are warm and cosy and if you would like a haven of peace and tranquilty away from all the bad news a warm welcome is awaiting you here.

Monday, 9 February 2009


What is a bit of snow and disruption in comparison to the devastation in the State of Victoria - to watch your loved ones, homes and farms engulfed in fire and destroyed is beyond comprehension particularly when it could be a case of arson. My heartfelt sympathy is with all those victims and their families
On a lighter note the highlight of the BAFTA'a had to be Mick Jagger's introduction - a life of drugs, sex and rock and roll has certainly not restricted his ability to deliver an articulate witty and beatuifully delivered speech.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Peasholm Park, Scarborough

Peasholm Park is in Scarborough and it is a tranquil haven away from the hustle and bustle of the beach. The gardens are based on a Japanese garden and the centre piece is the pagoda. There is a lake, a woodland trail and it is a lovely spot to wander all year round.

Things to do at Peasholm Park:
  • Tree trail.
  • Trails.
  • Walks.
  • See the Japanese garden.
  • Boat hire on the lake - rowing boats, canoes and pedalos with dragons heads.
  • Mini golf.
  • Feed the ducks, pigeons, swans and geese.
  • Tour the lake with the Swan Princess Launch trip.
  • Sunday concerts by local bands.
  • Listen to organ music from the small building on central island during Summer days.
  • View the waterfall which is lit up at night.
  • Watch simulated naval warfare battles twice a week on the lake throughout the Summer season.
  • Water ski-ing displays can be seen one evening a week between May and August.

There are two cafes at the park where drinks, sandwiches, ice-creams and hot meals can be purchased.

Why not make Valley View Farm Cottages your base and then spend a day at Peasholm Park.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Brimham Rocks, Near Summerbridge

Brimham rocks at Brimham in Nidderdale are dramatic moorland millstone grit rock formations within the Nidderdale area of outstanding beauty. The curious rock formations are scattered over 50 acres on Brimham Moor with stunning views. The formations provide a great variety of weird and wonderful shapes so why not spend time deciding what you think the rock formations look like, you might just see elephants, hippos, bears, mushrooms. Some of the rocks are said to have associations with druids, Mother Shipton and even the Devil himself. The rocks were sculpted by erosion during the last Ice Age.

Things to do at Brimham Rocks include:

  • Walks
  • Family trails.
  • Guided walks.
  • Climbing amongst the rock formations.
  • Wildlife spotting.
  • Deciding what the rock formations look like.
  • Picnics, but barbecues are not allowed.
  • Photographing the rock formations, the scenic views and wildlife.

Dogs are allowed at Brimham rocks but must be kept under strict control and on a lead from April to June due to ground nesting birds.

Brimham rocks can be extremely busy on fine weather weekends, particularly from July to August, and on Bank Holidays. National Trust car parking is limited and queuing may be necessary. There are pay machines which takes coins.

Light refreshments can be obtained from a kiosk near Brimham House. Toilets.

Why not make Valley View Farm Cottages your base and then spend a day at Brimham Rocks.

Click here to book Valley View Farm Cottages

If you would like to book a break at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online by clicking on the link or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221.

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Friday, 6 February 2009


I am sure I am not the only one who has a huge amount of sympathy for the people stranded last night, it was -5 degrees this morning and I cannot imagine how people coped in freezing cars, or what the temperature must have been.
I know that a lot of people are fed up with the weather but it has produced some wonderful views both looking up onto Sutton Bank and from the top looking over the moors and further into the Dales. The visibility is fabulous today as the sun is shining brightly good weather for some stunning photographs.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Five Years Of Facebook

This week sees five years of Facebook, the social networking site set up by Mark Zuckerberg. As Facebook celebrates 5 years online this week with 150 million users world wide, I am pleased to say that myself and Valley View Farm can be included in those 150 million users.

Valley View Farm Cottages recently joined Facebook and set up a Valley View Farm Cottages page and a group on Facebook so that you had another way to connect with us and find out about the daily goings on at the cottages, as well as special offers and extra information about the surrounding area.

You must already be signed up as a member of Facebook (it’s quick and free!) to join our group and become a fan. To do this, go direct to Facebook by clicking HERE and follow the instructions on the screen.

Once you are a member click HERE to become a fan of Valley View Farm Cottages or to join the Valley View Farm Cottages group click HERE

We look forward to seeing you there, along with the other 150 million users for another 5 years. Happy Birthday Facebook.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Britain Gets Moving Again

Now that the roads are slightly better Britain is back on the move - if somewhat slowly! The journey up Sutton Bank was a very slow one this morning and I could have walked it quicker. It appears that we have two kinds of drivers one overly cautious and the other 'gung ho' regardless of their fellow drivers, it is not often that I meet any traffic on our quite road to the farm but wouldn't you know that today when the snow is piled up on either side I meet 4 cars! Let's hope that the sunshine promised today thaws both snow and temperament.....

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

UK's First Satellite

A company in Guilford is developing the U K's first satellite and aiming for a budget of a million dollars, this company's ideas are being developed with Virgin Galactic, the company set up by billionaire Sir Richard Branson to take fare-paying passengers on short, weightless hops above the atmosphere - I think we could all do with this mode of transport at the moment, as our roads, rail and public transport creaks and grinds to a halt, under a few inches of snow. The sun is out now so what the gritters have failed to do Mother Nature is taking care of.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is an annual holiday celebrated on February 2 in the United States and Canada on which if a groundhog emerges from its burrow and fails to see its shadow because the weather is cloudy, Winter will soon end. If on the other hand, it is sunny and the groundhog sees its shadow, the groundhog will supposedly retreat into its burrow, and winter will continue for six more weeks, well, I wonder what a Groundhog would make of the Yorkshire Moors this morning, it has been snowing fairly heavily and the Moors look wonderful, driving is a problem as the roads have not been gritted sufficiently, and some drivers think that they can drive at normal speeds - stay in your burrow Groundhog!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Sutton Bank

Sutton Bank provides a high vantage point at the edge of the Hambleton Hills and the North Yorkshire Moors. There are lovely walks with stunning views over the Vales of York and Mowbray and cycle trails to follow. Why not walk to the ‘White Horse’ of Kilburn and en route you can stop and watch the gliders taking off and flying out towards the Dales.

Sutton Bank is 4 miles from Old Byland so Valley View Farm Cottages would be the perfect place to stay for those interested in experiencing the views of Sutton Bank and also for keen walkers as The Cleveland Way is close to Valley View Farm.

If you would like to book a stay at one of the Valley View Farm holiday cottages then you can book online or alternatively book over the telephone on 01439 798221 .
Valley View Farm, Old Byland, Helmsley, York YO62 5LG
Tel. 01439 798221 or +441439 798221
View Valley View Farm Cottages location.