A couple of nights away always does us the power of good and with a busy summer ahead with it once again a year of staycationing we needed a mini break to recharge ourselves.
Now as you all know we love a quirky getaway around our wonderful region. We've stayed in Shepherd's Huts to narrowboats in a field but a horse box? That's certainly something we were never expecting. Before you have visions of us both sleeping on straw this is a conversion job of the highest order. Located just outside Morpeth, Abbeyfield Glamping is the work of Ashton Symm and this has clearly been the ultimate labour of love.
We knew we were going to need this break so booked it a fair few months ago and so glad we did as the box is fully booked throughout the summer and into early Autumn. Now followers of our adventures will know that neither Lucy or I drive ( I know I can hear you all exclaiming "one of you learn to drive". Honestly the truth is you wouldn't want either of us behind the wheel). And so for this exploit it fell to our lovely friends Greg and Lisa to act as chauffeur.
The weather was on the cloudy and wet side but we didn't care a jot. Escaping to somewhere cosy and tranquil was our main aim and we honestly couldn't have picked the more perfect spot. Ashton met us on our arrival and acted as guide along the path to show us the way with Lisa and Greg kindly helping us to carry our baggage and provisions (we always make sure we have plenty of treats with us). We were so glad Ashton was there as we would never have found our accommodation and just kept on along the path with all those provisions. A discreet left turn through a gate and you are met with the most charming and idyllic sight you could imagine.
The horse box is a converted 1964 Bedford TK model situated at the top of the most beautiful meadow. Even in the grey cloud it shone. Ashton showed us all the amenities from the stunning solar powered copper head shower with gorgeous green tiles ( I'll come back to the shower later), the most AMAZING copper sink, wood burning stove and the so so comfy bed and day sofa. The eco friendly dry WC is located outside situated in another of Ashton's wonderful conversion projects, a disused railway baggage carrier. Lucy was very amused to see how I got on with that.
Ashton left us to our tranquility and Lisa and Greg bid us farewell. We unpacked our provisions, there's oodles of space under the worktops and plenty of space baggage under the comfy day sofa. Ashton leaves a lovely welcome package of milk, biscuits, marshmallows and very nice crisps. We put the whistling kettle on, got out our books and settle down on the sofa with our books. The rain came on and we drank our tea and read. We both laughed at how quick it is on breaks like this before we settle into our routine of just kicking back and relaxing. It isn't easy to do so when you are running your own business but our surroundings made it so easy. I quickly got to grips with the eco loo, we ate tea, drank wine and immersed ourselves in our books (Lucy's favourite of Wuthering Heights and Maigret On Holiday for me).
Time for bed and we both were most comfortable with the eco loo. The outside of the box is adorned with fairy lights and it looked magical. The bed is situated above the drivers cabin, a few steps up and it provided the most comfortable nights sleep.
As always when away we wake early and just next to the bed is a pothole which gives a beautiful view of the meadow. We went out in our PJ's to hear the glorious sound of the dawn chorus and in the tall grass there was a baby deer which jumped off into the trees. There's nothing like breakfast when away, it's really something to take time over and enjoy.
Back to the shower and it really is a thing of beauty, mint hangs down which gives off the most amazing scent and all natural shower products to use. It wouldn't be long though before we were once again immersed in water............
What I haven't mentioned yet is that you can also enjoy the two hot tubs which you can select to do so when booking. We've never been in hot tubs quite like these two former whisky barrels which are perfect for the role. Robes are provided and after about an hour it was time to get in. Sat in our respective tubs with prosseco and the most beautiful surroundings it was bliss. Above us the clouds cleared and the sun came out. What is such a lovely touch above the hot tubs are more lights so if you prefer you can enjoy your tub experience in the evening.
A late lunch and we availed ourselves of the very well equipped fire pit. Lucy enjoyed veggie sausages and Paul after seeing that deer very guiltily ate venison steaks. The contrasting weather of the day before meant we took advantage of both the inside and outside spaces. We sat back in the deck chairs overlooking the meadow with our books and that was us until the sun went down and we went back inside. When you've finished your books within the drivers cabin (which you can sit in and pretend you are on the road in the 1960's) there are numerous board games to enjoy.
Lights out and another wonderful night's sleep. Again we were up early to take advantage of our last morning. We breakfasted outside and then packed our things together. Our chauffeur (Lucy's Dad) was arriving just before ten.
A last look round and like everyone Lucy's Dad wanted a shot at the steering wheel we bid farewell. We felt so relaxed after our mini break. It's a testament to places such as this that you don't have to be away for a long time to feel so much more chilled.
Ashton really has created something very special here and we wish him all the very best for the future.
We appreciate that not everyone is a city person, I personally love the city but I agree that sometimes it's lovely to get away somewhere a little more...calm! And the North East is brimming with quaint little villages - so whether you're looking for an adventure or simply someplace to relax for the weekend, here are a few of our top picks of villages to visit in the North East!
Apart from not putting the handbrake on tight enough and the caravan rolling with Lily inside there wasn’t too much drama. Disaster averted and so we started our next summer 2021 holiday at The Quiet Site on Ullswater.
One of the best things about working at For The Love of The North is getting to know all of the amazing, independent artists that we work with. I got the chance to chat with Sofia Barton this week - the brilliant illustrator behind our infamous ‘Matchbox’ Print collection! If you want to know more about Sofia and her work, keep reading…