This quirky, boutique bolthole has a fascinating story behind it; it’s the rebuilt loading bay of a long defunct railway station in the pretty village of Skipwith just outside the historic city of York.
Designed as a child-free, pet-free romantic retreat for two, Blackberry Halt is located within the grounds of what was once Skipwith Station, which was a stop on the old Derwent Valley Light Railway line. It offers truly unique, contemporary self-catering accommodation with heaps of character. Set in its own private, enclosed courtyard, it boasts an al fresco dining area and an outdoor hot tub where you can soak away your troubles under the stars.
Also sited at Skipwith Station are three cleverly converted railway carriages offering family-friendly self-catering accommodation. Larger parties can book all three carriages and Blackbery Halt, which sleep up to 16 people in all.
The former station is located next to Skipwith Common, a vast 265-hectare nature reserve and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), which comprises one of the last areas of unspoilt lowland heath habitat in the north of England. It’s an idyllic spot for a walk – see if you can spot the Exmoor ponies, Longhorn cattle and Hebridean sheep that graze there as part of Natural England’s management plan for the site. There’s a cosy pub serving great food in the village, which is just a short walk from Skipwith Station.
The city of York is 20 minutes away by car or by bus, and you can reach the North York Moors, the Yorkshire Dales, the Yorkshire Wolds and the East Coast in less than an hour.
The owners of Skipwith Station, Lizanne and David Southworth, have ensured that Blackberry Halt echoes the industrial charm and character of the original loading bay, but have cleverly melded this with modern home-from-home comforts and bags of luxurious finishing touches. This merging of old and new is reflected in the tasteful furnishings and décor, which create a timeless, cosy feel.
Blackberry Halt takes its name from the fact that the Derwent Valley Light Railway was jokingly referred to as the ‘Blackberry line’ because people would hop off at Skipwith Station and head to the neighbouring common to pick blackberries.
The open plan living area is made up of a lounge with a three-seater sofa and flat screen TV with DVD player; a fully fitted kitchen with an oven/hob, microwave, dishwasher and refrigerator (with a freezer compartment); and a dining area that seats four. There’s underfloor heating throughout the property, as well as free, wireless internet access.
Lizanne previously worked as a gardener designer, and has designed and created the stunning grounds herself. Guests are welcome to enjoy them, and croquet and badminton equipment are available for you to use. Hens roam freely, pecking contentedly among the exquisitely planted borders.
The master bedroom features an antique, king-sized, wooden sleigh bed dressed in crisp, Egyptian cotton sheets. We love the mezzanine reading room above the bedroom, which is stocked with a great choice of books; it’s the perfect spot to curl up with a glass of wine and a great read. The sleek grey and white shower room has a heated towel rail and smart, modern fittings.
Prices range from £240 to £450 for a three-night break, Week-long stays are priced from £570 to £900, depending on the time of year.
A complimentary welcome hamper is provided for stays of four nights or more.
You have found a wonderful place to stay and Boutique and Breakfast is committed to giving you a personalised service so that you can find the right room at the right price. Simply fill in our enquiry form and within 24 hours you will receive a response from Blackberry Halt at Skipwith Station tailored to your needs. This will be in the form of either a telephone call or an email.