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This is the year of the ‘Staycation’

This is the year of the ‘Staycation’ and we have a brilliant suggestion for those of you who love exploring the countryside and embracing taking each day as it comes.

Our story starts in between ‘Lockdown 1’ and ‘Lockdown 2’, there was a brief few weeks in 2020 when we could get out and about and we were invited to visit the beautiful city of Ripon in North Yorkshire, to stay at The Grange Farm Lodge.

Grange Farm Lodge is an idyllic country retreat for couples and yes, it is on an actual farm, situated in the pretty village of Melmerby, just 4 miles from the centre of Ripon. If you love the countryside, peace and quiet and getting back to nature, this is for you!

Grange Farm is a short walk to the local pub and other amenities in the village. The lodge itself is stunning, decorated and furnished to the highest standard. There is a double bedroom with a seating area and flat screen TV, a separate kitchen with a fridge and microwave, plus a lovely bathroom with a shower. Parking is not an issue either as there is parking directly outside the lodge and a lovely private garden area for your exclusive use.

On a sunny day you can enjoy your breakfast and evening drinks on your own patio area, listening to nothing but the sounds of the countryside. Are you falling in love with the idea yet?

Grange Farm Lodge may be compact, but it has everything you need to use as a luxurious base from where you can explore the area – and there is a lot to explore!

We stayed for two nights which gave us ample opportunity to get out and about. We walked for miles over the course of those two days, walking into Ripon and back more than once.

This unspoilt cathedral city is a North Yorkshire gem, balancing a rich cultural heritage with exciting contemporary living. With its imposing cathedral, fascinating museums and a bustling market square, there is plenty to entertain any visitor. Skip just 10 miles in any direction and you’ll discover a wealth of first-class visitor attractions in the surrounding beautiful Dales countryside.

We found the perfect place for breakfast or brunch in Oliver’s Pantry. The food was really delicious and we ate there both mornings to set us up for the day ahead.

For dinner one evening we drove out to The Black a Moor Inn, a beautifully quirky country pub and restaurant on the edge of Ripon. Their traditional, home cooked food was superb, the service friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed and homely. Another brilliant find we can highly recommend.

You will never be bored in Ripon, that’s for sure! There is so much to see and do and we crammed as much as possible into our time there – including a 15-mile hike which started around Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal – somehow, we managed to wander way off piste! We made it back by the skin of our teeth in time to collect the car from the car park as they were closing for the day.

We visited Ripon Prison and Police Museum, which had us gasping at some of the barbaric law enforcement of the past and howling with laughter at some more recent memories from our childhood. This is a great place for all the family, there is definitely something for all ages.

Of course, we paid a visit to beautiful Ripon Cathedral, in awe at its ancient history and magnificent splendour. We also travelled back in time at The Workhouse Museum.

Yes, we crammed a lot into our time there and we literally fell into bed each evening. That bed was supremely comfortable and a combination of the excellent mattress, the country air, walking for miles and a few drinks and good food had us sleeping like babies!

It only remains to say that if for whatever reason you find yourself in the Ripon area, make sure you stay at Grange Farm Lodge. You can book through Booking.com, AirB&B or direct by calling Emma on Tel: 07488 330246 – mention H&N when you book and receive a complimentary bottle of Prosecco!

Prices are from £85 per night – what are you waiting for? You can thank us later.

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