For the last few years we’ve gone away between Christmas and New Year. Alternating between Hotel City Breaks, and Forrest Holidays. Last year we went back to Cropton Forest, and as much as we loved our stay in the beautiful log cabin, myself and the kids wanted to go out every day, meaning not much time was spent in the cabin itself. We then decided maybe log cabin breaks weren’t for us after all, since we spent very little time relaxing in the cabin, when that’s really the whole idea.
However, 2018 has been quite a full on year with lots happening, and as Winter approached, we felt we could really do with winding down before Andrew returned to work and the kids to school. And a few peaceful days away seemed perfect. And by chance, I happened to come across Raywell Hall Country Lodges and booked 4 nights, arriving on New Years Eve.
Check in was 4pm so we had a pretty laid back morning at home and set off just after lunch. Stopping off at a supermarket on the way to stock up on supplies for the week and of course party food and drinks.
Raywell Hall Country Lodges
After a 2.5 hour journey we’d arrived at our destination, situated in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Andrew went to check in which was quick and easy and minutes later we pulled up outside our lodge. Raywell Hall Lodges are set in beautiful landscaped grounds of a 19th Century Manor House and the surroundings were just stunning.
A lake, trees, fields and even a Bug Hotel at the entrance which the girls found fascinating. It seemed so peaceful we didn’t even see a single other person on site as we drove to our lodge, and I’m pretty sure the site was fully booked for the week.
We opened the front door to our home for the week, Larchwood Spa, and my two very excited girls ran in, as I followed. Two bedrooms to the left. One a double, en-suite and the other a twin. A beautiful, tiled, modern and spacious bathroom with a bath and shower directly ahead. And then I opened the door to the right, and just wow.
We walked into the most gorgeous, cosy living room I could wish for. I’d read just a few weeks earlier that the lodge had undergone a mini make over. A new king size bed, brand new kitchen benches, sofa, carpet and soft furnishing. Beautiful dark green soft velvet curtains hung from the two sets of double doors leading outside onto the veranda. And as I opened the doors, I stepped outside to garden furniture and a very roomy sunken hot tub. With views of surrounding fields and trees.
Mod cons inside the contemporary lodge included a smart tv, dvd, an electric fire, a fully kitted kitchen with a coffee machine, dishwasher and washing machine. Even a bottle of complimentary fizz which we thought was a really nice touch and much appreciated.
We’ve stayed in 5 log cabins and although all beautiful, this one had the biggest wow factor for me.
New Years Eve
With the hours counting down, I put our cases in the walk in wardrobe (I never bother unpacking, shocking I know) and started with preps for our NYE party. Once I’d figured out how to use the oven (thank goodness for YouTube) I threw a few bits in the oven, pizza , chicken, spring rolls, and emptied nibbles into bowls, as the girls jumped straight in the hot tub.
My idea was to eat outside on the patio. I’d packed fairy lights and a Bluetooth speaker to have a bit of a par-tay. But Andrew thought it would be too cold, so settled for inside, decorating the table with confetti and those gem things.
Feast eaten, as much as I wanted a party, the kids went to their rooms and Jess soon decided she was tired. We’ve never really tried to keep the kids up on New Years Eve. When Jess decides she’s tired, she needs her bed. Both kids were asleep by around 10.30 and it was time for us adults to hit the hot tub.
There is no feeling like jumping into a hot tub when freezing outside. Our lodge was very secluded, all we could see was the trees and fields around us, and the glowing fairy lights on the lodge across from us.
But we couldn’t break the tradition of seeing in the New Year watching the South Bank fireworks, so jumped out just after 11 to get changed and spend the rest of 2018 in-front of the telly, again with a gin.
New Years Day
We’d decided since pretty much everywhere would be shut, and we’d had a late night, today would be spent in the lodge. For breakfast we had pigs in blankets, hot croissants and jam, pancakes and coffee using the coffee machine. And Bucks Fizz.
We decided to go for a walk around Raywell Park. The walk turned into a mission. We had bin bags to dispose of only I hadn’t thought to check where the bins were, and I’m not exaggerating when I say it took us about an hour to find them. Sun was setting by the time we did so we headed back to our lodge.
The girls went in the hot tub, Andrew stuck on a film, and I cooked Fajitas whilst finishing the bottle of fizz. Easily the best New Years Day we’ve had.
We decided to venture out the next day, but not too far. I love a visit to the seaside at New Year and I’d read Hornsea was worth a visit and only an hours drive away.
It was freezing cold, and raining, but we still had a walk along the promenade, then stopped for fish and chips. If you’re ever in Hornsea, I’d recommend Sullivans. Delicious
We had our traditional look around the local arcades. Me and the hubby like a Basket Ball battle and donkey racing. But unfortunatley there wasn’t a Donkey Derby or Basket Ball in sight. I gave the kids all the loose change I had on me, which was about 36p which they threw in the 2p flipper machine, then left.
As cold as it was, I got a shiny new camera for Christmas, and I wasn’t leaving without a load of pics. So we walked along the beach, then back to the car when we decided we couldn’t take any more.
I think to appreciate Hornsea, you’d really need to visit during the summer months. We’d went to Blackpool late October for a few days, and it was freezing, but that didn’t affect our trip one bit. But Hornsea is one of those places there isn’t much to do, so you really need the sun to spend the day at the beach.
Again, on Thursday we didn’t want to travel too far. So after a quick google, decided on the ancient market town of Snaith. Again, maybe due to the time of year, Snaith was pretty dead. We parked up a the train station and had a little wander round.
We did come across a row of centuries-old lock up cells right next to the Priory. Once used to bang up any locals who’d had one too many for the night, which was an ususal find.
We then we continued on past the Priory to a train track which we crossed and led us onto a road. But that was pretty much it, a road. With nothing else to see we decided to head back to the car and find somewhere nearby to eat.
We found a lush little pub in Doncaster, and warmed up with a carvery and cake.
We then made our way back to the log cabin to make the most of our last night. Me and the girls jumped straight in the hot tub, then the girls went off to bed and I packed and tidied the lodge ready to leave the next morning. Before hitting the tub again for one last time.
The next morning was again pretty laid back. Check out was 10 but we literally only had to throw the bags in the car. I’m pretty ocd on holiday so the lodge was mainly spotless. My hubby wishes this was the case at home.
As sad as I felt to leave, we’d had the most amazing week and perfect start to 2019. As soon as we got home I went online to book again for this New Year, but unfortunately it’s already fully booked. We’ve found somewhere else for this year, but hopefully New Year 2020 we’ll return to Raywell, as it really is the perfect place for a getaway.