Eco self catering accommodation in Yorkshire

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Eco self catering accommodation in Yorkshire

Environment

The Straw Bale Cabin is a show case of environmentally responsible building. Although there a handful of straw bale houses in the UK, this is the first holiday home. We aim to provide high quality accommodation in natural surroundings whilst demonstrating to the wider public that straw can be used to create a beautiful yet practical and durable home.

We have had 100's of visitors, both groups and individual guided tours. We have given many presentations about sustainable building with the benefit of our experience.

The walls of cabin were built during training workshops in 2006. Nearly 30 people learned valuable sustainable building techniques. The super-insulated walls of locally grown wheat straw are rendered externally with lime and internally with clay. They will keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the amount of energy needed for heating. The roof is made of sustainable Western Red Cedar shingles from Cornwall and insulated with sheep’s wool. Natural paints and finishes have been used throughout.

The south facing aspect is perfect for solar hot water. A micro wind turbine and solar photovoltaic panel provide sufficient energy for the lights and 12V kettle but mains electricity is needed for the cooker and to ensure visitors are never left without power on a foggy day in February! A wind up radio and torch are provided.

We have a great little railway station one mile away; quiet but well served by trains from anywhere in the UK. It's a short walk to the cabin or a local taxi service can be pre booked. We have arranged for a local man to hire bicycles at the farm. We offer a buy local shopping service and there is an in-cabin honesty shop with a few essentials/treats. We provide lots of ideas for walks, bike rides and train trips so that everyone can enjoy everything the area has to offer.

We provide a kitchen composter, and collect glass, plastic, paper and tin for recycling. We provide recycled kitchen roll and loo roll and most of the furniture and fittings are recycled (carefully chosen for their good quality).

Our “Green” library contains many books and magazines about building with straw and other eco friendly materials and a photographic record of our straw bale journey. There are other books too – nature, poetry, romance and thrillers and a good selection of games, jigsaws and DVDs.

Community

Having lived in the Howden area for over 40 years, we are well placed to recommend places to visit. We are always available to answer questions and if we don't know, we will know someone who does! We buy all our supplies locally from independent traders where ever possible.

Reviews of Eco self catering accommodation in Yorkshire

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 05 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Fantastic cycling and walking

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Good links on trains and bus-no need of a car really

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We recycled loads (food and rubbish) and the solar energy was great

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Ten out of ten

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being in the middle of nowhere, absolute tranquility

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Leave your technology at home and enjoy the peace and quiet!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


10/10 - would love to stay again, a weekend is not enough

Reviewed on 15 Sep 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Tranquil setting, a very relaxing and peaceful holiday

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take each day as it comes, relax, chill out. Either go for long walks, with only the occasional farmer and his tractor for company or visit the Railway museum in York or the Waterway museum in Goole. A bottle of wine, a good book and the radio are all that is needed to while away the evening and if weather is good make good use of the verandah watching the birds and hearing the fish jump.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the cabin was built of straw bales and the fittings and fixtures were compassionate with reducing environmental impact. We used the local village of Howden and walked most of the time - there was also the local railway within walking distance which could be used to reach York.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


If you want to relax, this ticked all the boxes. We came back refreshed and fully benefitting from our week away.

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We had a nice, quiet break at the straw bale cabin. The weather had turned cooler and unsettled so we didn't venture much beyond the nearby villages and town of Howden. We did use the bus/train link to York one day. The cabin was well equipped with cooking ingredients, utensils, crockery etc so we were able to spend time preparing nice meals before curling up and reading or listening to our little radio. With the veranda, pond , apple trees, allotment and surrounding farm land we felt close to nature.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't expect spectacular scenery - it's all quite flat and unremarkable. An interesting construction technique to read about and have a look at the photo albums. You can feed the birds and the fish, pick from the allotment.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Glad to support the eco building/ethos of Carol and her family. They have another straw bale build let and another one is being built. We bought in small, local shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Not somewhere I would go for my only or main holiday of the year but 4 nights suited us at the time and we enjoyed the peace and time together.

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Appreciating the thermal and accoustic insulation that a straw bale house can offer.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Give yourself time to enjoy the 'Green Library'. One night stop-over is probably not enough.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The holiday has benefited local people as it has brought tourist money to the area. The build itself has reduced environmental impact through the minimum of manufacture that was needed to complete it, therefore it has supported conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Although it was a short break, we thoroughly enjoyed our one night stay and felt refreshed both physically and psychologically for it.

Reviewed on 04 Nov 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The compactness and peacefulness of the cabin, especially at night. The quietness and starry skies, the sunsets and sunrises were memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take walking boots and waterproofs and enjoy the local countryside and nearby villages.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Walking to local shops at Howden was good. The experience of the cabin gave us some insight into sustainability and plenty of food for thought.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


The cabin was beautifully constructed and we enjoyed a very relaxing time in an interesting part of the country.

Reviewed on 30 Jul 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The building itself that we stayed in - a straw bale cabin. I'd never even heard of such constructions before and so I was intrigued at the prospect. I loved its comfort, location and overall kookiness.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light! Much of what you need for a self-catering holiday is provided including towels, toiletries and basic foodstuffs. There's also an honesty cupboard from which you can buy other foodstuffs.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


More than any other holiday I've ever been on. The cabin was built on a working farm and so there was regular contact with the local people there, and all pre-paid food orders were locally sourced. And the building itself was constructed using local materials and a photo album even showed how local people had contributed to its construction.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


10 out of 10! I am already looking forward to returning.

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Knowing that we were staying in an eco-friendly cottage made of straw. All of
our electricity was produced by the solar panel and small wind turbine on site.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just go ahead and book!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Definitely minimized our impacts on the environment through re-newable energy
and the compost toilet, as well as the promotion of recycling. We visited local
attractions and ate at nearby restaurants and cafes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


We loved the location of the straw bale cabin, right in the middle of a working farm, beautiful countryside all around. The only noises the sounds of the animals and birds. Bliss for get away from it all city dwellers.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take lots of books to read, good food and some liquid refreshment and be prepared to chill.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes there is local foodstuffs available, the cabin itself is very ecologically sound, generating its own power via wind and solar routes. Recycling is encouraged and all products are animal friendly. Bicycles are provided and use encouraged, this was a great way to explore the surrounding area and so easy with all the country lanes and lack of hills!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We loved our holiday and would encourage others to go too, it was fab!

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Blacktofts Sands RSPB reserve, - in particular, the hen harriers. Howden an unexpected pleasure, inc. its minster. Easy (if v.wet) walking. The straw bale cottage is a delight - the owner is a sweety.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


1 Eat at Loftsome Bridge Hotel, not inexpensive, food is vg so do not be put off by florid and appallingly misspelt menu.
2 Use v. frequent local train services.
3. cycle (bikes, if a little tired, provided) as much as possible on flat roads, inc. to Lower Derwent Natinal Nature Reserve - Bubwith Ings

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We shopped locally (Howden) butchers, greengrocers & Bangladeshi takeaway, so 'yes' to benefiting, and our use of bikes, trains and feet mitigated our impact on the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


V highly.

Reviewed on 27 Jun 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Quiet, relaxing holiday.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The cottage was very eco-friendly with solar panels, solar powered radio and a compost loo!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a lovely, relaxing holiday in a very beautiful part of the country.

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I went there for time and space to write. The cabin was ideal.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make use of going by train and getting your shopping bought for you for your arrival. You get met at the station and there are bikes available for exploring the local area.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


This is an ecocabin made of straw bales with solar and wind energy and a compost loo plus other composting facilities. The owner positively encourages travelling to the destination by train including a free pickup from the station and the use of bikes for your time there. She will also buy your food in from a selection of local shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I had a great time and would like to promote the cabin and the straw bale cottage soon to be completed.

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was all really lovely but I especially loved the cabin, it was so tranquil.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Consider going by train. The station is close by and Carol will pick you up. There are bikes available when you get to the cabin and there are some lovely (flat!) rides nearby. If you want to go to York then that is easily accessible by train. We took our car but I would definitely go by train next time. The Chinese restaurant in Howden was very good!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The nature of the cabin obviously has minimal impact on the environment. It has a little wind turbine which powers the lights and sockets and a composting loo! We spent a lot of time cycling and walking as the surrounding area is lovely. We used the shops and cafes in Howden which were mostly independent, excepting the Co-op.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I went there with my husband and 8 yr old son. We had a fantastic break and came back relaxed and rested despite having done far more exercise than we would normally during the course of a week. My son enjoyed 'fishing' in the adjacent pond (he didn't catch anything and would have been really freaked if he had!) Carol and her son showed us round the straw bale cottage they are building which looked fab and is a definite consideration for a holiday with my sister and her kids. Mostly what I will remember from this break is the complete relaxation and tranquillity.... loved it!!

Reviewed on 01 Jun 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Watching a barn owl hunting for food early evenings / mornings.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Leave all preconceptions, car and mobile phones at home!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The cottage is very very eco-friendly. All produce is locally sourced where possible.

Reviewed on 09 Sep 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The cottage itself - it's beautiful. It's obviously been built and furnished with genuine commitment to minimising harm to the environment. And it's cosy, comfortable and very quiet.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's a really great place to spend some time and get back into the slow lane for a while. Travel by train if you can - it means you have to walk or cycle if you want to go somewhere so it helps you stay in the slow lane.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, definitely. The cottage is a great example of environmentally friendly living, and the owner will collect you from the station if you travel by train. I also used local shops but you can pre-order local food or use the "honesty shop" in the cottage.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I loved the cottage and would definitely recommend it - regardless of whether or not you're into eco-living.

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