Yorkshire cottage sleeping 4, England


Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Yorkshire cottage sleeping 4, England


The Straw Bale Cottage is a show case of environmentally responsible building. Although there are a handful of straw bale houses in the UK, the Cottage and the smaller Cabin across on the other side of farm are the first vacation homes. 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. Regular open days attracted many local visitors. Many more enjoy individual guided tours or listen to presentations we give about sustainable building.

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 locally made clay tiles and insulated with sheep’s wool. Natural paints and finishes have been used throughout.

We have a great little railway station nearby; quiet but well served by trains from anywhere in the UK. It's only a short walk to the cottage, bicycles can be hired locally, we provide a buy local shopping service and in-cabin honesty shop. 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.

Outside we have large traditional hawthorn hedges. They are covered in blossom in the spring and berries in the autumn - the birds love them! The swallows are a particular joy in the summer - they nest on the porch and it is a real treat to see the babies peeping over the edge! There is an enormous, old oak tree too which brims with wildlife. The lawn includes lots of white clover, beloved by the bees and we have wildflower areas too. The new fruit trees have already provided a few pears and apples!


Having lived locally for over 40 years, we know all the best places and will gladly provide any information you need. We are blessed with lots of family run shops and cafes in Howden. It's a very friendly place - steeped in history too.

2 Reviews of Yorkshire cottage sleeping 4, England

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 28 Jun 2013 by

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

The incessant birdsong was wonderful.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go by train and use the shopping service. There are walks from the door and the station is only a mile away so day trips to places such as Beverley are easy. The walk into Howden across the fields is a couple of miles and delightful.

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

I spent some money locally, arrived by train and supported a business which is testing out eco building.

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

Fantastic. Lovely cottage, very well stocked and furnished. Very friendly and helpful owner. The cottage is spacious and in bad weather you can sit and gaze into the garden and listen to the birds.

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2011 by

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

We were intrigued to stay in a house made of straw bales and to see how recycling/ reuse can be put into practice and good effect.- we were not disappointed! We found the photo albums showing the building of the house really interesting.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If intending to take a trip by train whilst there be aware that station car park can be very busy.

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

We shopped locally, and found local residents / shop staff to be very helpful and friendly.

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

Good and restful. Carol (owner) was very helpful, friendly and accommodating.

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