Finance

Yorkshire manor house and holiday lets re-open after pandemic purchase

A popular North Yorkshire holiday destination, forced to close during the pandemic, has reopened its doors to guests as new owners pursue an going refurbishment plan.

Birdforth Hall, which dates back to 1685, is a manor house surrounded by four converted barns, which now act as holiday lets.

It benefits from quick access to both York and Scarborough, sitting between the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales national parks, making it a popular destination for families and large groups.

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The property had to close its doors at the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, and was immediately put up for sale. Husband and wife Paul and Sue Sadler have stepped in, with the support of a six-figure loan from Lloyds Bank.

The couple have now kickstarted the refurbishment of the site’s four holiday cottages and pool complex, and are preparing to welcome the cottages’ first guests in over a year this Christmas.

Sue said: “Paul and I have always been keen to move into the hospitality business – in the past we have hosted weddings at our own farm, so have dipped our toes into that world. So when the opportunity to invest in Birdforth arose, we knew it was one we couldn’t miss.

“Birdforth is already a well-loved holiday destination. With easy access to the A19, it seamlessly blends your classic country escape with a city break and an unrivalled selection of local pubs and restaurants. We’re very excited to welcome back customers old and new, and to restore the estate to its former glory. By refreshing the look and feel, we’re retaining the warm, family-friendly feel that Birdforth is known for, while opening up new opportunities for bigger groups to enjoy the estate and surrounding area.”

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As well as refreshing the cottages’ interiors, the couple plan to install hot tubs, and will also be upgrading the interior of the main hall itself in the new year, while retaining its original features – such as the building’s 300-year-old wood panelling.

The refurb will also include creating space to host weddings – both ceremonies and receptions – with guests able to hire the whole venue to host family and friends.

Alongside the refurbishments, Birdforth Hall is working with a local butcher who can offer guests beef sourced from the estate’s own pedigree long-horn cows.

The grounds are also home to the Sadler’s prize pig, Bella, who has already become a popular local tourist attraction.

Craig Smith, relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “The UK hospitality industry has experienced a huge resurgence post-pandemic, and Sue and Paul have led the charge when it comes to capitalising on opportunities in the market. We’re pleased to be backing their investment in restoring what’s not only an iconic estate, but a key part of Yorkshire’s wider hospitality offering.

“We look forward to working closely with Sue and Paul as they continue to make Birdforth bigger and better in the coming months.”

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