Special places to stay: Clova Cottage, Yorkshire with Classic Cottages

Review: Clova Cottage, Yorkshire with Classic Cottages

Welcome to Long Preston, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The Dales may be wonderfully wild and windswept, but in this pretty village, all is cosy – especially if you stay at charming Clova Cottage. Clova sits snugly in a terrace of stone cottages facing the old-fashioned village green on the edge of the National Park, and makes the perfect base for walking in and exploring all the delights of the Dales.

Clova is a surprisingly roomy home from home, with two comfy bedrooms upstairs and a dining space and bright kitchen downstairs. My favourite spot, however, was the wood-beamed sitting room. Although it was mid-May when we stayed here, it was unseasonably chilly and wet out-of-doors, and coming home to squashy sofas, a shelf full of books and – joy of joys – a roaring wood burner was a huge treat. A hot bath and a glass of wine by Clova’s toasty-warm fire was the perfect tonic after a rainy hike.

Up the stairs to bed – Clova’s two bedrooms are peaceful and pared-back, painted creamy white and with big double beds and windows overlooking the village green, so you can sit on the sill with a coffee and watch the world go by come morning. The family bathroom has a tub for soaking in – bliss.

Clova Cottage is also perfect if you’re bringing little ones – the second bedroom has a double bed and an ensuite, and if you bring a baby, as we did, the cottage will be made all ready for you with a comfy travel cot, a high chair and a changing mat. Sylvie thought it was delightful.

While the cottage is a snug bolthole, you’re likely to want to spend most of your time exploring the great outdoors from Clova. Ten minutes down the road is Settle, bustling as only a market town can be and crammed with tempting cafes, antiques shops and bakeries. Head here before an adventure to pick up cheese from the Courtyard Dairy, bread from Ye Olde Naked Man (they’ve been baking here since 1663) and a coffee or bits for a picnic from Forage and Feast. 


But what really cries out to the explorer is the magic of Yorkshire‘s wild spaces. To the north of Long Preston are the fells, moors and picturesque valleys of the Yorkshire Dales National Park; to the south are the wetlands and walking routes of the Ribble Valley and to the west is the Forest of Bowland, which feels a little like a lost pocket of wilderness. We managed to fit in plenty of hiking adventures during our stay – I loved walking in the Ribble Valley, a hike from Kettlewell into the limestone crags of the Dales and a trip to lesser-trodden Widdale, where you can spot red squirrels. We also walked in search of the famous Ribblehead Viaduct – an epic sweep of bridge carrying the Settle-Carlisle Railway across the moors (and at the end there’s a brilliant pub for a well-earned pint).

On our final day we went in search of a spot that has long been on my bucket list – Janet’s Foss, a quick drive from the cottage. Set out on foot from the village of Malham and it’s an easy three mile, family-friendly stroll through a wooded valley to reach this rushing waterfall. Legend has it that Jennett, queen of the faeries, dwells in a cave tucked behind the falls. In front, the cascade feeds a deep shallow pool of incredibly clear water with a sandy bottom. I defy you to visit this spot and not have a swim – the pool is cold but so crystal clear that it’s like dipping in a glass of iced water. Don’t worry if you get chilly – you can always head home to warm up by the fire at cosy Clova.

7 nights at Clova Cottage costs from £575, short breaks also available

Classic Cottages offer beautiful boltholes across Britain, ranging from the Cornish coast to the hills of Snowdonia and sleeping groups from 2-29. Get inspired by their curated collections, including sustainable eco stays, dog-friendly pads and, of course, cottages near cosy pubs!

Find more special places to stay in Devon and Cornwall from Classic Cottages and Unique Hideaways.