“We had a non-simultaneous home swap with Frances and Simon this summer, and it was a great holiday! All the preparations went well, their house is just as beautiful as the pictures suggest and it\'s well situated to discover the North Yorkshire Moors and - though a bit farther away - the Yorkshire Dales. They provided us with very useful information on things to do and see in the area - which added up to wonderful holidays. Almost needless to say that they took very good care of our flat on their visit - so we\'d exchange with them again any time and give our heartfelt recommendation!”
Where is it?
Ampleforth is a very pretty, typical North Yorkshire village, on the south side of the Hambleton Hills, set in a quiet valley. It is a friendly community, still with a strong farming tradition, but is a practical place to live family life. We have 2 pubs (both do decent meals), a well-stocked shop, and a charming artisan café/bakery. The local sports centre is 2 km away, and has a swimming pool and the usual gym and squash facilities. There is a bus service to York and Helmsley, with extra services in summer.
The village is in the south-western corner of the North York Moors National Park, with superb opportunities for further sight-seeing, walking, cycling, riding and fishing on the doorstep (http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/visiting/see-and-do). The moors turn purple in August, when the heather blooms. York was the old capital of the North, has an astonishing history going back to the Romans, mediaeval walls, Viking heritage and a Norman cathedral, and is 25 km to the south (http://www.visityork.org/). Full local facilities can be found in the beautiful little local town of Helmsley, 8 km away, which has a castle and a weekly street market. We have 2 Michelin-starred restaurants (The Star at Harome and the Black Swan at Oldstead) within 12 km.
The sea-cliffs and sandy beaches of the North Sea coast are an hour away to the east: the high limestone fells of the Yorkshire Dales an hour to the west. There are plenty of ruined castles and prehistoric sites nearby, along with the splendours of Castle Howard, and Byland and Rievaulx Abbeys, all within 15 km. Nearest main airports: Leeds/Bradford (1 hour); Manchester (2.5 hours). London is 2 hours and Edinburgh 2.5 hours by fast train from York.
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