I love looking for holiday properties and one of my favourite sites is Gorgeous Cottages. It is based in Richmond and specialises in the very best self-catering holidays. The owner, Christina, is fussy (in the nicest possible way) about what she allows on her books. She also insists on professional photographs so the website is a must-visit for those who love interiors.
One of their latest holiday homes is Olliver House , a huge Victorian farmhouse set on the outskirts of Richmond. Dating back to the mid-19th Century, it was once the family home of the Earl and Countess of Ronaldshay and sleeps up to 18 people. If you want to holiday like an aristocrat then this is the place, though unlike many country houses this one has all mod cons as it has just been refurbished.
Antique furniture sits alongside modern pieces and the flagstone flooring enjoys underfloor heating. There’s a ground floor drawing room with an open fire and this leads to a conservatory, which allows views of the grounds. There’s also a games room, dining areas and a huge kitchen with an Aga.
A formal dining hall allows you the chance to dress up and play “Downton Abbey”, though you’ll have to do your own fetching and carrying as there are no servants .
One of my favourite rooms is the bathroom.
The ground floor also includes a boot room, perfect for drying off those muddy walking boots after a day’s hiking across nearby Swaledale. Or you take a turn around the gardens and release your inner Elizabeth Bennet.