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Our Story

Based in Birstwith near Harrogate North Yorkshire our family is made up of Jonny & Sasha, our 3 children Charlotte, Fraser & Sophie and our menagerie of animals Pugalier  Ella-Boo & Giant Schnauzer Zena-Doo, barn cat Doris, Highland Cattle Ziggy & Mars Bar and more recently Alpacas George, Louie & Albie.

Jonny, Charlotte & Fraser love motorsport and can regularly be found racing their cars round an Autograss track.
Jonny has raced since he was a young lad and is a complete petrol head.

Sasha & Sophie are more into dancing. Sasha danced from a young age and still loves it.

We are a hard working team who love our holidays, and frequently visit Port Andratx in Majorca.

Our Journey

The initial idea for Haystacks Country Retreats came about during lockdown 2020 when Jonny & Sasha were both working from home and on a sunny evening would sit and enjoy the tranquillity and surroundings of our lovely home with a gin & tonic. This little routine soon became our escape from the numerous Teams calls and home schooling that had become our new working day, and led us to think about how we could share the experience with similar people who would appreciate a relaxing retreat from their busy every day life.

So, we began researching how we could offer a retreat site and what facilities we could provide whilst being considerate to our fellow villagers, wildlife and countryside.

Towards the end of 2020 Jonny sold the remaining shares in the successful Beaucare Medical Company he had set up 28 years ago (from his mums shed, with £300 borrowed from her) and Sasha took redundancy from a 32 year career at Skipton Building Society.

It felt as though the stars were aligning and the sunny G&T lockdown dream that was Haystacks Country Retreats started to become a reality.

Then the hard work really began with lots to be learnt, challenges to overcome and both exciting and daunting decisions to be made.

During the summer of 2021 Woodland Champions Club, an exempted organisation, granted Haystacks Country Retreats with a certificate which allowed us to crack on with our vision of locally made Shepherds Huts on the old Nidd Valley railway line in our woodland. 

We worked closely with Oli (olivershuts.co.uk) who handcrafted us two beautiful huts to our personal specification.

In addition during lockdown we had the opportunity to acquire Nidd House Farm, we thought long and hard about this as knew it would need a lot of renovation work with the added challenge of being grade 2 listed – however after researching the history of the property and falling in love with it the heart won and we decided it would be a privilege to have the opportunity to restore Nidd House Farm to her original beauty.

Late summer 2021 we finally obtained the relevant planning consents to commence Nidd House Farm renovation work. Once complete this property will be available through Haystacks Country Retreats