There are some dark goings on around Robin Hood's Bay this next couple of weeks as the Dark Skies Festival gets underway. It runs from 15th February until 3rd March and details of the many events planned can be found on the National Park's website at www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/darkskies. Here at Skerry Hall Farm we are priviledged to enjoy superb dark skies away from street lights and the light pollution glow of large connurbations. There are few places better to enjoy starry skies or the moon, which is spectacular when seen across the bay reflecting on the sea. There is a full moon on 19th February.
No sooner have family and friends departed after Christmas than it seems the time for reopening our B&B is upon us, with just over three weeks to go now until Friday 15th February. We thought that it was hectic preparing for Christmas, with family arriving from Australia, Iraq and Trinidad, as well as the UK, but we are just as busy now preparing for our first guests of 2019, making marmalade and jams, as well getting on with jobs such as TB testing the herd, fitting a new hot water cylinder, etc. etc.
Summer has truly left us now, and altering the clocks in the early hours of the morning will serve to underline that. The days may now be shorter, and the weather more variable, but there is still plenty to see and do around Robin Hood's Bay. There is plenty of colour in the hedgerows, particularly with this year's heavy crop of holly berries (will they last until Christmas?), and if you are dressed for the changeable weather it's a wonderful time to go walking.We still have vacancies until after the Victorian Weekend in December, when we will close until February next year.
The moors are clad in their purple mantle once more as we reach the peak of the flowering season for the heather. It seems a little earlier this year, and if other plants are any indicator it may not last as long as usual following the hot, dry spell we have had. The extremes of temperature this year - the bitter cold of the 'Beast' and the recent roasting - have played havoc with grouse numbers, so for those with an interest in that it is perhaps not such a glorious twelth today. But if your interests lie in walking, cycling or visiting this area in a more leisurely manner the moors really are at their best right now.
We have enjoyed some glorious weather this past month, and it seems set to continue for a while yet. The lavender in the yard is looking at its best as a result of the Mediterranean climate, and is attracting a host of bees, butterflies and moths, including the hummingbird moth. It is perfect weather to escape to the coast for a couple of nights, or a longer break, and enjoy the delights of Robin Hood's Bay and its surroundings. Guests are always welcome to sit in our garden to enjoy the spectacular view, and if they don't want to drive there are beautiful walks down to the Bay and over the moors above us, where the heather is just starting to come into bloom.
Autumn came rapidly, and before we knew it we were starting to slip into winter with its colder mornings and darker evenings. But every season has its virtues, and we have been treated to some beautiful sunrises and glorious moonlight over the sea. On a fine day there is little to beat going for a walk at this time of year - the air seems so much clearer and photographs have that extra crispness to their focus - and few places can be better located for walking than Skerry Hall. Even cloudy or misty days can produce some beautiful sights - atmospheric glimpses of the countryside and the villages that seem to defy being placed in time. Taking a break at this time of year can be very rewarding as places aren't so crowded as earlier in the season and yet there is still plenty to see and do. In Robin Hood's Bay the Victorian Weekend running 8th - 10th December is well worth catching, and local shops in Bay and Whitby give the opportunity of finding Christmas gifts that you won't find elsewhere. We are open for bookings until the end of the Victorian Weeekend, so why not treat yourself to a short break? Or why not treat someone you love with a voucher for a stay at Skerry Hall Farm at a time to suit them? They are available for any amount towards the cost, just email or phone for details.
August turned out to be a very busy month for us with guests in the B&B accommodation and cows calving. Blossom, our oldest cow, unfortunately lost her calf, but we do have three youngsters all born within a week and a half of each other. Our recent guests have been delighted to see the young calves with their mums.
Summer is drawing to a close now and we are entering one of our favourite times of the year. The pattern of the fields that we look out on is changing colour daily as crops are harvested and they are prepared for next year, aided by the spell of hot weather we have enjoyed. This week we have also been treated to the beautiful sight of the harvest moon rising over the sea - truly stunning.
Summer is moving on - the soft fruits are ripening in the warm weather, and this past week has seen Jan making raspberry jam. Its yet another homemade preserve to offer our guests at breakfast, to join the marmalade, blackcurrant jam and bramble jelly. Its not too late to make the most of the better weather and book a short break at Skerry Hall Farm. Why not treat yourself and come and experience for yourself the quality B&B that our guests are raving about on Trip Advisor? Just look on our individual room pages to check availability on the calendars, and your well-earned break is just a couple of clicks away with our online booking system.
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