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My wild weekend: embracing winter

This month we sent Jonny and Hannah, of Finding Our adventure, to Lark Cabin for our series following members of our community living a life more wild! Full time travel adventurers, writers and content creators from the UK, Jonny and Hannah have visited over 40 countries, learning the best tips and tricks for travel. You’ll usually find them road-tripping in their self-converted campervan with their two cats Tia and Skye, taking the slow road to explore the world, and the very best of the UK.

Lark Cabin is on the incredible site A Place in the Pines, where not only the cabin, but the interiors and furnishings are all hand made by owner, Matt. A Scandi-style showstopper, Lark’s a stunning space, with some rather incredible features, but enough from us, over to Jonny and Hannah…

We’ve stayed in cabins all across the UK, from Cornwall to the Cairngorms. What we love the most about them is that they are a place to disconnect, immerse yourself in nature and escape the hum of everyday life. There’s also something special about the way they tend to be designed, with simplicity in mind and using natural elements that help them blend into their surroundings. Whenever we’re thinking about going away, they’re our preferred option for somewhere to stay.

We weren’t sure exactly what to expect with Lark, but having never been to the North York Moors we were excited to explore more of the local area. At the very least, we knew we’d be getting the chance to relax, eat delicious food and spend quality time together nestled among the trees. We also bought our adventure pal Tia… she’s visited over 10 countries but also is quite happy just snoozing on the sofa and watching wildlife. Oh, and naturally, she’s a cat. It was great to be able to find somewhere she was also welcome.

We started the first day sipping tea comfortably on the sofa next to the large window, spotting the many visitors to the cabin – squirrels, pheasants and plenty of birds to send Tia’s senses running wild. And when we were done with the brew, we checked the forecast, as drizzle was speckling the windows. It predicted sunny spells in the afternoon, so after a lazy morning with Tia, we decided to walk to the Hanging Stone for a higher vantage point of our surroundings.

We left the Thimbleby village and took a route that wandered through a plantation of pine trees and past fields of sheep with the markings on their backs ready for Spring. Entering Thimbleby Bank Plantation, we took the gentle climb around the contours of the hill – only to discover we were faced with an even steeper incline to the summit! The effort, however, was so worth it to be rewarded with spectacular views across the valley from a perch on The Hanging Stone.

The autumnal colours were in their prime, with larch trees displaying their vibrant yellow hues, it was the perfect time to visit. Jonny climbed the slippery rock to get a better view from above and it made for a beautiful photo opportunity. On the horizon we could see rain coming in fast and, before we knew it, a thick cloud of fog surrounded us.

It might’ve been a little grey and a bit wet, but the best part about travelling at this time of year is it encourages you to travel slowly and make the most of good weather windows when they come! It can take some motivation to get outside, but with nice warm layers and a brisk stroll, you’ll quickly warm up and realise it was worth it.

As the cold weather sets in, this time of year is all about recovery and relaxation, taking the time to read that book you never started, or to try a new hobby. One of our favourite things to do is bake and during our time at the Lark Cabin we made some white lemon chocolate truffles, which were phenomenal.

Another benefit of travelling around the UK in Autumn and Winter is that you’re staying in off-season, compared to the summer months, you don’t have to compete with crowds, rush to get there early and quite often, you’ll get a better price for accommodation. You can also get to enjoy events like Harvest Festivals, Halloween and Bonfire night.

Of course, if you are going out at this time of year, you can also do your best to prep for it. To make the most of your time out adventuring, you need to think cosy! Bring the thick socks, the chunky knitted jumper and of course ample hot chocolate – with your biscuit of choice. And, if you’re an adventurer, make sure to pack your hiking boots so that you can get out and explore the beauty of the North York Moors National Park. Expect to get a little muddy in places – it’s also worthwhile packing a spare pair of trousers in case you get mucky.

You also have to think about the other stuff you might end up needing – you don’t want to end up too over-saddled, but having a few extra bits can be really useful if you want to get out and about! The Lark Cabin is very well stocked with most of the essential items you will need plus a few extras. There is an honesty shop that sells more firewood, firelights, honey, and other items you might need during your stay. Upon arrival, we were spoiled to be welcomed with a lovely selection of treats, local honey, eggs and milk.

Another obvious essential for a true British experience is to find the local country pub. When you’ve been on a walk out in the countryside, especially in the less than fair weather, be sure to finish it off with a stop in the pub for the peak experience. Get a table near the roaring fire to get toasty, and settle in. Here at the Lark, you’ll find The Golden Lion just a 40-minute walk away, or a five-minute drive. It’s actually the perfect time of year for a cabin, with time away from all the stresses of life, and all the ample hygge you need.

Sometimes, there’s no getting around the weather being a little much. And you can be forgiven for not being keen to hike in torrential rain. If you’re not in the mood for the great outdoors, we recommend bringing a Bluetooth speaker with you, for some relaxing music, an audiobook or podcast for some quality downtime.

We’ve created a playlist of our favourite chilled autumn/winter playlist on Spotify for you to enjoy whilst staying.

Here are a couple of podcast recommendations:

There’s also a great selection of books on the bookshelf at the Lark Cabin and one that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time is ‘The Island of Missing Trees’ by Elif Shafak. It was patiently waiting on the shelf to be read and I managed to read almost half, and I’m still reading and enjoying it so far.

One of the best parts of Lark Cabin was that it was designed with relaxation in mind and being able to soak in the bathtubs on the outdoor deck in the evening was just perfection. The fact that we could both enjoy a warm bath at the same time is an ingenious design which prepares you for a good night’s sleep. We love that the baths are covered by the roof allowing you to get outside whatever the weather, come rain or shine. So whatever time of the year, even winter, Lark Cabin’s the perfect spot to get away for a few days!