A Serendipitous Night in Dalby Forest (Plus Things to Do Nearby)

A Serendipitous Night in Dalby Forest (Plus Things to Do Nearby)

Oh Yorkshire, why are you so beautiful? As much as I love living in the centre of Leeds, I also love the fact that there is so much more to explore in Yorkshire, all of it beautiful. I don’t get to experience it as much as I would like to because a) I don’t have a car so I either need to use public transport or hire a car; and b) I often find it cheaper to get a short-haul flight and a cheap hotel abroad than to stay somewhere in the UK. But when I do have a ‘staycation’ in Yorkshire it’s always fabulous – and one of my favourites was at a stunning cabin in Dalby Forest where I spent a snowy February night between exploring the surrounding area.

As it was one of my favourite places I’ve staying in Yorkshire, I wanted to tell you all about it, plus give you some ideas of things to do nearby. Enjoy!

Serendipity Sherpherds Cabin

Serendipity is one of three cabins (Serenity and Dahlia being the other two) nestled deep in Dalby forest, which is on the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors national park. The cabins are owned by a lovely couple called Mark and Suzanne, who live just a few hundred metres from the cabins. Mark and Suzanne take huge pride in the cabins, and rightly so seeing as they built them themselves with timber from their own woods on the farm.

As it was winter, we arrived in the dark and the snow so we didn’t really take in the outside of the hut. This meant that our first impressions were of the interior, which immediately struck us as incredibly luxurious and cosy. You’d think that staying in a wooden hut in the middle of winter would be cold and depressing but it could not have been more snug and romantic!

After stepping up onto the wooden terrace (featuring a perfectly sized barbecue), which we’d discover the next morning looked out over rolling Yorkshire countryside, we stepped inside the cabin to see a huge, luxurious bed covered in plump cushions and furry throws. There was a small bistro table and chairs, a mini fridge for storing the all-important Champagne and a lovely ensuite bathroom equipped with fluffy towels, which was far superior to what I had expected from a wooden cabin! Everything was decorated with care and consideration to create the perfect Yorkshire getaway.

Inside Serendipity cabin in Dalby forest, showing a cosy king size bed with a faux fur through on top, a white bistro tables and chairs and bunting

Our evening was spent barbecuing in the snow, playing scrabble and drinking gin and tonic in bed. It was absolutely perfect. The next morning we woke up to the countryside views I mentioned, with snow falling and dusting the fields. A breakfast hamper was delivered to our cabin door by Mark, full of pastries, fruit and other goodies. After a lazy morning and a hot shower, we very reluctantly left to enjoy the rest of our day.

Girl stood in open doorway to Serendipity Shepherds Hut in Dalby Forest. She's leaning against the door and smiling at the camera.

Although the cabins are next to each other, we honestly didn’t notice that we had neighbours and it still felt perfectly secluded. It was just the two of us on this trip, but it’s good to note that if you were travelling as a family the Serenity hut next door also has bunk beds in there so is suitable for a family of four. Likewise, it would be great fun to go with a group and rent all three huts!

If this sounds like absolute bliss to you, the cabin can be booked through AirBnb here, and as you’ll see the price is a total bargain! If you haven’t used Air BnB before you can use this referral code to get up to £34 off your trip and make it even cheaper.

Dalby Forest

You don’t have to go far to find loads to do during after a restful night of sleep at Serendipity! Dalby forest is fantastic for walks, bike rides and picnics and you can pick up a map from the visitor centre. You could even just go for a walk straight from the hut if you wanted to stay nearby. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can book onto Go Ape for some tree top exploration or go off road on a Segway – I’ve done both of these on a separate occasion and it was so much fun! You will need to book ahead for these, which you can do here.

Scarborough

Scarborough is only half an hour away from Dalby Forest, making it a perfect day out before or after your stay! We made the mistake on this occasion of going on a freezing cold February day and walked about 50 metres from the car before turning back because it was just too cold. But during the summer Scarborough is your classic British seaside resort with a gorgeous beach featuring donkey rides, and a seafront lined with arcades, ice cream stalls and fish and chip shops.

whitby near dalby forest

But that’s not all. Ride the funicular from the seafront to the town and browse the high street shops, do some sightseeing from an open-top bus, wander round Peasholm Park, enjoy some entertainment at the open air theatre or explore Scarborough castle with stunning views out to sea and tasty afternoon tea! There’s also a SeaLife in Scarborough (which you can book here) AND a waterpark with a spa! In summary, there are a lot of things to do in Scarborough.

Whitby

My favourite seaside town, and about 45 minutes away from Serendipity and Dalby Forest. My favourite thing to do here is have a pint at Whitby Brewery, which is a micro brewery located just beyond the abbey once you’ve climbed up those dreaded steps. You can enjoy your local beer amongst the fermentation inside the brewery, or if it’s a nice day sit outside with views of Whitby Abbey.

Girl sat outside Whitby Brewery with a pint of beer, wearing sunglasses and smiling at the camera.

Drinking is definitely not the only thing to do in Whitby though. You haven’t visited Whitby if you haven’t eaten fish and chips on the beach (or at least tried to before getting pissed off with the chip-stealing seagulls), climbed the steps to the abbey or wandered the narrow streets perusing the independent shops. Other things to do in Whitby include coastal cruises, ghost walks, Whitby Pavilion, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, the Dracula Experience or the Captain Cook Experience.

Robin Hood’s Bay

Robin Hood’s Bay is about 40 minutes from Dalby Forest and if you haven’t been before you really must visit. It’s an old fishing village and much smaller than Scarborough and Whitby, but has a beautiful sandy beach with plenty of rock pools to explore. The streets are narrow and cobbled, and gently wind downhill to the shore, with plenty of small shops to peruse on your way. If you’re looking for things to do you can visit Robin Hood’s Bay Museum and the Old Coastguard station for some history or take a ghost walk if you dare, but personally I don’t think you need to do anything other than sit on the beach enjoying the views and maybe spotting a Grey Seal or even a Minky Whale from the shore.

There are endless other things to do in the area to use up all of that new-found energy from a great night’s sleep at Serendipity, and the above are just a small selection. You’re close to Flamingo Land (not just for kids, I can assure you), Castle Howard, Wolds Way Lavender and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway to name a few, as well as Helmsley which I’ve written a post all about here.

Let me know what your favourite Yorkshire getaway spots are in the comments, and if you book a night at Serendipity I’d love to hear about it!

Nell xx

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