We offer a number of the more usual amenities associated with self-catering properties, but it's our Leisure Suite with indoor its heated swimming pool, spa and sauna at Mel House Cottages which is the key reason for couples, families and larger groups choosing to take a holiday or a short break here.
We think we've put this former three-sided low barn with double-glazed conservatory area on its fourth south-facing side to good use. It's available between 9:00am and 9:0pm.
Access is via a self-closing door with wheelchair-friendly low threshold and digital lock, the code for this being provided by us only to adults. Exposed beams and purlins in the roof void are highlighted by atmospheric lighting whilst full (wheelchair-accessible) changing, shower and toilet facilities are available to meet all practical requirements!
Please note that use of the following facilities in the Leisure Suite will be at your own risk and that children and non-swimmers must be supervised at all times. In particular, it should be noted that the pool depth is a constant 1.2 metres throughout.
Excepting our sauna, use of these facilities is included in the rental rate for your accommodation. Because only around 15% of Guests use the sauna, we do not effectively 'overcharge' those who don't want to use it by including its use in a rental rate but charge for its use via a meter, which accepts £1 coins, so that it's only those who want to use it who pay for it.
We aim to maintain the pool temperature at 29 degrees Celsius, as is the case for the temperature of the air. That's quite a costly differential to maintain when in winter it's sometimes below freezing outside - but our wood pellet boiler does the job admirably!
We've made our pool a bit special by installing a powerful counter-current device, which uses a 4.5 horsepower pump to permit swimming 'on the spot', at one end of the pool. The fact that the pool is effectively 'infinite' in length as a result is a reason for why its 'size' – except for the very strongest of swimmers – doesn't mean it's of limited use to those wanting to use it for some serious exercise! For the record, however, it's a little over 6m long by 3m wide and is 1.2m deep throughout – that's sufficient 'swimming depth' for an adult, so unlike some pools there's no shallow end where it isn't possible to swim.
Please note that we do not supply any swimming aids for children and non-swimmers. There's just one reason for this – if we did so we'd not be covered under our insurance policy for any possible accident associated with such equipment. This is unfortunate as such items can occupy valuable space in a car but you'll obviously understand our position.
Exercise in the Pool, relax and indulge yourself in the Spa – on holiday, you've surely got time to be just a little decadent!
With water temperature being maintained at 37.5 to 38.5 degrees Celsius, it's at the safer end of the 'range' when it comes to who should and who should not use the spa. It's not suitable for everyone, however, and we need to post a 'health warning' here. For example, it should not be used by those with any form of heart disease, anyone who is pregnant, children under aged 5 years (as their ability to lose body heat hasn't yet developed), or anyone who's had a 'certain' amount alcohol. Basically, if you're in any doubt about whether you or anyone in your Party should use the spa you should clarify this with your respective Doctors before your holiday here.
Our Sauna Cabin accommodates 4 or 5 people in a seated position - 2 lying down! As in the case with most Saunas, ours has benches at two different levels. Bathers on the higher bench will experience more heat while those using the lower bench will feel a little cooler.
Here are some comments you should consider if intending to use our sauna:-
- First of all, make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy the experience.
- First time users should spend no longer than 20 or 30 minutes in the cabin but if you are in good health and built up your sauna use gradually then you might consider extending each session to, say, 50 minutes.
- Traditionally, people alternate hot and cold when they sauna. Most spend 10-20 minutes in one before stepping out and taking a cold shower – not possible here as ours delver water which is pre-mixed at 40 degrees Celsius – or a swim to close the pores.
- You should aim to allow your body to rest outside the cabin for the same amount of time that it was inside before another round of sauna commences. This reduces stress on the body, and provides you with the opportunity to drink some water and to rest.
- Although saunas are regarded as one the best places to relax, we should point out that there are some risks in sauna use: bathers should drink plenty of water before, during, and after the experience, and should refrain from alcohol use. If you experience dizziness or nausea, you should get out immediately and cool down.
We're not medical advisers – so you'll need to do your own research before your stay here in case our sauna cabin is not the right place for you to be. In particular, and finally, there are those for whom a sauna is not regarded as suitable – for example, with medical issues like high or low blood pressure, heart disease, or pregnancy. If you are unsure about whether taking one is safe for you – but want to do so – please do consult your doctor prior to your stay here.
Enclosed Water Garden with Fish Pond
Our Water Garden is enclosed by a stone wall-bed and, beyond, a lengthy flower bed having many varied plants which provide a real 'show' during the warmer months. Access is via a gate which can be secured by a combination padlock when there are young children around.
We have two ponds – the larger one containing various species of freshwater fish, the other being intended for 'wildlife' – which are linked by an artificial stream created by pumping water from the lower to the higher pond via a small waterfall.
This is the place to sit on a bench and relax whilst watching the fish as well as the various common and less common birds, frogs, toads and insects which are attracted to a peaceful spot with moving water. There are also newts in the wildlife pond but you'll struggle to spot them so perhaps this is not an objective you should set yourself when here or your holiday will pass you by rather quickly!
Stabling & Paddocks
We are pleased to be able to offer DIY Livery facilities from May to September for those wishing to bring their horses or ponies on holiday with them provided they are appropriately insured. We have two stables available and two paddocks, one being the size of a Menage, as that is what it was, and the other approximately ¾ acre in size.
This is fantastic riding country and it is possible to exit our larger paddock straight into the 'back lane' which defines the eastern boundary of our village. From there, you're 'off' – including access via a bridleway to Newtondale, Cropton Forest and the North York Moors National Park!
We have a ¾-sized Table Tennis table sited within our 3-sided Open Bay building at the centre of our small complex. If you intend to use this it would be sensible to bring your own of table-tennis balls – and keep hold of them! We do supply these but they tend not to last very long – particularly when there's more than a couple of them available!
Fast fibre optic Wi-Fi broadband is available free of charge. We do ask, though, that devices are not left connected unnecessarily when not in use.
Not actually 'on-site' but in the Village approximately 600 yards away is a very nice wooden Play Area.
This is the 'kettle' type and very easy to get going and keep alight. It's on a pair of wheels and just waiting to be moved to a suitable, safe position and used.
These are available via a 'dispenser' – as uniquely designed by the Owners! – for use in the wood-burning stoves which are in both Mallard and Swift cottages.
Please note that you should bring your own kindling – available from local shops if you choose not to bring it with you. It might seem like 'cheating' but it would also be sensible to use fire-lighters, not provided by ourselves, as this will make your efforts at getting your wood burning stove going far less frustrating, to put it mildly!
Washing Machines & Tumble Dryer
Two washing machines and one tumble dryer are centrally located for use by Guests in each of our holiday properties. Like our sauna, these are all 'metered' – £1 coins being required – on the basis that it is those who wish to use them who should pay for their use.
Each of our holiday properties has a comprehensive information file as well as display racking carrying a large number of leaflets relating to a wide variety of local 'Attractions'.