High hopes for High Barn Cottages

High Barn Cottages, Bempton - Angela and John Foster
High Barn Cottages, Bempton - Angela and John Foster

A complex of luxury self-catering holiday cottages is in the running for a national tourism award making it the best in the country.

High Barn Cottages, at Field House Farm in Jewison Lane, is one of only two Yorkshire finalists and five across England in the Self Catering Holiday of the Year category in this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

For owners John and Angela Foster, who spent two years renovating the crumbling barn at Field House Farm home into five self-catering eco-powered luxury cottages, it is a thrilling moment.

“This is the third time we have been asked to enter and when I read the email that we were finalists I was speechless,” said Angela.

It means High Barn Cottages now goes forward to the awards ceremony at the Sage, Gateshead on Monday 11May when it could be crowned the best in the country.

This year’s VisitEngland awards attracted 345 applications across 18 categories, and all finalists are guaranteed to get either a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended award.

John and Angela opened High Barn in 2011. It is the latest addition to the couple’s long- established tourism enterprise, part of their farm diversification. Their farm is already home to Field House Farm Cottages, a development of six luxury self-catering cottages which opened in 2003.

Converting the barn had been a long term ambition in the steady growth of their family run tourism enterprise to offer top end of the market visitor accommodation.

The Foster family’s farming heritage can be traced back 500 years and have been based at Field House Farm for five generations since 1887.

They have always believed in offering visitors the best they can, on their tranquil, private site, surrounded by wildlife, close to the spectacular cliffs, of Bempton and Flamborough and Wold scenery. Supporting wildlife is an important part of the business. For example, a web-cam in the Barn Owl box at High Barn, relays images to each cottage, and generates huge interest.

High Barn already holds the only Green Tourism Business Gold Award for Self –Catering in East Yorkshire, the White Rose Award 2012 for Self- Catering Accommodation, Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards (REYTAs) 2012 Remarkable Newcomer, REYTAs.

If they are successful, the VisitEngland award is about the highest they could get.

To see what they hope will win them the top award, take a look at their website: www.highbarncottages.co.uk