Holiday cottage at Goathland, near Whitby, scoops gold in national travel awards

John Brooks and Lynn Bowler at The Long Barn, Goathland
John Brooks and Lynn Bowler at The Long Barn, Goathland

Holiday home owners, John Brooks and Lynn Bowler, are celebrating after picking up an award for their property in Goathland.

The couple scooped gold in the Best National Park Property category for their unique stone barn conversion, nestled in the North York Moors National Park.

John Brooks and Lynn Bowler at The Long Barn, Goathland

John Brooks and Lynn Bowler at The Long Barn, Goathland

The Long Barn took home the trophy at the Sykes Gem Awards – a national travel awards programme run by leading UK holiday rental firm, Sykes Holiday Cottages.

Before turning their hand to holiday letting, Lynn, a former property lawyer, and John, a former firefighter, had spent years gathering inspiration for their own dream holiday home, having stayed in a variety of cottages across the UK.

When searching for the perfect property, Lynn and John spotted potential in The Long Barn, a stone-built barn conversion and fell in love with its rustic charm and spectacular location in the heart of the North York Moors.

Since the couple started letting out The Long Barn to holidaymakers back in 2017, they have reaped the rewards of a surge in staycations to North Yorkshire. Sleeping up to eight people, the property has become a popular place to stay among families and groups of friends seeking a rural retreat.

Mr Brooks said: “We’ve put so much into making The Long Barn a success, and constantly get great feedback from our visitors, but an award like this really does mean a lot.

"The trophy will definitely be given pride of place in the cottage.

“We love providing visitors with a home away from home - a chance to escape the hustle and bustle, recharge their batteries and spend quality time catching up with friends and family."

Surrounded by rugged open moorlands, The Long Barn is a walker’s haven, with numerous public footpaths and trails to explore the idyllic scenery on its doorstep, overlooking the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway.

The Sykes Gem Awards celebrate the best people and properties in the UK’s growing holiday cottage sector and were judged by a panel of industry experts including David Shields from Visit Yorkshire.

The Long Barn beat off tough competition from other shortlisted properties, with the judging panel impressed by the style and facilities on offer, along with guest feedback on cleanliness, comfort and value for money.

Graham Donoghue, Sykes Holiday Cottages’ CEO, said: “More and more travellers are opting for staycations over holidays on the continent, and last year we saw a 20 per cent boost in bookings to the North York Moors & Coast.

"Because of this, those with a second home or money to invest are increasingly turning to holiday letting – who knows, we may see them on the Sykes Gems shortlist next year!”

David Shields, from Visit Yorkshire, added: “I was blown away by the standard of the entries, so it was tough to choose between them, but Lynn and John and The Long Barn are very deserving winners.”