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Broadrake Bunk Barn

Brilliant  Bunkbarn

Although it only opened to guests in the second half of 2016, Broadrake Bunkbarn in Chapel-le-Dale, near Ribblehead Viaduct, is already building a hugely enthusiastic following. One guest, who stayed in a 20-strong party with the North York Moors Walking Meetup Group, told Trip Advisor “The quality, standards and facilities are quite simply outstanding. The group had a fantastic  time and we have booked another twice. First class.”

Another visitor raved about the “wonderful open plan kitchen and living area” with “lots of nice little touches around the place.”

All of which is a tribute to the careful thought and planning put into the project by Rachel and Mike Benson. The couple, who five years ago were living in Harrogate, searched for the right property for six months in the Dales and the Lake District before finding the seventeenth century former farm which lies at the foot of Whernside.

Putting green ideas into practice

Having moved into the old farmhouse, they soon started putting their green ideas into practice. One of their first projects was to plant a field behind the house with 600 native trees in collaboration with the Woodland Trust, who also helped plant them. As a thank you, the group had a free night’s accommodation.

Inspired by the Dales hay meadow restoration schemes, Mike and Rachel are managing the centre part of the field with wildflower improvements, annual mowing and winter grazing. A wildlife pond has also been added with the help of the National Park and local friends.

Their green approach is echoed in the barn where the installation of a wood pellet boiler provides not just the barn’s but also the farmhouse’s heating and hot water. Even the water treatment plant is wind powered.

Events with a green agenda

The barn provides not only comfortable accommodation but also hosts events that reflect a green agenda. The Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust launched its “Stories in Stone” heritage programme here. There have been courses on scything (useful not just to Rachel and Mike who went on the first one, but to anyone with a hay meadow), basketry, willow weaving and blacksmithing.

Most guests don’t use their cars once they arrive, minimising  their carbon footprint and visitors arriving on foot can easily walk the two flat miles from Ribblehead station, even with a backpack. Not that anyone complains when they get there, because it’s an unexpected bonusto find such a brilliant bunkbarn in such a  stunning location.

For further information, call Mike and Rachel Benson on 0152 424 1357 or visit

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