The Barn Pickering

There are converted barns, and then there’s Noelle Thornton’s gaff. This wonderful building is simply the most stylish, chic and sophisticated house for a country mile. And then some. 

Walk into the glass-fronted, spacious interior and your gaze soars to the huge roof light; the open plan aspect is thrilling. Exposed brick walls and oak beams nod to the building’s agricultural past; the rest is an homage to cutting edge design. 

Noelle’s creative eye is sublime. Her collecting habit marries eclectic vintage finds with a Conde Nast sensibility. Put in some serious lounging time on a sleek Bo Concept sofa at one end of the stunning living space: along another side a super-streamlined kitchen. Not that you have to cook: Noelle will arrange a top-flight chef to come and do the hard work for you: all that’s left to do is organise the seating plan. Such a treat, sitting at table, looking out onto the Italian courtyard, demanding seconds.

A sitting room at the far end of the barn has a state of the art telly and sumptuous leather sofas: if you have fears about a space as vast as this being chilly, forget it. As well as the contemporary Danish wood burning stove there’s underfloor heating throughout. A charming, secret garden is reached through a glass door: the perfect spot for a flute of fizz and a good book. 

Fabulously firm beds dressed in Egyptian cotton on the mezzanine level are reached by an elegant glass and walnut staircase: textiles throughout are top-notch. Spend time in the Vileroy and Bosch tiled bathrooms – it really is altogether stunning.

Add to this heady mix a strikingly beautiful, sunny hostess who with her retired GP husband Tim will design a bespoke itinerary to make your stay eventful. Invite your best friends. Celebrate. It’s time spent in a gloriously cool space in one of the prettiest parts of the county. Time that will burn itself into your memory forever.


How Much?     £550 to £955 (and a bit more at Christmas) per week. Short breaks from £385   

Kid’s Stuff?     In general, yep. Check with Noelle prior to booking. 

Well Placed?    You’re bang smack in the middle of the North Yorks Moors National Park, so the walking is unsurpassable. Rievaulx Abbey, Duncombe Park, Nunnington Hall and Castle Howard are a short hop, and it’s not much further to the magestic coast and all its glories.

Good Grub?    The White Swan in Pickering is an elegant, characterful coaching inn with an old-skool snug and great food. Get good pub grub at The Fox & Hounds in Sinnington, and a bit further afield, the Black Swan at Oldstead is a fabulous M star night out, and the food and vibe at the Star at Harome will knock your socks off. 

The Barn

The Barn, Middleton Hall, Pickering, YO18 8NX


Tel 01751 472283

View larger map

Type: Self-Catering

Part of Stay North Yorkshire

Review by Mandy, 6 May 2012

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