Sophia and I travelled to Scotland in May 2001 for my sister Barbara's wedding. While we were there, Mum and Dad suggested that we all plan to spend Christmas together. We had been thinking about this for some time and Mum and Dad had been looking for the right property. Before Sophia and I returned to Chicago, we spent a few days with Mum and Dad in Haslingden and one of our days out was spent checking out a cottage in Kettlewell. To make a long story short, the cottage was perfect and we had an amazing Christmas there in 2001. Barbara and I have been planning to return there for Christmas 2016, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of our last visit.
Since I love to plan (and yes, 2016 is three whole years away!), I'm going to document my planning here so that I will have a record and you can all see (if you're still reading my blog three years from now!) if everything went according to plan. As I said, I love to plan and this will be so much fun for me.
Since we are going all the way to England, and could most likely be coming from the West Coast, it seemed to make the most sense to plan for two weeks - one week in Kettlewell and another week somewhere else. I am planning on a second week in the Cotswolds area so that we can make some day trips to see family and friends while we are in England and I think Barbara is planning to take her boys to London. We'll save London for another trip.
Kettlewell is an amazing place. Mum spent a long time looking for the perfect cottage and she had quite a long list of requirements for properties to make the shortlist. It had to have at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms, it had to be located close enough to a town large enough to have a decent supermarket, it had to be within walking distance to at least one pub and one cafe/tearoom, and it had to have an open fireplace. She hit the jackpot with the cottage in Kettlewell. It had three bedrooms, two doubles and one triple with an ensuite, it was within driving distance of Skipton for the supermarket and little shops, it was within walking distance of three pubs, two tearooms, and a corner shop, and it had an open fireplace.
I could go on and on about Kettlewell. It's our dream to buy a cottage there if we ever win the lottery (of course, we'd have a better chance if we actually played the lottery!). It's so quaint, so picturesque, and right in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales National Park with lots of hiking trails for all levels. It really is a gem.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Kettlewell can be found here.