New self-catering rural escapes are the stuff of dreams in East Yorkshire

A vineyard dream and a lockdown ‘lightbulb moment’ are behind two separate luxury self-catering rural retreats opening this spring in the heart of East Yorkshire.

Glamping pods beside a newly planted vineyard, and a romantic Shepherd’s Hut in an orchard with countryside views, are both dreams come true for the two individual families who came up with the idea behind each development.

The first is Starlight Hideaway, a luxurious rural escape. Nestled in the sleepy village of Skeffling, near Withernsea, and surrounded by fields, this bespoke, handmade shepherd’s hut offers plenty of luxuries to go with the views.

Owners Emma and Dan Gent came up with the idea during the first lockdown in 2020. Realising how lucky they were to live in an unspoilt area, with country walks for miles and sandy beaches to explore, the idea for Starlight Hideaway was born.

Located in their ‘little orchard’, the Starlight Hideaway, crafted from high quality English oak, blends in perfectly with its leafy green surroundings. Sleeping just two people, it’s the perfect spot for a romantic country getaway, complete with a cast iron log burner, fitted kitchen with integrated hob and fridge, private bathroom, including large shower, and a full-size double bed under a glass skylight.

Outside there is an outdoor fire pit and wood-fired hot tub as well as a private seating area, surrounded by apple trees, flowers and views for miles.

The spectacular Spurn National Nature Reserve, one of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s most iconic locations, is a five-minute drive away, while the traditional holiday resort of Withernsea, with its promenade and Blue Flag beach, is 15 minutes away. An hour’s drive will take you to Flamborough and Bridlington. Prices start from £130 per night for two people (

Further along the East Yorkshire coastline is the result of another family’s dream.

Flamborough Glamping & Vineyard is a new development of eight luxury glamping pods – surrounded by the sea on three sides – and next to 7,500 newly planted vines, which it is hoped will eventually produce wines for guests to enjoy while overlooking the vineyard from their pod.

Aiming to offer guests a relaxing holiday and nature experience, it offers beach walks and country treks as well as nearby village pubs. The pods feature a generously sized bathroom, full sized kitchen space and living space and can sleep up to four, with a double sofa bed.

Behind the new site is the Gaines family. Thomas Gaines, who spent his childhood in the area, and his wife Marina, who fell in love with Yorkshire before she met her husband, were married at Thixendale in the Yorkshire Wolds, before making a home in London. But after their first son, Otto, was born, the couple wanted to spend more time together as a family and be in the outdoors more, so they left the Capital for a new life in Yorkshire.

Developing a family-owned piece of agricultural land in Flamborough, Thomas, an architect by trade, project-managed the glamping site, while the idea for the vineyard came soon after, as a way to develop another sustainable business with a distinctly local footprint.

By Autumn 2019, they had ordered 7,500 vines, which arrived in March 2020, just before the first national lockdown. With no means to hire help due to lockdown, the family planted the vineyard themselves, and are now nurturing the vines in the hope of a first future crop.

Keeping it in the family, another visionary behind the scenes is Thomas’ father Philip Gaines. A Yorkshire-born and bred agronomist, he sowed every grain of grass on the site himself, and he can most often be found checking the vines, or on his lawn mower.

The new glamping pods are set to welcome guests from the end of April 2021. Future plans include more pods, while still maintaining the small site’s feeling of privacy and tranquillity, and in the long term, adding a winery and visitor centre/café.

Prices for the glamping pods start from £250 for two adults, for two nights (

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