FOR THE PERFECT STAYCATION
Set in a picturesque rural location, nestling on the foothills of the South Pennines, The Woodman Inn is the ultimate place for a staycation.
As we drove into the tiny hamlet of Thunderbridge, near Huddersfield we discovered a haven of peace and tranquility. It was hard to believe we were less than an hour’s drive from some of the county’s bustling cities.
From its humble beginnings as an 18th century drinking inn, The Woodman Inn is now a force to be reckoned in its glorious countryside setting for a relaxing and luxurious staycation, a wedding venue not to mention the superb food it serves in its restaurant.
One of the most endearing things about The Woodman is the fact you feel as if you have been transported back in time. The black and white exterior and the fact there are no other properties but those of The Woodman nearby make it unique and give it an exclusive feel. I almost expected Jane Austin to pop out of one of the cottages and the ladies of Cranford to parade down the street!
The Wood has undergone an extensive, but lovingly completed refurbishment They are proud to have reconnected with their conservation area surroundings and have brough the outdoors inwards with rustic planters, herbs and greenery that festoon the bar and most of the nooks giving a tasteful but true country ambience.
Accommodation at The Woodman consists of spacious double rooms and suites but the jewel in their crown are their three beautifully renovated cottages as we were shortly to discover.
I had to pinch myself as we walked a few yards out of the Woodman to what I termed as my dream country cottage. We opened the door and here was our home from home –what really felt like our own private country cottage retreat.
The lounge area was large with a stone fireplace, a large sofa, chairs and a tastefully placed flat screen T.V. with a flight of stairs up to our bathroom and beamed bedroom. Both of us can honestly say in our relevant professions, we are “world travellers” but what made this so special was stepping from such an historic looking exterior into our own personal space and home from home.
The small cottage windows were festooned with linen blinds and there was lots of space upstairs with a coffee machine, another flat screen T.V. and every modern convenience and lots of wardrobe space.
A marble bathroom with a large walk in shower and a deep bath was perfection and was tastefully decorated for those long soaks.
Food at The Woodman is of the highest order – the best recommendation was a packed pub dining room mostly full of locals – unfortunately we were unable to eat in the upstairs dining room as it was being prepared for an early wedding breakfast – but I loved the ancient inn atmosphere with the hustle and bustle and yet all the covid safe measures in place. The staff are friendly here and make you feel special yet at home.
Head Chef, Andy Lynam has created an impressive small but select menu with something for every taste putting on Yorkshire spin on some of his favourites. There’s also a comprehensive, reasonably priced wine list plus a small selection of cocktails.
For starters I chose the Ham Hock Terrine served with Piccalilli and leaves and Sourdough bread. The terrine was smooth and very tasty and I loved the small board presentation and the obviously home made Piccalilli although the leaves tended to be overdressed.
My partner chose from the small plates menu for his starter choosing Onion Bhaji with Yoghurt and Coriander. The sauce was good and the Bhajis very crispy and he was more than pleased with his choice.
The Small World Beer Battered Haddock was my choice for main – Small World – it was more like a whale with a very big portion of triple cooked chips that unfortunately were a tad overdone – but I like them that way, tartare sauce and minted peas. The batter was crispy and hot and the fish succulent and moist.
My partner chose the lamb and he declared “it was the best piece of lamb he had tasted for a very long time and even now he is still extolling the virtues of the lamb he had at The Woodman. It had a wonderful taste, was tender and tasty and it was a generous portion which came with asparagus and potato fondant.
We sat over our wine for a while before ordering desserts. My partner chose salted caramel ice-cream, which was deliciously creamy and not overly sweet.
My heaven on a plate was really a true piece of heaven and a work of art in presentation. Parfait can sometimes be overly sweet however this was served with fresh peach and tangy raspberries the perfect combination for this dessert. The scoop of parfait had been rolled in almonds which complimented the dish.
After dinner we decided on a short walk up the street but the Yorkshire rain made it a very short walk so we finished our drinks under the canopy before retiring to our Jane Austin like cottage to enjoy a warming drink whilst watching a film from the plethora of TV.channels available
Next morning would the weather have been not so rainy we would have been tempted to take a short meander on one of the marked trails in the vicinity, for this area is perfect both for short strolls or serious walkers.
The Woodman breakfast really needs a mention as it is just so good. Hotel breakfasts even at the most perfect hotels can still be nightmares! But the Woodman breakfast is individually cooked and they really can poach eggs and the toast is served hot and buttered!
Around Thunderbridge there is lots to do. The Yorkshire Sculpture Park is eight miles away or why not visit quaint Holme Firth, location for Last of the Summer Wine. Just five miles away it has some quirky shops, a gallery of Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson’s paintings whilst even nearer the Yorkshire Yummy Ice Cream Parlour is just ten minutes away with its artisan ice cream with Cannon Hall Farm and Halifax Eureka perfect places for families or the kids.
The Woodman Inn can be exactly what you want it to be a romantic, family or friends destination. It also is licenced for marriages and is holding a wedding fayre on 4th July.
The Woodman Inn, Thunderbridge Lane, Kirkburton, Huddersfield HD8 0PX
Tel: 01484 605778. Website woodman-inn-com Email: hello:woodman-inn.com