About Horton WHC

Front of the house in the sunshine

The Women’s Holiday Centre is in the small Yorkshire village of Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and is the only collective, non-profit-making, cooperatively ran holiday centre for women and children in the UK.

It was set up in 1980 as a charitable co-operative, by women involved in feminism and the women’s liberation movement. Since then, this volunteer-run women’s co-op has been making a difference to the lives of thousands of women and children from all over the country, by providing affordable holidays with a sliding scale for payments according to income.

We aim to keep the lowest charge for one night, including all the food you need to cook, at the daily rate of benefit entitlement. Other low-cost holiday options, such as renting a caravan or camping, can leave a woman feeling even more isolated and vulnerable than she does at home, with many more practical tasks to manage in a smaller space. In contrast, the Women’s Holiday Centre provides a uniquely supportive environment, where women often socialise together and        share meals etc.

Sharing the cooking and the eating!

Sharing the cooking and the eating!

The Women’s Holiday Centre is for all women, with or without children, on their own, or with friends. Women from all walks of life are welcome and visit regularly. The house offers a safe and friendly environment, where women and children can feel at home and get to know each other. Items such as towels, toiletries, and both adult and children’s spare coats/hats/gloves/wellies etc are kept at the house so that those using public transport have less to carry.

The part B&B, part hostel style accommodation consists of a mix of private and shared bedrooms, plus two sitting rooms, a large playroom, large kitchen and garden. There is a very relaxed and informal self-catering arrangement, with vegetarian and vegan food provided. During mid-week term-times, the house can offer a quiet place that can be ideal for women recovering from various illnesses or stresses.

Disabled access is very basic at the moment, and we are currently working to raise funds for substantial alterations to improve this. Please contact us to discuss any particular requirements.

Horton WHC is now being heated by a carbon-neutral biomass boiler. 

1426581_1776879519117690_122025135_nFor those of you wondering how Horton has managed to get itself a fancy ( and very expensive) boiler, listen to this.  It’s a good story! And we will need your help to write the next chapter. Like all good Horton stories, there’s a crisis, a conversation between women who have just met each other, and some special WHC magic (plus some co-operative working).

 A bit of history … 

March 2013 024…over time, the house saw a load of changes. A range of fantastic workers came and went. But the stove was there, keeping the house warm, heating the water for the lovely baths, and warming the plates and bowls for hundreds of meals. Over time, she grew old, and didn’t work so well, but we fixed her up and kept her going. She made a lot of work for our lovely women who keep the house running, and coated everything with a gentle layer of coal dust, but she was part of the house and we were very sad in March, when she finally stopped working. Also, it was flipping cold.

For quite some time the workers and MC and co op all scratched their heads for a bit. We considered all forms of heating the house. There’s no gas to the property, so that’s tricky. The people in the village who use oil are trying to change as it’s so expensive. Other options would have involved putting a more substantial power supply to the house, which would cost money we hadn’t got. What were we to do?? We loved the idea of a biomass boiler, but again that was going to be a lot of cash.
We have warm, nay, hot radiators and hot water heated by our wonderful carbon neutral machine. The house is now toasty.

Mugs For Sale!


We now have some limited special edition, unique collectible handmade and hand designed women’s holiday centre mugs! These are for sale at the centre so you can take something away with you after your holiday to remember it by, as the illustrations on them were created at the centre, of the centre. We are asking for a suggested donation of £10 per mug, and you can collect your mug at the centre. Contact us if you really want one but can’t make it up in time before they sell out!

Promote Horton!


Is there somewhere you could put a poster or some leaflets for Horton?

For leaflets please send a stamped, addressed envelope to us.
For posters you will have to collect them from the house as they are A2. They may be big but they are originally hand drawn and now hand printed for you to take home and put up somewhere near you!
Or you can print your own one-off here any size you want. You may want to colour it in!
Print poster 1 poster 2 poster 3

With our limited budget, it’s always difficult to reach new women, so we rely on your help.

Please also help spread the word by sharing comments and photos of your visit on our facebook page, or sharing our facebook page. You could also tweet about us!

Donate to The Women’s Holiday Centre


  1. I stayed at the centre many years ago ..with my daughters ..i was having some issues in my life. My stay at the centre helped me to focus and decide what to do. The environment is relaxing ,welcoming and the scenery is fantastic. The centre will always hold a special place in my heart. I hope to return one day.

  2. I came with a group of women and we had a reading weekend where we read to each other and talked about what we read, interspersed of course with walking. It was brilliant! Such a beautiful place, and lots of positive vibes seeping out of the walls from all those woman who have stayed over the years.

  3. I too stayed at the centre many years ago, and yes it was during a painful time of my life. The environment and the people I met there, that little moment (I was there for just two nights), made all the difference and I was able to leave with a clearer head. Centered and stronger. I too have always promised myself I would go back. Don’t ever close your doors ..please

  4. jasmine · · Reply

    it was simply great! had spend a weekend there! and i could feel my life coming back on track! was happier, joyful and lot more relaxed. maybe its the fact that we are living there as a community with other woman that makes it so special!

  5. Louise Hiles · · Reply

    Amazing place, in beautiful surroundings. Great place to get away from it all & back to nature, whilst the kids have fun too!

  6. Lovely place, last stayed in 1998. Will come back one day xx

  7. I have had some wonderful holidays at the women’s centre and met some great women and children. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the children mixing having fun in the garden or park, beautiful walks and the countryside is amazing !!

  8. The women’s holiday centre is something special. Not only is it unique in what it offers i,e, a women only environment but it gives a warm welcome to all in a homely environment based on sharing and co-operation. If you have never been – you have to give it a go and I tell you this much – once you have been, you’re going to keep going back time after time after time. Tell your friends and family.

  9. Alison Jones · · Reply

    Horton is an amazing place, just to watch the video brought back great memories. I brought my daughter here many times when she was young and she can still recount every time! I havent managed to get up for quite some time, but seeing the video made me realise that everyone needs some horton time and I will be making a visit soon. If you havent been then I urge you to do so, its just unique!

  10. jolene mckenzie · · Reply

    Hello i would like to know how i can book a stay with u .i have a 9yr old son who i would like to bring with.

    1. Hi there Jolene,

      To book for your stay all you need to do is give us a ring to let us know when you would like to come. You can check on our calender on the events page to see when we are fully booked or have ‘closed houses’. I am happy to say that boys are allowed to come when ever they want up to their 11th birthday, and after that we have arranged ‘older boys weekends’ that boys can come to until their 15th birthday, which you will be able to see on the calender when wanted.

  11. Sarah Collis · · Reply

    Congratulations to Cheryl who started working at Horton this week! Looking forward to visiting the house and getting some great Horton hospitality from a very special talented woman, good luck Cheryl xx

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