….Stop press! …. We are re-opening applications, as we didn’t succeed in appointing at the recent interview day. The deadline for applications is 6pm Tuesday 20th Feb, and interviews will be on Saturday 24th Feb, with an overnight stay required on the Friday night, and provided free of charge. Please see the “Workers” page for details of how to apply.
Fancy coming mid-week? We offer “3 nights for the price of 2”, or 3 people stay for the price of 2 (cheapest stays free) mid-week during term time on request (excluding Friday and Saturday nights).
The Women’s Holiday Centre is based in the quaint Yorkshire village Horton-in-Ribblesdale, and is the only collective, not for profit, co-operatively run holiday centre for women and children in the UK.
The holiday centre 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 food, at the daily rate of benefit entitlement. Other low-cost holiday options, such as renting a caravan or camping, can leave a woman feeling more isolated and vulnerable than she does at home, as there are many practical tasks to manage in a smaller space. In contrast, the Women’s Holiday Centre provides a uniquely supportive and laid-back environment, where women staying often socialise, cook and share meals together.
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 hoping to raise funds for substantial alterations to improve this. In the meantime, we are committed to making smaller changes to improve access. Please contact us with any ideas or feedback, or to discuss any particular requirements.
If you’d like to know more about what is happening here and how you can get involved, contact us for our newsletter! This is sent out by email approximately once per month and contains details of all the exciting goings on at The Women’s Holiday Centre!
What women say about the WHC
Here are some of the comments left by our visitors:
A house that soon feels like home thanks to the combined efforts of all the women present, past and future!
Lovely place to stay, very nurturing, good vibes, beautiful setting, had some lovely days walking in the countryside.
Lovely, welcoming, relaxed homely atmosphere.
Very pleasant mini-break in good company. Warm comfortable room. Delightful countryside and no problem getting here by train and a short walk from Horton station.
A wonderful, beautiful, friendly communal place, an opportunity for women on low incomes to have precious rest and recuperation.
Absolutely amazing stay. The worker was so approachable and accommodating. It is a stunning location and felt at home immediately. Loved it! Thank you.
Absolutely brilliant place for people with chronic pain.
Lovely calm space to just ‘be’, welcoming and friendly people. It was good to feel it was ok to take space on my own and mix when felt comfortable. Felt I learned about myself in the process.
Love coming here!! Long may it last.
Always nice to come to Horton and refresh, meet other interesting women and socialise.
AMAZING! The place is a gem!
An absolutely fantastic stay with family and a friend. Made to feel very welcome. Beautiful staff members that engaged & took time out – on occasion reading, dancing & chatting to my children. Loves the whole ethos of the place & how it is run.
As always it feels like I’ve come home. I love this house, it has a peaceful soul. The workers are excellent.
Thanks to the worker for being a great host, super friendly and a laugh.
Was fantastic, lovely set of women, very relaxing. Women running it are very friendly and welcoming.
Great stay, great staff. 6th visit, will be returning.
A home away from home.
I brought my daughter (13) for her 1st visit and we had a lovely time.
The house was really clean and tidy. The workers are really nice and we enjoyed it.
Enjoyed my stay. Loved the books. Looking forward to returning.
Every time I come I feel renewed and nurtured by the spirit of the house and the women in it. I love it, thank you to all who keep it going.
Fantastic place to bring the children very relaxed and friendly perfect location, some places have a special kind of magic about them and this is one of those places.
Fantastic time and space. Even better to have ended up with the crochet ladies. I learnt a new skill.
For me it is a sense of safety and freedom of action that I find here that is a refuge and an opportunity for some restoration of my spirit. ‘Thank you’ is insufficient to express my gratitude.
Great first visit! Very welcoming and friendly and will definitely visit again!
Great space for kids.
Had a fantastic time. Great location and homely feel. Great value for money. Lovely workers.
Has helped me feel calmer and more relaxed, a great atmosphere and lovely old house. Everyone is so friendly and kind, thank you.
I arrived worn out after driving from Southport without the postcode of the house and only Settle coded into my sat nav. Big mistake on my part. On coming through the door there was a great feeling of home. The worker had been waiting and the kettle was on!
I love this house! it is a huge part of my childhood and it is a lovely place to stay.
I have enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and found it inspiring to be in a group environment with only women. Much love.
I loved it here, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. I automatically felt like part of a family.
Nice and hospitable staff, interesting events, wonderful atmosphere to relax and let the everyday stress go away.
Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly, I immediately felt at home.
It is a unique place in beautiful countryside which provides comfortable, friendly accommodation. I’ve had a lovely time here and will come back.
Thank you so much to the worker for all your help, we’ve had an amazing time, long live the WHC.
It was great! lovely and cosy room, great atmosphere. Super happy!
It was really nice to share a communal space again.
Its a lovely and calm home away from home. I came here to escape from my life for one night!
Just lovely. Welcoming. Relaxed. Abundant. Generous.
Love being here – such a relaxed and nurturing environment where I feel safe.
Loved it, very peaceful, great ethos and way of managing the space, keep up the excellent work.
Lovely, welcoming, fun, well resourced – great that there were spare wellies, rucksack, towels etc.
My daughter and I have had much needed time together in a peaceful, relaxed and cozy environment. Thank you very much.
Our stay was perfect, relaxing and welcoming.
Peaceful and pleasant as usual, friendly staff and fellow visitors. Enjoyable stay again.
Really enjoyed staying absolutely worthwhile, lucky to find the other women really grounding + friendly.
Really lovely place. Relaxing vibes. Cosy like a house.
Relaxed warm friendly place. Great atmosphere, feel safe and good company.
Relaxing space. Safe and friendly. No pressure. Everything you need is here. Part of a community. Thanks so much!!
The worker made me feel very welcome and I enjoyed having a good natter. It is a brilliant place with a lovely atmosphere. Also well equipped.
Really appreciate the existence of an affordable accessible women only holiday centre.
Such a lovely place to stay, welcoming and safe. A great idea.
Such a welcoming, relaxing, safe environment. Thank you and just what I needed.
Horton WHC remains a wonderful place.
Really enjoyed staying here – relaxed – chilled atmosphere in beautiful surroundings.
Such a wonderful, friendly place to stay, my daughter (14) and I have loved staying here. A great place for mother-daughter bonding.
A welcoming, warm, friendly and creative environment – it’s been a nurturing weekend.
Thanks to the workers for a lovely peaceful stay, exactly what I needed! Am leaving feeling refreshed & relaxed.
The house has a really special atmosphere – safe and exciting. The staff are always approachable and friendly.
The group workshops are brilliant. Love this place.
The reason I’ve kept coming back is the warm, welcoming atmosphere and the easy-going way of the house and all the women I’ve met over the years here.
V welcoming & cosy. I don’t see well at night, so stair light was v welcome.
Very relaxed, light hearted stay so cosy and warm. Wonderful workers.
Very warming, homely and cosy. We felt comfortable, enjoyed the company and linked the way the house operates. We will definitely come back again, good escape from the city.
Warm & welcoming – lovely staff and a really special place.
We enjoyed stay, loved the company of other house guests. My daughter made friends and was kept nice and busy playing with them.
We had a fantastic stay, loved how family friendly and accepting it was.
What a fantastic place – it’s been the perfect place to celebrate my birthday.
What a lovely place and people – a gem of a find. First visit of many.
What a special place, thanks for the space.
Wonderful, welcoming, safe, beautiful place to stay. Thank you.
Can YOU help promote this amazing unique space?
We have had two wonderful volunteers from Bradford and Brighouse who have helped to publicise the centre around Bradford and the district by sending out and hand delivering leaflets, visiting women’s groups in the local area and visiting community centres, schools and daycare centres. If you know of anywhere in your local area who would benefit from staying at the women’s holiday centre, please contact us for leaflets, our YouTube promotional video and our power point presentation so you can pass on this information either via post or in person. If you have to travel to get to a particular group, we can reimburse your travel expenses.
I really hope some of you take up this amazing opportunity! I often come here for a lovely stay in exchange for some work, as it helps the centre tremendously. Please pass this information on to anyone who might be interested. Thank you!
Is there somewhere you could put up a poster or some leaflets for Horton?
For leaflets please send a stamped, addressed envelope to the centre, or email us if you are unable to do this.
Please click on the links below to view and print our basic posters:
With our limited budget, it’s always difficult to reach new women, so we rely on your help to spread the word about this amazing, unique space.
Please help spread the word by sharing comments and photos of your visit on our facebook page, or by sharing our facebook page to your friends and family. You could also tweet about us!
The WHC is now being heated by a carbon-neutral expensive, biomass boiler, but it will be well worth it in the long-run! Like all good Horton stories, a bit of a crisis was uprooted when our beautiful Aga died. For years she served the house faithfully, never taking a day off sick and always trying to meet the warm expectations of the guests. Although women volunteered their time and love to fix her, in March 2013 she came to an abrupt halt. This time, no amount of love or TLC could bring her back to life. Thanks to a lot of help from women, the co-operative and management commitment, we managed to get ourselves back to being nice and toasty with a beautiful, carbon-neutral boiler, properly heating the entire house.