About Horton WHC


 

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).

Front of the house in the sunshine

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.

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.

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 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!

Poster

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:

 Poster 1 Poster 2 Poster 3

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 house has gone ECO friendly!

Our new and amazing Biomass Carbon-neutral boiler!

Our new and amazing Biomass Carbon-neutral boiler!

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.

We considered all forms of heating. There’s no gas to the property, so that was near impossible. The people in the village who use oil are currently trying to change as it’s so expensive. Other options would have involved putting a more substantial power supply to the house, for example solar panels, etc. However, nothing seemed as perfect as a Biomass boiler, and we needed to get something quick, before the winter months approached and the cold seeped into the house!  We eventually decided that in the long run this boiler would be most efficient and long-lasting, supplying us with enough heat. It is now installed and in use, we have warm, nay – hot – radiators and hot water heated by this wonderful machine. The house is now toasty, but we need your help! We still need to buy the boiler within the next 3 years; please donate what you can afford to help keep Horton warm! Thank you. 

Donate to The Women’s Holiday Centre now!

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26 comments

  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. 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

  11. Media chingarande · · Reply

    I stayed at women’s holiday centre and really enjoyed it. I’ve also met some friends and wish to visit the place again this summer. It’s very affordable too.

  12. Josie benson · · Reply

    Do you take dogs? I have a well behaved dog I’d like to bring.

    1. Hi Josie,
      Sorry for the delay! Only support dogs can come, so maybe contact us on management@hortonwhc.org.uk if you’d like to discuss this. We are due to review the policy soon, so will post any updates on the website if this changes. Thanks

  13. Ishbel Kargar · · Reply

    We’re a midwifery group, (practising, retired, students). Each year, in September, we have a Retreat week together, self catering. Average attendance – between 15/20 persons, some for full week, others for a day or two. Could we book for a week, exclusive to our group?

    Many thanks
    Ishbel Kargar

    1. Hi Ishbel,
      Assuming it would be all women, I would imagine the house would be a perfect venue for your group 🙂
      For a closed house booking, there is a minimum of 12 people staying, but if you are booking for a whole week with an average of 15-20, then that would be fine. We offer 3 nights for the price of 2 mid-week during term-time too, so you would get a free night included in your stay. It’s best to email the house on info@hortonwhc.org.uk or phone on 01729 860207 to confirm dates as soon as you can.

  14. Emma dooks · · Reply

    Hi just passed your centre today, would love to come with our women’s walking group sometime. Is it possible to book whole house for a weekend? There are usually 10 to 15 of us, generally in march or September, what would it cost?

    1. Hi Emma

      Yes, you could book the whole House for a weekend, as long as it’s outside the school holidays. You’d need a minimum of 12 people and the minimum cost is £180 per night (which is also the required deposit) but the cost depends on 1) whether your group is funded or unfunded; 2) how many women come; 3) the income of each woman. We have a Sliding Scale for payments (which you can find under ‘Prices’ on this website) and that still applies. If you’d like to give us a call we’d be very happy to answer any questions and could work out the exact cost with you, if that would help. Our number is 01729 860207.

  15. Penny Hrant · · Reply

    Hi Just to let you know I will be arriving with my friend around tea time

    Best wishes
    Penny

    1. Thank you for letting us know, Penny.

  16. Alison morris · · Reply

    Hi. I might be interested in booking a possible closed house next year. Do you currently have any free weekends for March or April? 2017?

    Thanks

    1. Hi Alison, thanks for your message. Yes, we have the weekends of 17th/18th March and 25th/26th March. If you would like to book please do call us on 01729 860207 or email info@hortonwhc.org.uk.

  17. sharlene ayres · · Reply

    Yes put me in touch with Marie

    1. Hi Sharlene I’m going to send you an email, please look out for it!

  18. Hi, I would like to fundraise for this amazing charity. My friend told me about it and it looks like a very friendly and comfortable home, and I hope I can visit one day. I was thinking of doing a cake sale or something else when I have free time. Please could you tell me whether it would be ok to post the money in some sort of way, as I prefer not to do it online over paypal.
    You are doing great things !

    Also do you have a newsletter? If so could you sign me up please

    1. Hi Flo – that would be fantastic! You are welcome to either post us a cheque, or you can email us nearer the time (info@hortonwhc.org.uk), and we’ll send you our bank details for a transfer? Thanks so much 🙂

    2. Oh – and I’ll ask for you to be added to the email list for the newsletter 🙂

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