The Chase: Anne Hegerty mocks 'hobbit' Bradley Walsh
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Carol Cavendish, has built a magical staycation wonderland based on the films and books from the Harry Potter, Narnia and Lord of the Rings series. The six-acre holiday retreat is located in Liverton on the northern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, about 20 minutes from Whitby.
Carol said she wants visitors to know “fairy tales do exist” and they’re “even more important in a pandemic”.
Securing the farmland in 2010, the 41-year-old opened her first cottage inspired to look like a Hobbit-hole in 2015.
The setting of the The Shire abode also has a link to author J.R.R. Tolkien, who gained inspiration from the English rural landscape and lived in Leeds in the 1920s.
For Harry Potter fans, they can live out their fantasy dreams by being a guest at Hagrid’s Hut surrounded by gargoyles, quills and metal frogs.
Opening in 2019, this popular J.K. Rowling landmark located in the Hogwarts grounds is described as “a nod to the gothic demeanour of everyone’s favourite wizarding tale”.
Another Potter-decorated hut is The Dorm Room, a magical cottage designed to replicate the castle turret dorm room at Hogwarts.
Carol said that the bathroom based off the fifth film’s Prefect bathroom scene was one of her “favourite interiors to design” complete with gold mirrored sinks and a mermaid portrait.
North Shire is also home to seven-themed shepherd’s huts, from the Mad Hatter to the Greatest Showman, along with five caravans and glamping teepees.
At the sandstone cottage, Le Petit Chateau, guests can walk through a wardrobe and fur coats to a Narnia inspired room.
The blue starred wallpaper mimics Narnia, as Carol “wanted people to experience that magical feeling you get when you recognise your surroundings from a film”.
Explaining how she got her inspiration, Carol told 2Chill: “I loved the idea of creating a fairy tale place where people could escape the stresses of life.
“I saw a niche in the market that nobody else was doing.”
As a huge fictional-fantasy fan, Carol wanted to make sure she got each and every detail just right.
The Shire House has been painted yellow with stained glass windows and a round green door – which Carol says was an “absolute nuisance” to fit.
“There’s a reason people don’t have round doors.” Carol joked.
All of Carol’s themed cottages have gained wide-spread attention across social media, resulting in stays booking up fast.
Due to the success of her business, Carol has recently branched out into the wedding industry, with two Harry Potter themed weddings booked to take place.
Couples can exchange vows in the Enchanted Barn, decorated to subtly resemble the Great Hall, this room can also host hen dos, birthdays and networking events.
“There was nothing unique in the industry at the time, and I knew just what was missing,” Carol said. “We have hired a Harry Potter lookalike and owls. We will be decorating with house flags and banquet tables.”
She added: “Everything is just so special and spectacular. I am incredibly proud. “I’m sure my kids are surprised when they visit their friends’ houses and realise it’s not normal to live in a fairy tale!”
“My own parents aren’t fans of any of the films, but they have stayed over and loved everything. “Our fairy tale from home offers people the chance to escape to a fictional world for a short while, which has become even more important to do during the pandemic.”
North Shire is very busy, with bookings already filling up for the rest of the year, but there are still spaces left for this summer. To book your stay, visit the website.
If you’re a fan of unusual staycations, spend the night in a Welsh castle that looks like from Game of Thrones or Henry VIII’s honeymoon suite.
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