An insider's view: Rosemary Hyslop, Layhead Farm Cottages
Can you tell us a little about your job and how you came to be doing it?
I'm Rosemary Hyslop, proprietor of Layhead Farm Cottages. My job consists of everything from greeting and welcoming visitors to the cottages, to cleaning and making beds in the cottages as well as arranging repairs, gardening and office work etc. In the picture above you can see me dry stone walling!
I came to be doing this job as a result of a decision about 23 years ago to partly diversify from farming. We therefore converted one large barn into 2 holiday cottages and the business started 21 years ago. I had no experience of tourism or hospitality so I am mainly self-taught.
What aspect of your job and the place where you work makes you feel happiest?
I enjoy meeting new people and welcoming visitors to the cottages, telling them about this wonderful area to make sure they have a great time here in the Yorkshire Dales.
What makes your business different?
Our guests say we offer a fantastic and personal welcome and show great attention to detail. We try to ensure that's the case, and I try to be as accessible as possible, or if I'm not around I'll arrange for some one else to ensure there are no problems and everyone enjoys their time with us to the full.
If some one is feeling a little down and perhaps in need of a boost, where in the Yorkshire Dales do you suggest they should visit?
I think it's really worth going to see Ribblehead Viaduct in its stunning setting. You can't help but marvel at the imposing structure, its history, and how it was built without access to modern machinery. It's often a little windy over there so you're bound to be able to blow away the cobwebs!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to meet and socialise with friends and family. Dales folk are so friendly and open, and we love to chatter and exchange stories.
If a visitor was coming here for two days what would you recommend they should try to do? Any particular places to eat or drink you'd like to recommend?
These are some of my favourites:
Is there anywhere in the Yorkshire Dales that you feel sudden swooping joy?
On a clear day, driving from Rathmell to Settle you can see both Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent
Is there a happy detail in everyday life that you enjoy but many of us miss?
Outside at night, it's wonderful to stop for a moment and just listen to the owls calling (hooting), while out hunting in the surrounding fields.
Where's your favourite place to just sit and look?
Can I please have two? I like to sit by the beck at the Wash Dubs above Austwick. The Wash Dubs is a large pool where in years gone by the sheep would be dipped. My other favourite place to just be still and enjoy the scenery is sitting in my front garden looking across fields towards Long Preston and Hellifield
Is a local person who you think embodies the Yorkshire Dales spirit - and why?
Probably any old farmer, who knows about the history of the land and farming practices in years gone by, and who believes that the Yorkshire Dales landscape should be preserved for generations to come.
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