Driffield NewsEast Yorkshire News

Four in a Bed delight for holiday cottage owners!

One of the owners of a Fraisthorpe holiday cottage business have told the Wolds Weekly how bookings have increased since their winning appearance on a hit Channel 4 reality show.

Helen Milner has run North Kingsfield Holiday Cottages with her husband Peter for 20 years and was invited to appear on Four in a Bed last February.

After much deliberation, Helen and daughter Lauren decided to accept the invitation onto the popular show that involves bed and breakfast owners taking turns to stay with one another and pay what they consider to be a fair price.

Despite being confident in what they offered at North Kingsfield, the Milners were shocked when they received incredible scores from their fellow contestants after their stay, before receiving payment in full.

Although they opened the holiday cottages in 2002, the story of the Milners in Fraisthorpe goes back over 90 years, when Peter’s family owned the farm the cottages now sit on.

“The North Kingsfield farm story is my husband’s,” said Helen.

“Peter’s grandfather came to live at the farm in the 1930s but was sold out of the family in the 1980s.

“Peter was heartbroken as he was planning to be a farmer and was the only male offspring of his grandfather’s sons.

“As a child, he was always told ‘This will be all yours one day lad’. But obviously that opportunity went.

“It upset him and he went off to have another career. At the time of the sale, farming was really lucrative, but the property wasn’t. The house and the buildings were left in disrepair.

“However, in 1998, it was up for sale again. The land was bought by neighbouring farmers, but there were 20 acres at the heart of the farm which was on the market as a derelict smallholding.

“It needed huge investment and we were able to buy it very cheaply, but had to decide what we wanted to do with it.

“My husband had some chickens, so we kept poultry for a time and then, a couple of years later, we came up with the idea of running some holiday cottages.

“We opened in 2002, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, which was a bit of a shock to the system, and over the years we have adapted and renovated it.”

The invitation to take part in Four in a Bed, which has been a fixture in the television schedules since 2010, arrived in Helen and Peter’s inbox during lockdown when all accommodation providers were forced to close their doors.

With Peter unable to take part due to other work commitments, Helen and Lauren accepted the offer and were delighted that they did after what was described as ‘a really enjoyable experience’.

And it became even more satisfying when North Kingsfield Holiday Cottages was declared the winner, leading to a spike in bookings after the episodes aired on Channel 4.

“When we received the email, we were in two minds about taking part,” said Helen. “I wasn’t sure if it was the right thing to do.

“We decided to go for it as I was confident in what we do and thought it would be nice to highlight the business and I thought it was a great way to support the other contestants too.

“The show was a really enjoyable experience. The crew are such hard working people.

“They made us feel at ease and that was helpful as we were completely out of our comfort zone.

“Lauren and I hadn’t been anywhere due to lockdown, so it was lovely to be able to go off to these different places to do something sociable and touristy.

“We took everyone to Bridlington, where we went on the Yorkshire Belle.

“It was a windy, choppy April day and it certainly blew away the cobwebs.

“We were really lucky that the other contestants were good people to be around.

“They were all passionate about their businesses, but were willing to accept constructive comments.

“We were very fortunate that the others decided to pay us in full, but it was close, there wasn’t too much in it.

“We didn’t go in it to win it. We wanted to get the exposure and I didn’t mind what happened, as long as we showed the business in a good light.

“I was really shocked when we won, as I was expecting low scores for hosting, purely because we don’t offer a cooked breakfast.

“The scores were fantastic. We were glad we took part as it has been a positive experience and has brought lots of interest in the business and highlighted the area.

“We have lots of great feedback and an increase in bookings, which was one of the main reasons we did it.”

To watch the Four in a Bed episodes featuring North Kingsfield Holiday Cottages, visit channel4.com.

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