DUNSLEY is our hideaway. We have made it comfortable, cosy and easy to live in because, when you aren’t staying, it’s likely that we are. We love walking, sea kayaking, photography and relaxing, so Dunsley is the perfect base. We hope you’ll think so too.
Dunsley has an eclectic mix of antiques, artwork and modernity. Judy is a New Zealander (the framed felt work on the bedroom wall was made by her aunt). Duncan is a Yorkshireman, and chose the Yorkshire settle in the kitchen. They also own a house in the French Alps, where they found the unique ‘bonnetiere’ kitchen cupboard and the ‘carved heart’ bedside tables. Modern touches are dictated by modern times: Judy is a journalist and often works from Dunsley; you’re welcome to share her broadband.
Duncan and Judy work hard to ensure Dunsley is as comfortable as it can possibly be... latest additions are a small TV by the kitchen fireplace, and fluffy bathrobes for guests' use.
Dunsley has a stable door, with a custom-made stained glass panel. It was created by Val Green of The Stained Glass Centre at Cayton, about 45 minutes’ drive from Dunsley. The birds are dunlins.
OUTSIDE: Dunsley is unusual in Staithes, in having an enclosed, private front yard. Few cottages have space to sit outside, but Dunsley offers you the perfect place to enjoy an evening glass of wine, an al fresco meal, or reading a book in the sunshine. As Chapel Yard is a pedestrian street, this little nook is calm, day and night.
KITCHEN - DINING AREA:
The kitchen is equipped with a full-size oven, modern fitted kitchen and quality cooking equipment (plus essentials like a cafetiere and wine/champagne coolers). The scrubbed pine table has a monk’s bench and two pine chairs, with recessed spotlights overhead for reading. In winter, the open fire is a real treat. A leather sofa can be pulled up to the fire or positioned by the large window, to enjoy the outside from the inside. We also have an audio system including a CD player (bring your own CDs) plus another TV so you can enjoy your viewing, or relax with the radio, from the fireside
BEDROOM: The largest room in Dunsley, this features a beautiful brass and cast iron bed with a firm mattress and luxurious mattress topper, plus a selection of pillows (luxury down and synthetic) and a choice of duvet weights. There’s also a dual-control electric blanket in winter. A Victorian chaise longue has pride of place by the high sash windows. At night, Staithes has no church bells, and no traffic noise on our pedestrian-only street - although the seagulls can be early risers in summer! The guestbook is full of comments about the comfy bed; in fact it's so good, we bought an identical mattress for our own home.
BATHROOM: We love this room - and our guests do too. Many cottages in Staithes have slow-running baths, but Dunsley has a large, powerful shower with constant hot water and invigorating pressure. The hand-basin sits on a pretty Victorian pine washstand with a tiled back, and there’s artwork from New Zealand on the freshly-painted walls.
THE SNUG: A cosy room next to the bathroom on the top floor, this has a squishy sofa and flat-screen TV and DVD for lazy days. Scrabble, playing cards, jigsaws and Pass the Pigs live in the TV table, if you prefer more cerebral evenings... An armchair is planted by a well-stocked bookshelf with lots of local literature, including Judy’s walking guide to the North York Moors. The exposed beams include an 18th century ship’s mast. The WiFi broadband reaches up here, and there’s a wireless phone handset with an intercom option, so you can ‘speak’ to the kitchen without leaving the sofa.
HEATING: Dunsley has high-tech, digitally-controlled electric radiators in every room, for warmth on demand. These give off both radiant and convective heat, which is less ‘drying’ and more comfortable than conventional radiators. There’s also the open fire in the kitchen, and big windows for solar gain in the bedroom.
The white cross near the right side of this picture marks Dunsley’s roof. While Dunsley doesn’t have a sea view, it is just 20m from the river (you can see it from the yard) and 60 seconds’ walk from the harbour. The big advantage of being away from the water is shelter: if it’s breezy on ‘the front’, it’s likely to be calm and quiet at Dunsley.