Longtime TROY girl, model, new mama and recent resident of North Yorkshire; Ellen Gibbons shares her favourite parts of the countryside she has fallen in love with as well as hidden gems in nearby York, her best-loved TROY pieces and much, much more.
From her fresh-air therapy outlook to their exciting plans for Sutton Park, Ellen gives us a true behind the scenes of life with her gorgeous little family.
Coming from Lincolnshire I'd always grown up with access to the countryside but spent much of my early twenties immersed in London. Whilst loving urban life I'd always known that I'd eventually want to be closer to nature but had actually envisaged Somerset or Cornwall as an eventual stomping ground. Rob and I had begun to make the move to his family home Sutton Park just outside York last February, so when the lockdown came we suddenly became permanent North Yorkshire residents. We were very fortunate to have the gardens and grounds on our doorstep so my memories of first moving to Yorkshire are of sunshine, tulips and fresh air, gently getting to know the area. In a way I fell in love with the house first, as it was all I'd really been able to see, and the area second, but what cemented things was how great everyone around here is. During the first lockdown I feel everyone got to know the neighbours a bit more, and teamed with the slower pace of life here people just seem to have more generosity and for one another.
Top of the list has to be Helmsley. A firm favourite for hikers it stands just by the imposing Duncombe Park with its sprawling grounds and a short distance from the start of the Moors, the place is awash with restaurants, cafes, shops and a chic spa situated at the Feversham Arms. Bulmer by Castle Howard (for you Beidgerton and Brideshead fans) is stunning, as is quaint Slingsby where a trip to the Grapes is a must. Our go to foodie town is Malton, in particular the Talbot Yard for the butchers and gelateria and the towns annual food festival.
Expansive and elemental, they have that humbling quality of making one feel very small. It's total Bronte country out there, strikingly barren, you can understand totally how Wuthering Heights was inspired by being surrounded by beauty and isolation. Wonderful for romping around but also very fun to speed across on a day trip to Whitby, that perches by the sea just off the moors and one of the most haunted places in Britain.
There isn’t anything much more glorious than the Yorkshire Dales in the summer, or travelling up the Yorkshire coast to somewhere cosy and secluded in the winter. I think this year and for the foreseeable future more and more of our holidays will involve getting back to basics in the tranquillity of nature. This year we’re actually letting out bell tents in the gardens of Sutton Park for short stays whilst we construct an eco tree house in the woods, which will be completed in the autumn. It’s so exciting as environmentally friendly ways of holidaying are definitely the way forward, and it’ll be great find a different dimension to sharing this historical house and part of the world with people.
Not quite a hike but the Yorkshire coast is breath taking, Filey Beach is one of the longest beaches I've seen in the UK and the light is always spectacular.
North Yorkshire is famous for its cycling terrain, there is even a Tour de Yorkshire every year for the athletically gifted. The roads around Castle the Howardian Hills in Ryedale are particularly picturesque. We've recently both started riding again, which is always a great way to explore what's around you. Fishing on the River Esk is also immensely popular, and if you're very brave there's always wild swimming in the North sea!
It's been absolutely wonderful so far, a lot of people have asked if it's been hard having her during the pandemic, to which i find it hard to reply, as it's my first baby i really don't know the difference! Yes it was difficult with hospitals and scans, and feeling particularly isolated at times during pregnancy, but the reverse of this meant that with the third lockdown beginning as Clementine was born we were able to gently immerse ourselves into parenthood. It's been a surprisingly easy role, she's been an absolute dream and relatively easy going, so it's been so exciting finally being able to finally introduce her to friends and family.
If there is ever anything worrying me, I'll grab the dogs and take Clementine out into the woodland walk at Sutton for an hour or so. Immediately you can feel your Cortisol levels drop and clarity resume with the sounds sights and smells of the woods around. I try and take the same walk regularly as I love appreciating the subtle daily changes to the flora and fauna now spring is here, it's something I would have never noticed before but having the time and space to appreciate nature and the seasons has been a real blessing. There's a lot to be said for fresh air and vitamin D!
My Heathland Jacket is proving to be a real staple this season, perfect for whatever the weather is throwing at us (currently intermittent drizzle) , it still looks incredibly chic as well as being totally hardy. Am obsessed with statement bows and collars at the moment, so am loving the Cape Collar and Stock shirts adding a sophisticated long sleeve option for this cooler spring we're having.