Leyburn guest house focuses on group stays

Eastfield Lodge in Leyburn.

A Leyburn guest house has changed its focus to target groups rather than small bookings.

Eastfield Lodge has accommodated guests as a bed and breakfast since the 1940s.

However, owners Henry Collett Penny Knight have recently changed the focus of the business to provide a place for groups to stay.

Penny said: “We were increasingly approached by groups wanting a venue where they could celebrate together.

“Families sharing quality time, reunions for friends, anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, as well as cycle groups and walkers were all getting in touch to find a warm and friendly house with the facilities they needed to make their occasion special or with the practical secure storage of valuable cycles or a room to dry soggy boots.”

“There has been a dramatic and significant increase in bookings following the decision this year to focus on groups, both hosted and self catering.”

The couple say the increase in business has prompted a need to recruit more staff.

Penny added: “It feels right to be filling this home with whole groups.

“Some play the piano in the lounge or even bring their own musical instruments with them – the ukulele, saxophone, guitar and trumpet have all filled the house with music during last year.

“The recent Murder Mystery evenings have featured the late Lord Collett sprawled across the hall with the offending candlestick lying beside him.

“Youngsters have transformed the breakfast room into a play room for colouring and puzzles and the hall has been filled with shoes, boots and slippers of all sizes lined up below the dresser. The laughter and excited chatter filling the house seems to have bought it back to life.”

A recent visit by a woman who lived in the house in 1945 has helped the couple piece together the building’s history, including the fact that it was once commandeered by the Coldstream Guards.