Winter Staycation at Thicket Priory

In a world where mental health has never been so important, the ultimate escape to the countryside could be exactly what you are looking for.

This week the planet recognised World Mental Health Day. In the world that we are living in right now, your personal wellbeing is being challenged in ways we have never experienced before. From homeschooling and working from home, to isolation and restrictions on our day to day lives, processing what is going on has proven difficult for most people over the last 6 months.

We have all had the feelings of separation, feeling burnt out and fed up, feeling disconnected from the wider world and feeling overwhelmed by negative news…so there is a clear need for us to connect with activities which make us feel good!

Introducing the Winter Escape to Thicket Priory! Here are 5 ways we are convinced it will make you feel better!

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1. Switch off from Work…turn off your phone, don’t connect to wifi!
We are on the outskirts of York, just inside of the county council of Selby, only a 10 minute drive from the McArthurGlen designer outlet for shopping, or a 20 minute drive into the center of York for wining, dining, shopping a site seeing. Currently York is within tier 2 of the current government guidelines, however we still remain in tier 1.

When visiting Thicket Priory for the Winter Staycation we invite you to leave your mobile phones in your room, or at least switch them to airplane mode if you would like to capture some amazing images around the building. We are in no way a ‘hotel’, we are a private home and aim to ensure you have home comforts without the horror of washing up!

We have tea, coffee and of course the world famous Tunnock’s teacake available in your bedrooms, along with a hot water bottle to add that extra element of cozy to your bedroom! We do recommend bringing your own bathrobes if that’s a home comfort you enjoy as we supply flurry towels and cotton bedding, as well as the most wonderfully scented bath bubbles!

Happiful Facts: “A Japanese study looked into health benefits of bathing. Bathing results in less stress, tension-anxiety, anger-hostility and depression”
Wifi is available for those wishing to settling in for a movie or binge watching a box set when the bar (reluctantly) closes at the new licensed time of 10:00pm. Do note that TV’s aren’t something we have in our rooms…as again this does help with the ultimate escape so tablets or laptops are a must for those planning a movie night.


2. Slow down the pace of your day-to-day life
We know at Thicket Priory you will be transported away from the busy lives you are leading, we want you to escape the daily updates, the constant new stories and the generally speed of day-to-day life. The Winter staycation has all your meals covered, it has spaces to relax, read, have a drinks, walk, or simply head to your room to rest!

There are a number of reasons that your mental health will benefits from slowing down including:
– Being able to appreciate every moment – put your busy mind of to do lists to one side and look around you with no agenda! You’ll be amazing what you see and what makes you smile!
– Better relationships and communication – take time to listen to each other, whether that’s your partner, parent or friend…really start to listen instead of thinking about what you need to be doing in the ‘real world’.
– Improved memory – the space in your brain is limited. Be sure to make space for your loved ones and your core memories rather than finding that your busy life has taken up important space that you’ll regret in the future. Culturally it seems to be accepted that we are all too busy for what’s important at home because of work…even more so in this current situation.
– Connectedness – we are all humans living in the same world. By slowing down you may realise that the moment you make eye contact with your waitress or the post man who you normally wouldn’t have the time to because you’re too busy will actually reconnect you to humanity! If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us it’s that we are all very much in this together. Slow down your day to day life to really see other’s who may be finding things harder than you.

– Health – taking time out of your busy lives for a staycation will help your general health by reducing the cortisol and adrenaline levels in your body. These chemicals are part of your bodies defence mechanism but should only be heightened in life-threatening situations. Our lives in the world we currently live in see far too many examples of elevated cortisol and adrenaline levels….so slow down and think of the health benefits of your body not being in survival mode 24/7!

– Feeling better, faster – Busy lives help us to hide our emotions of sadness, anger, stress…not to process them. Slowing down can help us to process and therefore move on from those emotions which keep us in a state of anxiety or unhappiness. Slow down and you’ll find that your body can process these emotions in around 90 seconds (this may sound hard to believe but is covered by Dr Jill Taylor Bolte, neuroscientist and author of My Stroke of Insight)


3. Fresh Air, Nature
According to research time spent in green spaces, with fresh air and nature can hugely benefit your mental health due to the increased levels of endorphins and dopamine which promotes happiness, and also the reduction of cortisol our body’s stress hormone. Exposure to nature helps to release muscles tensions, lower blood pressure and also supports brain activity.

Thicket Priory is surrounded on three sides by a world renowned nature reserve, the Wheldrake Ings. Our grounds span around 16 acres, which includes a lake, three bridges, a boat house, band stand, tree swing and an orchard. It really is a wonderful escape to the Yorkshire countryside. We have sighted the little white egret in the grounds, osprey nestling in the trees, plenty of herons, squirrels and also deer. It’s a twitcher’s dreamworld!


4. Good Food and Drink
I know for a fact after a good meal I am always in a happy place! The Winter staycation is filled with delicious food from start to finish…even a few extras if you plan on leaving the car keys in your room from check-in to check-out!

Included in your two night stay is a 2 course supper with coffee on the first evening, followed by a continental breakfast the next morning. The second evening your will get to enjoy a seven course tasting menu, all dietary requirements can be catered for, and before departing the next day, our full Yorkshire breakfast will set you up for the day. In addition to this you can add an afternoon tea on arrival on the first day, and/or a lunch of Yorkshire tapas on your second day. Doesn’t that sound dreamy!

For those who like a good tipple, the Gryffin bar will be open for beverages served to your tables and you also have the option of a wine pairing for your tasting menu! Perfection!
Menu’s available via the website, click here.

5. A good night’s sleep!
If I had a pound for every time someone commented on how comfortable our beds are, I could be living in a house like Thicket Priory! (I wish!)
Check out all our bedrooms here. Or take our virtual tour.

According to the Mental Health Foundation: “We spend about a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is essential – It is as important to our bodies as eating, drinking and breathing, and is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health. Sleeping helps us to recover from mental as well as physical exertion”


I think it’s safe to say that the 5 reasons above to treat yourself to a Winter Staycation at Thicket Priory is a done deal! How about you BOOK NOW and have something special to look forward to!

Any queries you may have about our Winter Staycation, do contact us directly via [email protected] or call the team on 01904 230600.

See you soon!
Anna x