Let’s be more social in life
What is St Marks Stays?
A self-catering group accommodation with live in hosts and a studio space for retreats, be it business, creative, or soulful. Don’t worry the house is big enough for us to not be in your way, but simply here to help with your stay when required.
When going on holiday in the UK, we often found it harder to find the right place that could accommodate us and our cocker spaniel, so one of our first priorities was to have a homely, pet friendly place, with a garden for your pets to play in.
Our second priority was to create a very social place where groups could come and have a place to all stay and hang out together, but also have hosts to help organise things if required.
We have our own bedrooms on the top floor and office space so we leave you to it, or can be around if you decide you actually quite like us.
One of us is a photographer and one of us is an architect so we’ll let you guess who did the interior design of the house.
We both love dogs, travel, wild swimming, wild camping, movies, live music and cake. But which one of us likes conceptual art and which one of us is the mountain navigator?
We can hang out with you, or even just have first night dinner together. Just let us know if you fancy this.
If however, you are frightfully British (and nothing wrong with this), will find it weird and don’t need help during your stay, the house is massive, we have work to do and a bucket list of activities to tick off, so can simply leave you to it.
Our home is your home
Why did we create it this way?
It all started back in 2014 for us with a work sabbatical from our careers to volunteer with Raleigh International overseas in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. We realised life should be about connecting with others, getting outdoors and really living life. Our Raleigh Expedition and love of travelling led us to creating a home to share with others.
We want you to feel a part of an inclusive community, with the addition of secluded spaces to take time out on your own. Technology has taken us away from connecting as humans sometimes and we want to host a house that everybody gets involved in, creating an inspired atmosphere that leaves you with real memories.
There is nothing better for the soul than being part of a group of like minded people and going back to the good old days of chatting and simply having fun together. Learning from others, discovering the world from somebody else’s point of view and having a childlike curiosity again to making friends for life.
Arrive as strangers and leave as friends.
Will you like us?
The trivia that will help you decide
- We spent a year working in the same student union bar on opposite shifts and only met in the last week of term
- Our best brag is trekking to the top of Kilimanjaro in 5 days (read all about it here).
- Travelling is our passion.
- Various jobs have included; hospital porter, childrenswear buyer, kitchen assistant, personal shopper, architect and photographer.
- We completed a mile of Burpees for charity!
Still not sure? Read some reviews about us
“Such a beautiful house, tastefully decorated & with every kind of extra touch you could want or need. Lovely hosts, very welcoming but equally astute at judging how much to interact with guests & gave us all our own space. Would definitely recommend!”
“Enjoyed every minute of being here. Thank you for looking after us so well. We look forward to returning each year.”
“What a great place to relax on our travels around the UK. Thanks Damian and Joanne for your awesome hospitality and taking us for a hike to the top of the waterfalls.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Check in & out
Check in is 2pm and check out is 11am. If you are a retreat that requires a later check out at 6pm, this is £75.
How do I get in to the property?
St Marks Stays is our home, that we live in, so as long as we know your time of arrival, we are in to welcome you and put the kettle on.
Can the house sleep more than 10?
We feel from experience that 10 is a comfortable number that works with all the space and rooms at St Marks Stays and it is worth noting we do not have extra beds or bedding. Email us with your group requirements though and we can chat to you about what will work best.
Do you allow more than 1 dog?
We do welcome all dogs and the number of dogs you bring is not limited, assuming they are well behaved and okay socially as we have a dog ourselves. We do ask that they are toilet trained, wormed, flea treated and vaccinated please.
We ask that they do not go on the sofas, or beds as other people have to use them also. We also ask that you do not use the room towels to dry off your dogs. Being amongst a farming community, dogs do need to be kept on a lead where there are sheep and cattle and on the paths and roads, our neighbours would prefer it if you could pick up the dog poo.
Do you actually live in the property?
St Marks Stays is our home and so we do live in the house. We sleep on the top floor, but share the downstairs rooms such as the kitchen and dining room. You have your own fridge freezer and cupboard space for everything in the kitchen. You have full access to our kitchen and whilst we do share the kitchen with you to make coffee etc, we cook at different times so you can fully set up in the kitchen without us being in your way.
There are two lounges and we have our office so there is plenty of space in the house, so we are not in your way, but around when you need anything. If you are unsure, our reviews will give you an indication of how previous guests felt about this more social kind of stay.
St Marks Stays is self-catering. We can be in for your food delivery if arranged and Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda all deliver here. We can send you lots of information on local places to eat, food shops, organic greengrocers and also caterers that can offer a collect service, or come here and cook for you. Just drop us an email.
What is included in the bedrooms?
All beds are made up and bedrooms have towels, body wash and lotion. For a list of what else is available in the house, or anything specific you are wondering about, please do email us.
What size is the studio?
The studio measures 6.7 x 5.1mtrs and can fit 9-12 yoga mats as an approximate guide. Please note we do not have yoga equipment. We have 12 tables and 10-12 chairs that can be moved in and out. There is a white board and projector, Bluetooth speaker and WiFi available.
See our blog for more photos of activities taking place in the studio.
Studio day hire
Our studio can be hired Monday to Thursday out of school holiday times. Half day £25. Full Day £50.
You don’t need to commit your whole budget on booking, so only 25% deposit is required on the first step to getting your group together for a fab time. The balance is payable 4 weeks before check in. Full T&Cs can be viewed on our booking platform.