A victory for good living

Sitting peacock-proud in Yorkshire parkland, Foxholme is so English, it’s Churchillian. But then the Darkest Hour crew called it a wrap here between the 600 thread-count sheets. Jump into the heated pool, hang out in the pool house, compete in the play barn, eat around crackling fires. It’s a V for victory. And a victory for good living.

Putting the chill in Churchill

The skies are blue. The pool’s glinting in the sunlight. The net’s up on the tennis court. So why aren’t you here in God’s own country, among the rolling rustic beauty of West Yorkshire, between the buzzing heart of cosmopolitan Leeds and the history of York? Film crews and movie stars have pitched up here. So let’s see you soon.

Sleeping 18, Foxholme’s garden and grounds come with a suitable spirit of adventure. Thrash out some nicely heated lengths, dry off by the pool-house fire, then head to the play barn for table tennis, table football and the clack of eight-ball pool.

Inside, Foxholme’s so English it’s positively Churchillian. But then, the Darkest Hour crew curled up here on the sofas, lit the fires, and slept off the day’s filming between the 600 thread-count sheets. Today the focus is less Hun, more hen. And friends and family. Anyone, in fact, wanting a grand old time with guests you choose yourself.

Bring your dogs, run the lawns, raid the bookcases, hang out in the pool-house entertainment area. Bask in the balm of the homely Aga, eat in front of the crackling flames and the big bay window, or out on the terrace under huge blue skies. Settle back with Sky, belt out some Bluetooth tunes, live your best life. We put the chill in Churchill.

Pool, gardens and grounds

Churchill would have plotted his war strategy on a deckchair out on the lawns, cigar in one hand, scotch in the other. But you can do what you wish. And you’ll probably wish to leap into the outdoor pool off the diving board, thrash out a set or two on the hard tennis court, or wander the three-and-a-half acres with croquet mallet and cocktails.

Get a fire going and conversation crackling in the covered outdoor entertainment area, or get competitive in the games barn over table tennis, pool or table football. Set the kids loose on the sunken trampoline and tennis court.

Throw a pool party and chuck some steaks on the gas barbie. Or ditch the whites, pick up the vin blanc and book a chef to prepare dinner for you. Sit back in the sunshine, swim, sip the wine, hang out in the pool house. Why hold back? Live it up.

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Living areasLiving areasLiving areasLiving areas

Living areas

As befits the temporary home of movie stars, spaces here are sumptuous, smart and effortlessly elegant. The owners took a call from Kristin Scott-Thomas asking for a large house for the cast and crew of Darkest Hour. In just two weeks, Foxholme’s rooms went from wild and wacky to sophisticated and stately.

The result could be your finest hour. Kick back amid Arts-and-Crafts and Art-Deco decadence. Throw some more wood on the fire, top up your glass, toast the rural silence, and tap into the fun and frivolity. Fiddle around with Freeview, get a blockbuster going on Sky, blast out some tunes on the Bluetooth.

Catch up on email or just escape with the paper to the study. Settle back, relax, get a fire going in the snug. Neutral shades and ancient artwork create a calm that permeates your whole being. Sneak away, steal a moment to yourself and curl up with a book or box-set.

The heart of the home here is the drawing room. The fire’s hot and homely, the sofas stupidly comfy and the views of the garden, gorgeous. Borrow a book from the library, raid the walk-in drinks cupboard with fridge for a cheeky G and T, fire up a family game of Monopoly. Or join the cool set and hang out in the pool house.

Cooking and dining

Lazy Sundays start here, in the dining room with the big bay window and the fire crackling behind the hearth. Bring your roast out from the four-oven Aga, top off with gravy, butter your bread and wash it all down with a white or red from Hic! wine merchants. Wrap up with a Nespresso and maybe a waffer-theen mint.

If you’d rather we drove the Aga, that’s fine. Take a passenger seat, admire the view and remove a cork or two as our expert chefs steer you through a one-off celebratory meal or a fully catered break. Want to eat by the pool? How about a barbie or hog roast? Leave the arrangements and the dishwashing to us.

You can even go a little boho and cook, dine and hang out in the pool-house entertaining space with fridges and sink. Stay out all day, dip in and out of the pool, do things your way. Need a butler? Just say the word and Jeeves will be with you. Churchill would approve.

Eating out? Try the Turkish chicken kebab at Marimonte, Italian at the Station House Café, or a breakfast bagel and fresh apple juice at Pride and Produce. Head into Leeds to go Indian at De Baga, Chinese at Sweet Basil Valley or Thai at Phranakhon. For fine dining, try Home, The Man Behind the Curtain or Gaucho.

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With eight bedrooms, there’s room for 18 to sample the deep carpets, the heavy curtains and the 600 thread count cotton assembled so carefully for the film crew. Sink into deep mattresses, sleep the sleep of the just and believe you were born to be a star. Foxholme is sumptuous down to the last candlestick and cushion.

Downstairs, bedroom one sleeps two either in twins or as a double, thanks to zip-and-link. Bedroom two offers a double with shower-over-bath en-suite. On the first floor, bedroom three is the master, with superking bed and en-suite with shower over the bath. And bedroom four is a delicious double.

Bedroom five features a superking and a single, bedroom six a double, bedroom seven a single, and bedroom eight a zip-and-link twin. Five bedrooms share a gloriously appointed family bathroom. Two extra folding beds offer plenty of family flexibility.

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Children welcome

Both inside and out, there’s a long list of playful possibilities here at Foxholme. The house is big enough for humungous games of hide-and-seek, and spaces inviting enough to persuade the grown-ups that bedtime is a bad thing, and games of cards and Cluedo are so much better with the curtains drawn and a log fire licking the room.

Upstairs, teddies and toys await the toddlers in a small playroom, and two travel cots and highchairs give you a little more space in the car. So pack the dogs for extra fun. Outside, the fun comes on a grander scale. Attack the sunken trampoline and stage your own Wimbledon on the tennis court.

The star attraction here is the outdoor pool, heated from May to October. When you’re done, you can hang out all day in the pool house with its own entertainment area. Get a grown-up to tend the fire as you dry off and hang out with phones and games.

The play barn is another fun factory: pop out there for table tennis, table football and pool. Bash a few balls around all year round on the hard tennis court. Or head back inside for Sky on the smart TVs, books and games, or sounds on the Bluetooth. Crank up the volume. Privacy is paramount here.

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Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Gone are the days when the only way to view a house was solely by way of poring over flat and sometimes confusing floor plans. With the emergence of 360-degree video we have an exciting new way of being introduced to the layout of a house.

With a few clicks you can be leisurely making your way through living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms – the whole house in all its beauty waiting for you to step on in for an effortless and insightful virtual tour.


What people say

What people say

It is an extraordinary property with huge amounts of character. Comfortable furniture, beautiful bed linens and plenty of towels for all rooms and the pool. The children barely left the pool which was lovely and warm, and the tennis court proved to be popular with the more competitive. A large cupboard full of games also proved entertaining with a glass of wine in the evening! The setting is idyllic and we wandered along the lane with the dogs - though there is plenty of room for them within the secure grounds. Have recommended Foxholme to many since our stay - just hope we manage to get a weekend there again next year. - Michaela

Donkeys, trains and brands

Live life the Victorian way at Abbey House Museum. Picnic at Kirkstall Abbey. Meet the donkeys and rabbits at Meanwood Valley. Or ride the oldest working railway in the world at Middleton. Grown-ups can bag a gig at Leeds Arena, buy brands at McArthurGlen, walk the walls of York, or throw shapes in Leeds’ buzzing clubs.

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