The Women’s Holiday Centre was set up in 1979 following discussions between women from Gingerbread, Women’s Aid, Social Services, the Citizens Advice Bureaux and mental health organisations. An acute need was identified for low price holiday accommodation, in a friendly and supportive environment, for women and children who were otherwise restricted by their circumstances.
There was an initial large donation of £30,000 from a woman who had been bequeathed a house, but wanted the money to be used to buy a property which would offer safe holidays, in a friendly environment, to women and children. She did not want to take individual control over decisions, and was an equal member of the group that came together, raised further funds, and decided the criteria for a suitable property. Eventually the Old Vicarage was purchased in Horton-in-Ribblesdale (at a church auction!) in 1980, and change of use and planning consents were agreed. Many women’s hours were put into making the house what it is today, and the first visitors stayed at the house in May 1981.
Since then thousands of women, children and groups have used the house and it has become a well-established and well-used resource for women in the north of England and beyond. The House has been sustained successfully since then through a combination of income from visitors, donations and fundraising, and many hard working volunteers. It has benefited from the commitment of hundreds of women who have invested their time and energy voluntarily to maintain the fabric of the house and take on the managerial responsibilities of running it.
The house is owned and run as a co-operative. The house also has a group of volunteers on the Management Committee who meet regularly to make decisions about house issues and employment. ‘Friends of Horton‘ are women who support the house in ways other than through the MC or the Co-op, possibly through house-sitting, work weeks, gardening or other specific projects.
The women you will see most of are the two full-time workers, who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the house, keeping it warm and welcoming, and making sure that all guests have a chance to enjoy their stay.
Horton Women's Holiday Centre
*Our running costs are £25 per person per night*
The Women’s Holiday centre is one of the cheapest residential holiday centres in the UK, and it is our mission to be able to provide holiday accommodation to as many women and children as possible, as everyone deserves the right to a holiday!
We operate a sliding scale (LINK) which you use to calculate what you pay for your night’s stay based on your ‘Gross Annual Income’.
Gross Annual Income is the total amount of your income including tax credits, housing benefits etc, before tax or anything else is taken off of it.
The lowest rate, £10, is an emergency rate for women with NO income. The £15 rate is for women on JSA, ESA, Universal Credit. The £20 rate is for those receiving tax credits and/or a state pension.
Our break-even costs are £25 per person per night, so if you can pay that or more, then please do.
If you can’t afford that, then that’s exactly why we have a sliding scale where you can pay what you can afford.
The price per night includes the cost of your food, which you cook yourself.
Donations are always very welcome. We also welcome your support with fundraising.
The payment system is operated on trust. If you have less than £150 total income, inc housing benefit etc per week, then you are welcome to ask about paying on the emergency band. This is expected to only be for those women who are not in receipt of any benefits or other income.
We offer “3 nights for the price of 2” mid-week during term time on request (excluding Friday and Saturday).
The maximum number of nights per visit is 14.
There is no set booking out time, but please remember to add a donation if you eat lunch and/or an evening meal on the day of your departure
Meeting space for women’s groups
Workshops or meetings can be held at the house by prior arrangement, and we can also book the village hall for you, if this would be more appropriate. This can be as part of an overnight stay for some or all of your group, or just as a daytime event. It is also possible to arrange for the house facilities and food to be available for a daytime meeting, depending on how many other guests are staying at the time. Please discuss this with the worker when you phone or email to make a booking.
Providing affordable holidays for women and children since 1980
The Women’s Holiday Centre
The Old Vicarage
Office hours 10am-12pm and 6pm-8pm
firstname.lastname@example.org – for bookings and general enquiries