Change of Use into a Holiday Home

When considering farm diversification in Yorkshire, turning your unused farm buildings into holiday accommodation can be a profitable consideration. Developing a holiday home can provide you with a new income stream and become a profitable addition to mainstream farming.

With the growing challenges of smallholder farming in the Yorkshie Dales and North York Moors, landowners are being encouraged to turn to holiday letting. Barn conversions are a popular destination, especially as most sit in lovely rural locations. Short breaks, as well as week-long stays, have never been more popular as the UK staycation market continues to flourish and grow…

Tax Incentives and Grant Schemes

Holiday lets can be an extremely profitable venture, after the initial investment. Achieving high letting rates comes with careful planning.

What’s more, Owners can claim back Capital Gains Tax relief if the property qualifies as a furnished holiday let (FHL). You should also be able to obtain tax relief on furniture for your holiday home.

Plant and machinery capital allowances are just some of those available for business properties for items such as furniture, equipment, and fixtures, and certain heating installations.

You may also be eligible for a grant under a government farm diversification scheme such as Leader so it is definitely worthwhile checking out what is available in your local area.

Retain Your Property's Character

If you are converting an historic barn then try to retain as many of the original features as possible. Exposed brickwork, wooden beams, original signage, stable doors, indoor wells etc. are interesting. Combining these with luxury furnishings and a few modern touches creates a dramatic and pleasing effect.

Do give some time to consider the name you give your holiday home. If you can, reflect on its heritage, location, or former purpose as this can pique the interest of many guests interested in the provenance of where they stay. For example, a property named The Old Shed doesn’t sound as inviting as it might actually be…

Utilise the Space Effectively

Open plan living works well in barn conversions and proves a popular choice with guests. Double height ceilings inject the wow factor and combined with a mezzanine bedroom really maximise the space.

Don’t feel the need to cram in too many bedrooms. It’s far better to have a couple of decent-sized bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, over three bedrooms with one bathroom. Adding a downstairs bedroom complete with a wet room will offer extra appeal to those with reduced mobility.

Embrace Your Farming Heritage

When thinking about farm diversification in Yorkshire, working farms can be appealing to families who will love collecting their own fresh eggs for breakfast, as well as helping to feed the baby lambs in Spring.

Try to include some of your own produce in your Guest Welcome Hamper, and think about some of the experiences you can offer to your guests.

What may be quite a normal practice for you will prove a fantastic rural experience to guests who live in a city!

Keep Things Cosy

It’s well worth investing in a wood-burning stove or open fire if you can. This comes in at the top of the wishlist for many holidaymakers. Not only does a wood burner keep things nice and cosy during the colder months, but they also add a real focal point in a holiday home.

Underfloor heating also adds a touch of luxury to a property, ensuring that however cold it gets outside, your holiday home will remain warm and inviting.

Stand Out From The Crowd

As more and more farms diversify into the holiday home market, it’s important that your property stands out from the crowd.

Luxury properties will always be popular. Guests are looking for something that at least matches the standard they enjoy at home, whilst many expect even more. It is worth investing in quality fixtures and fittings that will stand the test of time and retain value.

Try being a little creative if you can – you may be able to obtain some unique things such as a dining table that converts into a pool table when not in use, or you may like to consider adding an infrared sauna to a bathroom.

Outside Space

Outside space is always a good selling point, as so many guests holiday in Yorkshire from towns and cities. This outside space is an extension to your holiday home so plan its layout carefully.

Maximise lovely views by adding seating to the right areas, with adequate seating to accommodate the number of guests for dining and relaxation. Provide adequate lighting for the functional things, as well as winding them through trees to create a magical effect.

BBQs are a must, and firepits or chimineas take the chill off those cooler evenings. You may incorporate a hot tub, which proves popular with guests throughout the year.

Hang a hammock between two sturdy trees, site a swing seat or even a summer house. These are all attractive additions that definitely help to bring in more bookings…


Holiday at Home is the booking agent for a unique collection of luxury holiday homes. If you are considering farm diversification in Yorkshire and need any assistance, then please do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.

[email protected]

01748 850333

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