out of 10
We stayed at the Old King's Head over the new year period (family of 2 adults and 3 young kids).
The house itself is situated just off the top of Pickering front street, and while it seemed to confuse the sat-nav, once you are there it is great, as you can roll out of the house and into a restaurant, or shop, or pub. There are many of each on the main street. Parking is in the courtyard, just outside of the house, and the parking area is flat and spacious enough to manoeuvre around.
The kids were blown away when we got into the house, having never been in a house with high ceilings and 4 floors (basement, ground, first, second). They described it as a 'mansion'. It certainly felt spacious enough to comfortably accommodate our family.
The games room in the basement immediately caught the attention of the kids, who played for many happy hours with the table football, octopool, indoor bowls, Lego, jigsaws etc. Quite a low ceiling in this basement (would estimate around 5 foot), but that didn't matter to the little people.
The kitchen, on the ground floor, is very spacious and extremely well equipped. The key positives from this room are a large range cooker, huge dining table, and cupboards packed with all of the cooking and eating utensils you would need.
The living room, also on the ground floor, is large enough to accommodate a family of 5, and had a 3-seater, a 2-seater and a 1-seater chair. The log-burning stove was a welcome treat on an evening, with plenty of wood and kindling being supplied. We watched a lot of Netflix on the Sony TV of an evening.
The 2 bedrooms on the 1st floor were large, and the beds were reasonably comfortable. The twin bedroom was ideal for 2 of our children who slept well here.
The bedroom suite on the second floor was fabulous, with a dressing room and an en suite. There was an additional single bed and cot in this room when we were there, which was good for us with a very young child.
Pickering is a lovely little village with lots of independent shops (butchers, bakers, greengrocers), restaurants, pubs, Co-op. All of these are immediately accessible from the cottage, i.e. less than 30 seconds walk to most of them. Nearby there are plenty of places to visit and walk to. We missed out on the North York Moors Railway as it closed down on the 1st Jan, but we made it to Flamingo Land (3 miles away) and did some short walks nearby.
It's worth addressing the Church bells, which are audible, since the cottage is next door to the Church. These bells chime every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day, but unless you are an ultra-light sleeper you will get used to these and cease to notice them. The only exceptions are on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings (7-9pm) where it sounds as if a group of enthusiastic amateurs are celebrating a Royal wedding, as they go about their bell-ringing practice. It was just our luck that our baby had his one early night on the Wednesday we were there, and was awoken by (what must have sounded to him like) the end of the world. Apart from that one experience on the Wednesday there were no problems, and most people wouldn't be affected by this.
Overall, thank you for a wonderful stay, and we hope to stay again.
* As an addendum, we left a bag of stuff at the cottage by accident, and the housekeeper very kindly organised for it to be sent up to us, which we greatly appreciated.