Play Hard

Planning a staycation? Here’s your guide to the most indulgent Yorkshire escapes

Written by High Life North
Published 06.08.2021

By Claire Pickersgill

Relax. Retreat. Explore.

Inspired by Yorkshire Day last Sunday, we’ve decided to ditch our heels for Hunters as we round up six sumptuous escapes in God’s own country where you can well and truly relax.

After all, there’s plenty to enjoy just south of our glorious North East. The iconic Yorkshire landscape is home to rolling countryside, rugged moors, cascading waterfalls, charming historical villages and striking coastlines. And when it comes to indulgent escapes, Yorkshire really does give it some welly – and delivers on all fronts.

Swinton Park Hotel, Masham

Close to Ripon, the stunning Swinton Park Hotel is a luxury Grade II-listed castle set in beautiful parkland grounds at the centre of the Swinton Estate. Recently featured on the BBC Two series of Amazing Hotels: Life Beyond the Lobby, the sweeping estate extends from the River Ure across 20,000 acres of rural hill farming countryside, up onto the moorland Yorkshire Dales.

Rooms are furnished with antiques and family portraits, with the warmth and grandeur of a traditional English country house allowing guests to enjoy a traditional yet still informal stately home experience. There’s plenty on offer across the estate too, which is the ancestral seat of the Earl of Swinton – from falconry and pony trekking to an onsite cookery school, all complemented by the modern and swanky Country Club & Spa.

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, Helmsley

Explore a slice of Mediterranean oasis at the Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, in this not-so-little hideaway tucked away in the picturesque town of Helmsley, which is also home to the imposing 12th-century medieval Helmsley Castle.

This luxury retreat, in the heart of the region, is brimming with activities and outdoor adventures galore. At the end of the day, rest in the individually-designed rooms which reflect simple sophistication and comfort as standard.

Be sure to restore your wellbeing at the indulgent Verbena Spa and pick up a piece of nourishment for the mind and body with divine rejuvenation and revitalisation. Oh, and don’t forget to slot in time for a poolside cocktail underneath the twinkly lights, too. Dreamy!

Rudding Park, Harrogate

The epic spa at Rudding Park recaptures Harrogate’s spa heritage using natural spring waters from the surrounding grounds. The 45,000 square-feet of space is home to extensive, top-of-the-range facilities, including 11 treatment rooms, an indoor pool, a rooftop spa garden and a new Horto restaurant.

A truly breathtaking hotel with bold colours and sleek bedrooms, all topped off with a private cinema, two golf courses and 300 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland.

Earl Grey, Wensleydale  

This quaint holiday home is a very special, pint-sized retreat in the most romantic of settings, nestled within a larger estate in Wensleydale. Earl Grey is part of a gorgeous, Palladian-style Georgian model farm, which was built by the local Earl to remind his wife of her native Italy.

Finished to a very high standard, and with views of the nearby castle and countryside, it’s like staying in a boutique hotel room here – but with your own kitchen and wood-fired private hot tub, too. Be sure to check out the babbling beck (with wild trout) and, of course, the traditional village pub.

Malmaison, York

Known for their iconic design features and sleek interiors, alongside playful heritage accents, Malmaison’s newest hotel has recently opened in the heart of York.

With stunning views over the famous Minsterl, be sure to elevate the senses and stop by the Sora Skybar for a sensational cocktail on their outdoor terrace – and absorb the historical city from the popular seventh-floor spot.

Raithwaite Sandsend, Whitby

With the picturesque town of Whitby and the coastal shores of Sandsend nearby, this retreat – complete with tempting spa facilities and delicious dining – is another Yorkshire gem not to be missed.

Boasting its own in-house Surf School, take to the waves and grab a lesson in the secret surf-spot of Sandsend (known only to local insiders), or grab a stand-up paddleboard and explore the sweeping Yorkshire coastline.

If you fancy keeping your feet on land, then reenergise with a spot of beach yoga or simply relax in the extensive spa facilities. After all, you’ve earned it!

3 Yorkshire hotspots you won’t want to miss

  1. Visit the Wensleydale Creamery and check out their award-winning artisan cheese, right from the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
  2. Sample a mouth-watering afternoon tea of handmade treats and Swiss-inspired specialties at (where else?) Bettys. After all, they’ve been bringing regency elegance to the region for over 100 years, so they must be doing something right.
  3. Hop on board the North York Moors Railway for an unforgettable ride on the steam train between Pickering and Whitby, and look out at the glorious, rolling countryside from the comfort of your window seat.


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