‘God’s own country’ is known for its dales, moors, Roman remains, Norse heritage – and terriers. The northern English county of Yorkshire is a superb choice for city and country breaks alike, with much to see and do. Here are some of the finest places to lay your head while visiting the region.
The highlight of the 90 roomed Rudding Park is undoubtedly its stunning glass rooftop spa comprising a 17-metre pool, eatery and garden. While the delightful town of Harrogate is just a short car ride away, the property is surrounded by peaceful parkland and two golf courses. The decor is funky yet chic featuring bold modern art, dramatic feature pieces and an urban meets country style. Dine in the Clocktower restaurant, drink on the terraces, work out in the gym and catch a film in the private cinema.
Discover the dales while staying at five-star Grantley Hall in Ripon. The hotel -part of the Relais and Chateaux portfolio – is made up of 47 bedrooms, four restaurants, three bars, a gym and the Roman-inspired Three Graces Spa. The decor echoes the buildings grand Palladian origins, accompanied by a muted, calming palette, Fine dine at Shaun Rankin, Fletchers, Eightyeight and Valeria’s. Grab a bite at the Norton Bar and Courtyard of the spa lounge. Swim in a marble edged pool, take drinks al fresco on the terraces, wander through the olive tree-lined atrium and spend a few hours in the wine tasting room.
This small country house hotel is perfectly placed less than two miles from the centre of York, one of the most popular UK city break destinations. Built at the start of the 1700s, it’s part of the Historic House Hotel Group and now belongs to the National Trust. Inside you’ll find the oil paintings, antiques, floral patterns and wood panelling typical of an ancestral home. Two quaint cottages house the spa and pool, while the gym is in a converted summer house. You can elect to stay in one of the 10 rooms in the main building, or a country-chic stable suite, or in one of the cottages. By day, if not out exploring the area, you can relax with a magazine in the sitting room, while in the evening, guests gather for canapés and fancy candlelit dinners.
Visitors to North Yorkshire can elect to stay in the grand surround of this privately owned stately home, the once-residence of Princess Mary. The five-star 17th century Grade II listed building is set in 11 acres of land with far-reaching views. Stained glass windows, Jacobean architecture, oversized fireplaces, heavy drapes, four-poster beds, exposed beams and antique rugs are just some of its regal features. There’s also a spa, hot tub, charming orangery and some of the best service in the county. Hearty yet high-end Yorkshire cuisine is to be found on the menu – the hotel has an AA Rosette Award for Culinary Excellence and you mustn’t miss the traditional afternoon tea in Princess Mary’s Drawing Room.
Grays Court Hotel and The Bow Room Restaurant
Surround yourself with an urban buzz by staying at the Grays Court Hotel, found between York Minster and the city walls (to which you’ll have direct, private access). Dating back to Norman times and steeped in history, the building makes up some of the oldest accommodation in the area, boasting medieval, Jacobean and Georgian features. By contrast, there are some rrelativelty modern French furnishings, Jo Malone scents, contemporary artwork and a relaxed ambience. There are just 11 rooms, complemented by a grand dining hall, bar, library, cute courtyard and garden pavilion.