What could be more gratifying than rolling up the driveway to the turreted Swinton Park castle hotel, in the knowledge that its stately home grandeur is yours for the weekend? The ancestral home of the Cunliffe-Lister family is now run as a hotel so that you can make yourself entirely at home – in the picture-strung hallways, by the fire in the turquoise and gold drawing room, in the billiard room or your super-sized bedroom.
Samuel’s, the hotel's three AA-rosette restaurant is headed up by chef Simon Crannage and situated in the grand rear room where vast plastered ceilings add to the luxury vibe. The exquisite food on offer makes the most of the homegrown produce from Swinton’s own walled garden. There’s also a spa if you fancy booking a treatment in the Comfort Zone, or a relaxing hour or two in the Jacuzzi pool and sauna.
But perhaps the most memorable thing of all about Swinton Park is the grounds, which are large enough for a decent ramble without seeing another soul or having to leave the estate. No wonder Ladette-to-Lady’s formidable Rosemary Schrager holds her cookery school here – in the stylishly converted stable block adjacent, in case you're tempted to come back as a cookery student.
- An after-dinner stroll through the grounds
- The Anne Semonin products in the suites
- Sunday Masterclass lunches
- There's no defined spa area as such – Jacuzzi and sauna are sited separately to the treatment rooms
Need to Know: Swinton Park
Number of rooms: 30
Check-in/check-out times: 3pm and 11am
Swimming pool: No
Spa: Yes. But it’s split into separate areas: the treatment room, then the Jacuzzi and sauna room. The latter are also only available when you book a timed slot.
Dogs welcome: Yes. At an additional charge of £25
Eating and drinking: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in Samuel’s Restaurant – a grand room, serving grand food. The Castle Menu offers a less formal, brasserie-style menu, while afternoon tea and refreshments are available in the bar, terrace (if the weather is up to it), drawing Room, private sitting room or as room service.
Near to? The beautiful Yorkshire Dales are right on the doorstep, while you've also got easy access to a day's shopping in York or Leeds.
Getting there: GNER runs train services to York, which is 32 miles away.