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Yorkshire Dales - Eating and sleeping
The following places to stay in the Yorkshire Dales are extracted from Slow Travel: Yorkshire Dales. They have been selected for their good location and because they embrace the Slow mindset, either in terms of their overall feel or because they embody a ‘green’ approach.
Swinton Park Swinton, near Masham HG4 4JH; 01765 680900; www.swintonpark.com. This is a country house hotel specialising in unashamed opulence. The cheapest room is nearly £200 for B&B (I had to smile at the charge for having your dog in your room – more than I paid for B&B for myself recently). Having said that, everything about the place – the restaurant, grounds, rooms and service – is top-class. Added extras to your experience when staying here could be taking part in one of the many events here like food fairs, garden design days or falconry displays. Alternatively, you could sign up for golf, fishing, shooting or one of the famous cookery school courses.
The Traddock Austwick LA2 8BY; 01524 251224; www.thetraddock.co.uk. This neat Georgian stone building doubles as a luxury country house hotel with an enviable reputation for very English, period comfort. It was built by the locally influential Ingleby family on a field known as the trading paddock, hence the weird abbreviated nickname. All the rooms are en suite doubles bar one single, and room rates are reasonable. Dogs are welcome for a small fee.
Knowles Lodge B&B Appletreewick BD23 6DQ; 01756 720228; www.knowleslodge.com. A timber-framed house in 18 acres of grounds on the banks of the River Wharfe. The Knowles-Fitton family, of running up hills fame (see box, page 73), offer luxury B&B at an affordable price in a choice of twin, double or family room. If you love the setting but prefer your tent, there is basic camping in the field by the river. Your hosts, Chris and Pam also have fly-fishing rights to a stretch of the river which is available to guests. Children aged seven or over are welcome, as are dogs.
Tan Hill Inn Tan Hill, near Reeth DL11 6ED; 01833 628246; www.tanhillinn.co.uk. A wide range of accommodation is on offer at this ‘highest pub in Britain’, from very cheap camping or a bunk in a barn, to self-catering in the Drover’s Rest flat or good value traditional B&B above the pub. It can be either really quiet or wild here (the latter if there’s a musical event on – check before booking). Dogs are allowed in some rooms.
The Blue Lion East Witton DL8 4SN; 01969 624273; www.thebluelion.co.uk. Each of the 15 rooms here has a slightly different design and feel to the others but they are all en suite, very comfortable and not outrageously expensive. Some are in the old stables annex (dogs welcome) while the rest are in the main house. Downstairs happens to be a smashing old pub with an excellent restaurant.
Bower Bank EcoBarn Gawthrop, Dent LA10 5QQ; 01539 625707; www.bowerbankecobarn.com. This is a self-catering venue with gilt-edged ‘Eco’ credentials: all hot water and under-floor heating comes from a ground source heat pump, a wood-burning stove keeps you toasty on extra cold nights and rain water flushes the toilets. The address may be Gawthrop, Dent but in reality Bower Bank sits in splendid isolation halfway up the hillside, with extensive views down the dale and up to Combe Scar behind. A former recording studio of musician/comedian/rambler and general good egg Mike Harding, this beautiful old stone building is now in the keeping of Justin and Virginia Walker who live in the farm next door. Sleeps up to ten with an extra two in the farm annex if required. Dog-friendly (big garden).
Culloden Tower Richmond DL10 4XL; 01628 825925; www.landmarktrust.org.uk. Holidaying in this incredibly ornate 16th-century building, rented out by the Landmark Trust, was described by one visitor as like ‘staying in a giant Wedgewood vase’. Its parkland location overlooking the River Swale is both magnificent and convenient as the facilities of the town are only five minutes’ walk away. The building consists of four floors with just one octagonal room on each, all linked by a spiral staircase. Two of the rooms are bedrooms sleeping four people in total (double and twin). Extremely expensive but unique. Dog-friendly.
The Ruin Grewelthorpe HG4 3DE; 01628 825925; www.landmarktrust.org.uk. Don’t be put off by the name of the building or village because this is a brilliant place owned by the Landmark Trust, in a great location and available to rent self-catered for two people in one double bedroom. The building was always designed to be two things at once, a lavish Georgian garden pavilion in the Gothic style at the front, and a mock Roman ruin at the back. And it is the back that I feel has The Ruin’s best feature – its spectacular view over the wooded gorge of Hackfall below and the hills beyond. Great walking is to be had from the door and Grewelthorpe’s fine pub is a stroll-able mile away. Landmark Trust properties are never cheap and this is no exception. No dogs.
Holme Farm Sedbergh LA10 5ET; 01539 620654; www.holmeopenfarm.co.uk. One of David and Angela Metcalfe’s farm fields doubles as a quiet, cheap and cheerful family-friendly campsite. As this is an open farm there are lots of children’s activities involving contact with the farm animals. The on-site café also sells basic camping supplies. The owners are quite strict on the ‘quiet after dark’ rule, which suits me as I hate noisy campsites. Consequently, rowdy adult groups are not welcome and, as this is a working farm, neither are dogs.