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Swinton Park Castle is a luxury castle hotel in the Yorkshire Dales, England, and a Grade II listed building with a history going back over 300 years.
It is a fabulous building full of historical intrigue and ambience, and the huge estate is extremely picturesque with a mixture of gardens, parkland, woodland and no less than five lakes.
The service and facilities at Swinton are impeccable too and it is seen by many as Yorkshire’s finest country hotel.
Their 32 rooms are all spacious, super comfortable and inviting, and they pack in lots of early 20th century stately home charm. The choices range from double or twin rooms to large suites with adjoining seating areas.
They all have spacious, plush bathrooms with bathtubs, and some also having classic roll top baths right in the bedroom to pack an extra romantic punch. The best value rooms might be the ‘superior doubles’, these are just as large as the more expensive suites and equally lavishly furnished, with the main difference being that the seating area in the suites is a semi-separate space.
The building is very historic, it was originally built in the 1600s and though, with its impressive looking battlements and corner turrets, it has the look of a genuine Stuart Period castle many of the external ‘castle’ features were late 18th, and 19th century add-ons.
Internally the original building retains a great amount of historical ambience with grand old halls and drawing rooms, gilded ceilings and an array of classic paintings and antiques. There is also a separate, thoroughly modern, block which houses the spa and the Terrace Restaurant.
Check out all the details – prices, reviews and more photos – on the booking page here.
FACILITIES & THINGS TO DO:
For dining they have two main choices, in very different settings. The Terrace is a contemporary, semi formal restaurant in the new block while the three AA Rosette winning Samuels offers fine dining in the lavish surrounds of the great dining hall.
The chef director at Swinton, the vastly experienced Stephen Bulmer, runs some very highly rated half, one and two-day cooking courses along with ‘Chef’s Table’ cooking demonstrations in the converted Georgian era stables.
The Spa and Country Club has a fitness centre and gym, an indoor swimming pool, a hydrotherapy pool, both indoor and outdoor saunas, and eight treatment suites offering a range of health and beauty therapies using luxury organic Elemis and Bamford products.
The grounds of the estate are vast with walled landscaped gardens, woodland and parkland where 200 deer roam free, five lakes and a quirky Victorian era, faux ancient site inspired by Stonehenge, The Druid’s Temple.
There is also a bird of prey centre here and falconry demonstrations as well as owl and other bird of prey handling can be arranged. Pony trekking and horse riding can be arranged too at the adjacent Masham Riding and Treking Centre and a round of golf can be enjoyed at the, within walking distance, Masham Golf Club. Clay pigeon shooting, fishing, mountain biking and plenty more rural activities can all also be easily organized at Swinton.
The setting is secluded and peaceful, just outside the small village Masham at the eastern edge of the famous Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The Dales have of course much stunning scenery, wild moorland and forest but the broader Swinton Estate itself, which covers a range of 20,000 acres, is large enough and has enough natural beauty of its own, to keep guests happily staying within its boundaries for the duration of their stay.
The nearest large town is the spa town of Harrogate about 20 miles away with the city of York being roughly 40 miles away.
A LITTLE HISTORY:
Swinton Park Castle and gardens were originally built in 1695 by Sir Abstrupus Danby, a local wool merchant and Justice of the Peace for Yorkshire, though most of what we see today came later. Abstrupus’ grandson, William Danby, almost completely rebuilt the house in the late 1700s, extending its area and restyling it in the, very fashionable at the time, Neo-Gothic style. More alterations were to come in proceeding decades with amongst other things, castle like embellishments; turrets and battlements, added by the esteemed Victorian architect Robert Lugar.
The castle was bought by Samuel Cunliffe-Lister, 1st Baron Masham and a famed inventor and industrialist. His family kept it all the way though to 1980, with a brief occupation by the Harrogate Ladies Club during WW2, and with Samuel’s grandson by marriage, Philip Cunliffe-Lister (not a Cunliffe-Lister by birth he, rather unusually for the time, took on his wife’s surname), accruing the title of Viscount Swinton in 1935 and 1st Earl of Swinton in 1955.
The last of the Cunliffe-Listers to occupy the house in that era was Phillip’s wife Molly who remained there until her death in 1974 after which time it was taken over by the Lindley Educational Trust. In May 2000 though the Cunliffe-Lister family bought it back, and after a year of refurbishment, it opened as Swinton Park Hotel under the ownership of Mark Cunliffe-Lister, Molly’s great grandson.
“Incomparable. Royalty for three days. 20,000 acres of incomparable natural and landscaped grounds. Deer park, multiple lakes, bucolic! Lots of walking and running trails, as well as a pleasant walk to Masham. Stunning manor home. Food was delicious and Terrace Restaurant a great value. Breakfast menu was extraordinary. Spa and steam room were complementary….”
“The property is a castle in superb huge grounds with deer roaming. The inside is second to none with a Hollywood actor staying at the same time as us. It is truly unbelievable….”
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- Swinton Park Estate