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Hotel Highlights

  • Ideal location in the idyllic Yorkshire Dales
  • A superb restaurant and a great cask-ale selection
  • Informal but stylishly executed country-house comforts

Overview

Yorebridge House hotel is quintessential modern British, from its location – Wensleydale (no cheese or Wallace & Gromit jokes, please) in the ruggedly beautiful Yorkshire Dales – to its classic stone exterior amid wild rural surroundings. Inside, this one-time schoolhouse maintains the initial romance with a blend of modern and vintage furnishings, a superb fine-dining farm-to-table restaurant and a cosy little bar where you can chat up friendly locals. We can think of no better place to unwind after a day roaming this renowned countryside.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Yorebridge House with us:

A glass of champagne each on arrival

Facilities

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Yorebridge House hotel - North Yorkshire - United Kingdom

Need To Know

Rooms

11, including one suite.

Check–out

11am, but potentially flexible, availability permitting. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $260.81 (£167), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Yorebridge is at the epicentre of the great Yorkshire outdoors and the Dales are a rambler's paradise – you can go fishing on site, and if it involves guns, horses, canoes, arrows, wellies or crampons, chances are the hotel can arrange it for you nearby.

At the hotel

In-room spa treatments, gardens, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TVs, DVD/CD player, free bottled water. Five rooms have hot tubs.

Our favourite rooms

We love the contemporary, Caribbean-flavoured St Jean room, which comes with bright and breezy walls, a pale-wood four-poster bed, outdoor hot tub, and wickerwork and seashells dotted around. We also like the Moroccan-inspired Rahmoune, which has an antique window frame as part of the bedhead, and Orient-inspired Nishiki, which has a private terrace and hot tub. Greenwich – the large suite up in the house's eaves – is also well worth a look. It comes with two free-standing roll-top baths, for dual bathing without having to share water.

Packing tips

Stout walking boots and a good-quality anorak are must-packs – the weather seems to change every five minutes up here, which is one reason why the Dales are so green.

Also

There's a two-night minimum stay at New Year. Two terraced rooms in the schoolhouse can accommodate dogs, but the main building is off-limits to them.

Children

Welcome: Yorebridge can provide cribs (£10) or extra beds (£30) as required, has a babysitting service and listening equipment, and the restaurant is totally tailored to tots.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Yorebridge House hotel - North Yorkshire - United Kingdom

Hotel Restaurant

The hotel dining room's open kitchen is where head chef Dan Shotton works his magic on local, seasonal produce to produce dishes such as crispy pork belly with hand-dived scallops and confit Wensleydale lamb with broccoli and pine nuts. The dining room itself is very twinkly and romantic, but extremely unpretentious – think dark-wood tables, potted palms, cream woodwork and nutmeg walls – and is flooded with light from its French windows throughout the day. Make sure you opt for the five- to six-course set menu on at least one night of your stay. Lighter fare is on offer in the bar from lunchtime.

Hotel Bar

Yorebridge House’s small and sweet bar consists of a tiny chamber situated next to the dining room. With just four bar stools and a cosy sofa, it certainly encourages you to strike up conversation with other residents or locals popping in for a pint of its excellent regional cask ale.

Last orders

Dinner and bar meals are served 7pm–9pm. The bar closes its doors to outsiders at 11pm, but residents can carry on tippling through the night.

Room service

Full restaurant and bar menus are available during opening hours.

Smith Insider

Dress code

People don't stand on formality up in Yorkshire – wear what you like.

Top table

Choose the row of tables overlooking the garden (they're also the furthest away from the kitchen) for a romantic meal.

Local Guide

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Yorebridge House hotel - North Yorkshire - United Kingdom
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Ride the 17 mile-long Wensleydale Railway, from Leeming Bar to Redmire near Castle Bolton. The 50-minute trip through ultra-scenic countryside runs regularly over weekends and school holidays. Alternatively, take a trip on the vintage 1960s bus that runs between Ripon, Leyburn and Hawes. Visit the semi-ruined Bolton Castle in Leyburn, which was once home to (an admittedly imprisoned) Mary Queen of Scots.

Local restaurants

Upscale seafood restaurant The Wensleydale Heifer (+44 (0)1969 622322) in West Witton is famed for its Whitby fish and chips served in newspaper, as well as its roasted scallops, lobster any-way-you-want and grilled prawns. It's incredibly popular, so make sure you book ahead. The Corn Mill Tea Room (+44 (0)1969 650212) at Bainbridge, open from 9.30am to 5pm daily, specialises in delicious cakes – it also sells plants. For a good, strong Yorkshire cuppa and a nice selection of buns, head to Kitty's Tea Rooms (no phone) on Askrigg Road in Aysgarth.

Local cafés

Artisan jam-maker Raydale Preserves has a tasting room-cum-café in the petite village of Stalling Busk – sample their spectrum of jams and chutneys – with plenty of home-made cakes to mop them up.

+ Enlarge
A nice slice of Wensleydale

Yorebridge House

Askrigg Road, Bainbridge, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, DL8 3EE, United Kingdom

Planes

The nearest airport is Durham Tees Valley, 50 minutes away by car. It's wise to make use of the airport's wide variety of car hire services – the hotel's secluded rural location makes using public transport a little tricky.

Trains

Garsdale station is 10 minutes by car and will get you to Leeds. The hotel can arrange a local taxi.

Automobiles

If you're in search of a little history, the popular spa town of Harrogate is just an hour away. Bainbridge is an hour and 15 minutes from the A6 and M1.

Other

The hotel has a helipad.

Reviews

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Yorebridge House hotel - North Yorkshire - United Kingdom

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

No sooner have we fled the M1, do we slip into a different dimension. Without boring you too much with tales of dreary rush-hour traffic, let’s just say that the timeless landscape of the North Yorkshire Dales is just the ticket. A vision of rural perfection: velvet-green hillocks populated by high-kicking lambs and studded with historic houses and stone-built barns. For us it’s comple…
Read more

Yorebridge House

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

No sooner have we fled the M1, do we slip into a different dimension. Without boring you too much with tales of dreary rush-hour traffic, let’s just say that the timeless landscape of the North Yorkshire Dales is just the ticket. A vision of rural perfection: velvet-green hillocks populated by high-kicking lambs and studded with historic houses and stone-built barns. For us it’s complete with glowering cumulonimbi pierced by dazzling shafts of sun. ‘It’s like a fairy tale,’ I gush. ‘But heavier on the weather references,’ pipes up Mr Smith.

Over hills, and yes, dales, through time-stood-still villages and past acres of pristine farmland, we arrive at Bainbridge. We follow our noses to where we think we’ll find Yorebridge House, past a village green sporting mediaeval stocks quaintly still in situ. ‘Look for a bridge,’ I suggest. ‘The clue being in the hotel’s name,’ chips in you-know-who. An image of smarty-pants in those stocks foists its way into my thought bubble.

Lovingly renovated by David and Charlotte Reilly in 2006, our chosen boutique hotel was once a tiny village school. Victorian on the outside, with Noughties boutique styling on the inside, this former classroom and master’s house has undergone a serious conversion. Yorebridge House is seductively decorated with chocolate-brown walls, polished wooden floors, twinkling hurricane lamps and bold wallpaper – it’s accommodation most unexpected in this traditional Dales heartland. Famed for its eponymous cheese, James Herriott and more recently, those less-than-stylish exports, Wallace and Grommit, we’ve done our homework on Wensleydale, but still we aren’t expecting a retreat as chic as this.

As though faithful to a legacy of many commands of ‘Quiet at the back, please!’ reception in the schoolmaster’s house is serenely silent. Yet we hear a tantalising bustle a few rooms away. Of course – it’s mealtime. The hotel’s keen young team and also the guests have all migrated into the lively dining room. Tainted by too many arrival-after-9pm hotel experiences, we’re poised to fly into a panic. Thankfully someone appears just in the nick and whisks us to a world of more candles, gleaming wooden floors, and potted palms past an open kitchen. Here award-winning chef, James Fiske’s bright and beautiful team is in full swing, adhering diligently to the watchwords of modern British cooking – local, seasonal, sustainable.

The fixed-price menu has plenty of choices and lots of surprises amid amuse-bouches, flavoured foams and rectangular plates. Everything is prepared with imagination and integrity and service is of the sweet and charming, rather than formal or forbidding and enthusiasm is palpable from all, staff and diners alike. Local spring lamb loin with confit of mutton is a winner. Norwegian ice wine with pudding is unexpected and delicious. And if you’re asking us to mark the restaurant at Yorebridge House, we’re awarding an A+.

Ambling across the small gravel car park to our bedroom, we spy puffs of steam and hear giggling. Ah yes, the ground-floor bedrooms have hedonistic outdoor hot tubs. Shielded by rattan screens in petite private gardens, it is still clear that Yorebridge’s weekend boarders are bathing alfresco, and loving every minute. Forget a slap on the legs with a ruler or a cane to your buttocks – well, unless that’s your thing – these days this school clearly encourages a little misbehaviour.

Our room, Spanish-inspired Carabeo, is one of four in the grade-II listed schoolroom. The graceful barn-like building has been quartered to create apartment-style living, a feeling enhanced by seagrass on the floors, powder-blue chandeliers, pleasingly large Bang & Olufsen flatscreens and all the mod cons. In the centre of our boudoir is the puffiest bed ever, with a downy comforter and duvet, all heaped with pillows. Separated by a not-quite-to-the ceiling wall, the ensuite gleams with stone tiling, a vast rolltop bath, curlicued mirrors and cool, contemporary lighting. The only anomaly? An original half-window gives riverwalkers a bizarre view of loo-users’ ankles. Worried that Snoopy tattoo might reveal your identity? Thankfully, owners David and Charlotte have got all bases (and body parts) covered and rolling blinds protects all dignity.

The next morning, Team Yorebridge happily organises a breakfast for two in the quiet schoolmaster’s room. Reserved for private dining in the evening, here we enjoy locally sourced full Yorkshire brekkie, fat weekend papers and an eyeful of creatures great and small. Ducks quack in the river, lambs bounce in nearby fields – it’s a world away from home. So the concept of moving from the hotel is a little challenging, but eventually we don hiking boots and venture out.

We roam Castle Bolton’s crumbling ramparts, taste plentiful fruit-studded samples of Wensleydale in Hawes, hike at a window-shoppers pace aside Askrigg’s dramatic waterfalls and finally take a detour to Semer Water. Here a local jam-maker’s tasting room is our recompense. Raydale Preserves specialises in soft-set jams and way-out chutneys – this unmanned cottage filled with hundreds of pots of jam and plenty of spoons is trustingly begging us to sample. A sign politely requests money for any goods taken and so we settle up for some strawberry this and spiced banana that. We’re half tempted to get an extra jar to take back to our interior-design-educating hosts. After all they’ve done at Yorebridge House to make our weekend away so wonderful, we’re in the mood to play schoolmaster’s pet.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Yorebridge House from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved everything, the room, the food, the hot tub.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The whole place is just gorgeous. The decor, the service, the menu, the location - everything. We spent a few nights here after our wedding and it was the perfect honeymoon destination. Staff are discreet, friendly and very accommodating - attention to detail in service is second to none. David was a charming host, serving us at the bar on both nights. The private hot tub by the river was fantastic, as was the room - Molton Brown products in the bathroom were most welcome!

Rating: 10/10 stars