I spent 24 hours at the Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa, Yorkshire, and found it to be a place for adventures as well a relaxing luxurious place to stay.
In all my time travelling in, out and around the Yorkshire Dales I have driven past and admired it from the outside but had not yet ventured in to experience it. That was about to change.
I had not realised how vast it was, nor did I know what it offered in the style of relaxing, dining and things to do. I was to find plenty of luxurious relaxing but also some great walking as well as adrenalin filled adventure, all without leaving the huge grounds here.
The hotel is located a few miles east of Skipton, just beyond the village of Gargrave, so as well as enjoying what the hotel and grounds has to offer it makes for a perfect base to explore the Dales. For example it is just around the corner from Malham Cove, and down the road from Ingleton and Ingleborough.
Also, if you have a four legged friend then you will pleased to know this hotel is very dog friendly.
Firstly I must mention the wonderful staff on reception. From check in to check out, every time I had a question, no matter how busy they may have been, they were more than happy to answer or help with a friendly smile. It really stood out.
I was given my key and headed to my room down the corridor. I had heard a lot about the rooms here being lovely and right they were.
I had been given one of the gorgeous Dales Rooms here. It was so spacious, very spacious actually. It had plenty of lovely luxurious touches and a comfortable feeling without being too much or ‘in your face’ at all.
The Nespresso machine for coffee was a very nice touch. Wireless charging by the bed for all types of phones? Nice. Infrared heating that comes through the lovely picture on the wall? Nice (and wow!). Every little detail had been thought through that is for sure.
The classic room meant a classy view too. Out of the window I could see across the lake and over the hotel’s estate.
I didn’t need to just watch the view through the big windows, however. Each room has its own patio, table and chairs so you can enjoy the view and the Yorkshire tranquility with a coffee just outside the room.
The hotel also supplies lovely soft robes in each room. Exactly what I needed for my first port of call: The Spa.
Now, at the top of this post I hinted at the lovely spa offerings at Nàdarra Spa at Coniston hotel. Their infinity pool jacuzzis are in the most wonderful spot.
Of course it was nice to spend as much time as I could in there. Who wouldn’t want a glass of fizz, fresh air, and a view worthy of relaxation. Cheers!
The spa reaches far beyond jacuzzis, however. In fact on a spa day here it would be difficult to know where to start.
Inside the spa there are so many ways to spoil yourself and relax. To start with there is the 15m swimming pool and a whole load of thermal treatments like the Finnish Sauna, the Himalayan Sauna, an Aromatherapy Steam Room, an Infrared Sauna and an Ice Fountain to really get the blood pumping.
You can even partake in a mud rasal experience or enjoy one of the many types of massages that are available. Honestly, there are too many wonderful activities to explain here; you truly must experience it for yourself.
Now that I was fully relaxed, it was time to enjoy some dinner.
For dinner I ate in the restaurant called ‘The View’. Yes, again it had a view over the estate and the lake.
The restaurant prides itself on getting its supplies from local Yorkshire suppliers and proudly has a page in the menu listing their partners, what they supply and a bit of info about each of them. A nice touch.
From the starters I went for the scallops and they were cooked to perfection. It was a lovely way to get the appetite going.
I followed this up with a nice steak, but the choices on the mains are really plentiful and all sounded great. The venison is one for the future as it sounds delicious. I saw one of the waiting staff come by with someone’s burger, and that looked amazing too.
For dessert I could not resist the thought of the coconut cheesecake with tropical salsa. Mmmmmmmm.
Breakfast at the hotel is served in The View restaurant area as well, transformed into a great spot for the day.
Breakfast and a coffee with top Yorkshire views out of the windows.
So what did I have? Well, when in Yorkshire, have a full Yorkshire breakfast!
Phew. After that tasty lot it was time to burn some calories in the fresh air.
Walking The Estate
As I have said, this is not just a hotel, nor just a hotel and spa. The estate grounds cover an area of 1400 acres. And that is 1400 scenic, peaceful and historic acres.
You are free to wander the estate, and you are free to bring along your dogs. In reception you can grab a little map that shows you the paths all around so you can enjoy every corner of the grounds.
Fresh air and a good walk in the Yorkshire countryside without having to get in your car or worry about somebody else’s land is hard to beat.
If you want to learn more about the history of the area then the walk is a good way to explore that too. Landmarks of the past, man made and natural, are dotted around with signage explaining what they mean to the estate or people working here, past and present.
The are open fields, enchanting and well kept woodlands, as well as past features. The original Coniston Hall was built in 1851 by the Garforths who made money via the Leeds – Liverpool Canal. They then went on to invest in the estate.
One place that is bound to catch the eye is the old pet cemetery. It showed a love of dogs here throughout its history You see graves dating from near the present all the way back to the late 1800s
Those who do not wish to walk can take one the hotel’s electric bikes for a ride around the local trails. That leads me to some of the adventurous hotel activities on offer.
Activities and Land Rover Experience
You have had your luxury, you have had your relaxation, and now it’s time for adventure.
At the hotel you can select one of the many activities on offer. I have talked about the walking and biking but there are many more things you may have never done and would love to try.
For example, you can try your hand at clay pigeon shooting or hire a boat to go fishing on the lake.
But the adrenalin packed fun I took part in was The Land Rover Experience.
No matter how experienced you are, I can assure you this is fun. You are meant to enjoy it and, believe me, you will be doing things in car you would likely never dare to do.
I was met by Andy who greeted me with a brand new Land Rover Defender. Gulp, no pressure there then.
You are assisted every step of the way, learning how the computer wizardry works, how to use the cameras instead of the windscreen to see where you are going, etc.
The first time you hit the top of a big steep drop down and you cannot see anything in front of you but the sky, you soon learn with their help!
It starts easy, then slowly you reach points where you feel like you will literally roll and turn the car over. Fun and thrills…much more than a roller coaster!
Many times your wheels don’t touch the ground at all.
There you go. 24 hours full of luxury, relaxation, stunning views, walks, and adventure.
A remarkable, unique hotel that is quite simply so far from being ‘just a hotel’ with something for everybody. A weekend escape? Absolutely. A spa break? Absolutely. A base for the Dales and some adventure? Oh yes, indeed.
There is even more to discover that I simply could not cover in just 24 hours. So check out Coniston Hotel & Spa and treat yourself.
I won’t just be just driving past and wondering about this place in future. I shall either be heading in, or thinking fondly of all the nice memories I made.