The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North
The sea and a cliff with a white lighthouse on it
June 2017
Reading time 5

Escape to the country with these unique getaways

Hotels are boring. You need a houseboat. You need a haunted castle. You need an oak-panelled unidome. You need, in short, our guide to 40 of the best off-piste stays in Yorkshire.


The life of a lighthouse keeper is traditionally a lonely one, but as this is one of two cottages available to stay in here, you shouldn’t have that worry. Expect fantastic coastal views and bracing seaside walks.

Whitby Lighthouse, Cleveland Way, Whitby YO22 4JZ
01386 701177

Culloden Tower

This four-storey tower on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park was built in the mid-1700s. Its mixture of Gothic and Classical design – think high ceilings and intricate carvings and plasterwork, coupled with beautiful interior features like exposed wooden beams and long windows – make this a really elegant place to stay.

1 Cravengate, Richmond DL10 4RE 01628 825920

Hazlewood Castle

Set in 77 acres of land, this former monastery boasts turrets, old-brick exteriors and plush countryside views. Every good castle comes with resident ghosts, and this one’s said to be haunted by priests who refused to give up their residency. For those who are easily spooked there’s a spa, outdoor trails and a restaurant.

Paradise Lane, Hazlewood LS24 9NJ 01937 535353

Skipwith Station

This is one train you can sleep on without the fear of missing your stop. These refitted railway carriages utilise every nook and cranny with their own kitchens, living areas and bathrooms on board. Indulge in the hot tub or enjoy the great outdoors with badminton, croquet and a barbecue. Don’t try to do them all at once, though.

York Road, Selby YO8 5DF 01757 282288

Houseboat Hotels

These floating apartments are a five-minute walk away from the city centre if you fancy combining that cosmopolitan buzz with a little countryside water-based quirkiness. It’s exactly the same as staying in a flat, except you can go fishing off the back of it. Beware of pirates.

Victoria Quays, Sheffield S2 5SY 07776 144693

Studford Lodges

These wooden lodges have their own hot tub and sauna and make the most of the lush woodland they’re set in: glass sliding doors open onto a veranda, on which you’re legally obliged to get your mate to take one of those photos where you’re looking at a view with your arms outstretched.

Sproxton YO62 5EL 01439 788991

Camp Katur

The boltholes at this quaint camping village sound like the sort of things you’d find in a post-apocalyptic society where man has had to scarper to the sticks and start all over again: there are geodomes, hobbit huts, safari tents, tipis and oak-panelled unidomes. New for this summer, Hill Farm Bell Tents offer beautiful fairy lights and fire pit for a comfortable stay and to truly relax, why not head to the Woodland Yoga and Wellness Dome for a range of workshops.

The Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington, Bedale DL8 2LS 01845 202100

Waterton Park Hotel

The achingly beautiful Waterton Park Hotel and Spa and Walton Hall sit proudly within lush rolling parklands – in the middle of a lake, no less. While it might be fun to ride across the bridge on a horse yelling ‘Charge!’ this is something we simply cannot condone.

Walton Hall, Walton, Wakefield WF2 6PW 01924 257911

The Garden House at Purey Cust

This hideaway directly behind the Minster incorporates the old and the new: the lower level is built into the exposed stone of an old barracks, while the upstairs makes the most of natural light with inventively positioned windows.

Precentors Court, York YO1 7AB

Swinton Bivouac Tree Lodges

Backwoods seclusion is the attraction here in these wooden lodges, camouflaged in the 20,000-acre Swinton Estate’s woodland, you’ve got a gas hob, hot water via wood-burner and no electricity. Chuck your iPad in a skip and escape.

Swinton Park, Masham HG4 4JZ 01765 535020

Shepherds’ Hut, Bilsdale

Live like a true shepherd and stay on a working hill farm, with sheep and cattle as your next door neighbours. This shepherds’ hut squeezes in a double bed, kitchenette and wood-burner, providing a cosy stay with a view across the North York Moors National Park.

Coniser Farm, Chop Gate TS9 7JU 01439 798298

North Star Club

Look up ‘boho chic’ in the dictionary – no, honestly, go and check now – and you’ll see North Star. Hidden in 500 acres of Wolds woodland, it’s Yorkshire’s take on those big camps you get in America: it’s properly wild, there are fairy lights everywhere, and there’s a canopy-covered campfire area outside. Pack marshmallows.

Sunley Hill, Welburn, Nunnington YO62 5XG 01439 748457

Middlethorpe Hall and Spa

Built in 1699, this magisterial hall has just the right amount of haughtiness to it. The beautifully preserved building gives you a glimpse of late Stuart wealth and grandeur, but there’s modern flash too: relax in the private garden and enjoy a meal in the three spacious dining rooms with a glass of wine in hand.

Bishopthorpe Road, York YO23 2GB 01904 641241

Lady Teal

A fully-catered and crewed hotel boat, the Lady Teal is ready to whisk you off along Yorkshire’s waterways. Cruises running this year include Skipton to Reedley and Reedley to Chorley, and last from three to seven nights.

Various pickup locations across Yorkshire 07834 320199

Ponden Hall

Purportedly the inspiration for Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights – and only a few miles from the family’s parsonage – one window here is said to be the one at which (SPOILER ALERT) Cathy’s ghost knocked. With low ceilings, period pieces, huge  flagstones and impressive original fireplaces, this is as evocative as they come.

Ponden Lane, Stanbury, Haworth BD22 0HR 01535 648608

The Old Chapel

Praise be: this chapel conversion’s stained glass windows and high solid wood ceilings are manna from heaven for anyone after period features and a base from which to explore Scarborough, Bridlington and the rest of the Yorkshire Riviera. Can I get an amen? I SAID CAN I GE- oh, forget it.

Speeton 0345 498 6900

The Old Station

Take some comfortable furniture and put it in a room, you’ve got a tidy little bolthole. Put it in three stationary railway carriages, though, and you’ve got an adventure.

Allerston, Pickering YO18 7PG 01723 859024

The Swaledale

This looks like a dainty 50s beach hut but it also packs an en suite shower room and kitchen-dining area as well as having a garden and a hot tub. It’s appropriately seaside-themed too with Scarborough and Bridlington nearby for al fresco dining and going for a paddle.

Burton Fleming, near Filey YO25 3HR 0345 268 0816

North Shire

We’ve all fantasised about living in the Shire from the Lord of the Rings. The dancing! The dragon fireworks! The chance to hang out with Ian McKellen! Well, you can’t have the dragon fireworks and Ian’s very busy these days, but you can stay at Shire House, a proper hobbit hideaway with the requisite circular door and turf-covered roof. Let the Samwise Gamgee impressions begin.

Liverton, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 4TJ 01287 642228

Low Mill Guesthouse

Built in the 1780s, this converted corn mill is full of charm, from the tiger and jaguar statues guarding the wheels and grindstones to its exposed stonework and farmhouse beams. The guest room, clad in stone and wood, gives you the joy of 18th century aesthetics without having to worry about being press-ganged or dying of smallpox.

Bainbridge, Leyburn DL8 3EF 01969 650 553

5 Station Court

The Grade II-listed former station waiting room has characterful arched windows and a brick colonnade, and is likely to provide the only time in your entire life in which you’re able to completely relax in a railway station.

Hornsea HU18 1QD 0345 268 1307

Deer Park House

This Grade II-listed miniature Gothic castle, complete with crenellations, can sleep up to 10. If you want retro-modern rural chic, this is it: this place has an Aga, multiple open fires throughout and red and fallow deer grazing on the Capability Brown-designed parkland outside.

Scampston, Malton YO17 8JB 07790 407115


Stay in woodcutter huts, bell tents and lodge tents which feature four-poster beds, wood-burners and communal clay ovens. This eco-friendly camp, set in 200 acres of woodland, gives 10 percent of its profits to educational and environmental causes, so you’re pretty much morally obliged to stay there.

Sunley Hill, Welburn, Nunnington YO62 5XQ 01439 748457

Wild Harvest Tipis and Activities

Stay in tipis and woodland cabins at this eco-friendly retreat. Relax and educate yourself with training courses in crafts like basket weaving, leatherwork and rag-rugging plus wilder stuff like foraging.

Boundary Farm, Langrickgate Lane, East Cottingwith YO42 4TA 07561 862507

Lendal Tower

This city centre tower is filled with history and charm. Formerly part of the city’s defences, the 14th century building captures Medieval living with original dark wood, rustic stonework and an impressive spiral staircase leading to a large roof terrace overlooking the Ouse with views of Museum Gardens and the Minster.

Lendal Bridge, York YO1 7DP 01423 709713 

A Place in the Pines

The Ryan Gosling vehicle The Place Beyond the Pines was pretty good but wasn’t much of a laugh – if only The Gozman had thought to stop in the pines themselves rather than trotting through them, he’d have found glorious Scandi-chic lodges in swoonsome North York Moors woodland. Maybe, though, if he’d tried one of their summer barbecues he’d never have bothered making La La Land and the world would be a darker place.

Keepers Cottage, Thimbleby DL6 3PY 07780 703840

St Aidans

A Grade II-listed Gothic church built by Temple Lushington Moore in the mid-1800s, St Aidans still looks every inch the quaint little church it used to be. You half expect a kindly minister to welcome you inside or the local WI to be organising a bake-sale. Even inside, it still retains many of its religious trappings, although it’s now had comfortable furniture and a few mod-cons added for your enjoyment. Hallelujah.

Carlton near Helmsley YO62 5HD 01642 263249

The Windmill

The word ‘windmill’ doesn’t necessarily bring to mind Scarborough and the phrase ‘cosy place to stay’, but the only surviving windmill in the town – which dates all the way back the 18th century – has been converted into luxurious bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation.

Mill Street, Scarborough YO11 1SZ 01723 372735

Great Driffield in Yorkshire

The Treehouse

Cosy stone cottage for two? Check. Well-furnished? Yes. Good pub less than a mile away? You bet. Hot tub in the branches of a tree in the garden? Well, obviously.

Gilling Old Mill, Waters Lane, Gilling West near Richmond DL10 5JD 01642 263249

York Holiday & Cycle Stop

If you’re exploring Yorkshire on your bike, stop in at this dedicated facility for cyclists. The glamping pods are big enough for two adults, there’s free WiFi, secure cycle storage and a cycle wash area.

Weir Pond Nurseries, Holtby YO19 5UD 07834 257985

Pickersgill Manor Farm

The Preston family run Pickersgill Manor Farm and it’s every bit as cosy and rustic as you’d hope. There are sheep in the fields, popular spots like the Silsden Reservoir walk nearby and award-winning breakfasts made from local produce around the table in the farmhouse’s kitchen.

Low Lane, Silsden Moor BD20 9JH 01535 655228

Bella at Copper Beech Glade

Wander through the trees on the Markington Hall estate, and you might stumble across Bella. No, not Bella Swan from Twilight or, erm, Bella Lasagne from Fireman Sam: Bella’s one of three colourful gypsy caravans. Her sisters are Carmen and Rosita, and all of them stand amid tranquil ancient woodland.

Markington Hall, Markington HG3 3PQ 01765 676534

The Bothy

Set in the grounds of the Burton Lodge Guest House, the Bothy is equal parts quaint country retreat and luxuriously elegant accommodation. It’s got a real cosy-cabin-in-the-woods vibe to it. The bed is big and comfortable, the bathroom is modern and there’s a hot tub exclusively available to Bothy guests.

Burton Lodge Guest House, Starcarr Lane, Brandesburton, Driffield YO25 8RU 01964 542847

The Old Folly

Cripes, who’d stay in a crumbling old ruin? Sure, it’s got a very handsome Gothic archway, but I like taking my weekend getaways in places with central heating, ta very much. Pardon? It’s actually an 1825-built Grade-II listed folly? It’s meant to look like that? It’s actually the height of comfort inside? Please stop repeating everything you say because it’s really annoying? Oh.

Hunmanby Follies, Bridlington Street, Hunmanby YO14 0LS 0345 498 6900

Swinton Bivouac Meadow Yurts

On a hillside overlooking Nidderdale’s moors, these yurts come with wood-burning stoves and a communal outdoor kitchen for cooking al fresco. You can also get to know your fellow campers in the wood-fired hot tub.

Swinton Park, Masham HG4 4JZ 01765 680900

Uppergate Farm

Sure, there are quaint cottages to stay in here, but there are also glamping yurts and a converted barn that’s over 300 years old. Come for the historic buildings and stay for the relaxation and farm animals.

Hepworth, Holmfirth HD9 1TG 01484 681369

La Rosa Hotel

This plush guesthouse was a big favourite of Lewis Carroll’s back in the day, and they’ve applied his wildly imaginative verve to their interiors: it feels a little like a modern take on a Victorian curiosity shop, with bits and bobs spotted everywhere giving a pleasurable time-warp feel. The view of the bay’s absolutely cracking too.

Feversham Arms

The Med’s all well and good, but if you can’t catch a flight and you’re looking for a break away, the Faversham Arms is for you. Have lunch on the Mediterranean terrace here and enjoy a relaxing stay. It’s just like being on the Côte d’Azur, honest.

Helmsley YO62 5AG 01439 770766

Shepherds’ Delight

Surrounded by five acres of woodland and fields, this shepherds’ hut comes with a wood burning stove, hot tub, fire pit and, if you’re brave enough, an outdoor shower.

The Forge, South Stainley, Harrogate HG3 3LZ 01423 772999

The Old Lifeboat House

What was once the station for the local lifeboat crew has been converted into luxurious self-catering accommodation, just a couple of minutes from the beach at Hornsea.

Hornsea 01244 352262

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.