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Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, Helmsley, Yorkshire
In the well-heeled market town of Helmsley on the edge of the North York Moors, this mellow-stone hotel ticks the boxes for a country weekend. You'll find a choice of bedrooms from cottagey-snug to sleek suite, spa with heated outdoor pool, smart dining, independent shops around the corner or blustery walks a few miles away. The 19th-century inn, now expanded into adjoining cottages, is furnished in a low-key, chic country style with plaid carpets and tawny colours. There are comfortable lounges, toasty fires, piles of newspapers and terrace seating around the sheltered pool. Spend the day striding across the moors, browsing Helmsley's independent shops or chilling in the small and, it must be said, popular spa. It's dog-friendly, too.
There's a lovely walk in Helmsley, from just beside the Walled Garden, and following part of the Cleveland Way, to the romantic ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.
Sitting in the pretty market town of Helmsley in North Yorkshire, the hotel is surrounded by stunning countryside, with York and Leeds just under an hour away.
By car: The Feversham Arms is 4 hours 30 mins from London and 2 hours from Manchester. There is free parking available at the hotel
By train: London Kings Cross to Thirsk takes 2 hours 20 mins. The hotel is a 25-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's more for couples than families (though children are welcome) who want a comfortable country-town break with the option of exploring or just chilling out. The hotel has an easy-going, relaxed feel so you don't feel guilty being lazy, or a nuisance if you come back from a walk with muddy boots.
Service & Facilities
We enjoyed coming back from a brisk walk on the moors to tea and scones beside the fire in the lounge. Dogs are welcomed with a bowl, blanket and treat, are allowed in most bedrooms (not spa suites), and all areas except the restaurant.
- Outdoor pool
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
We love Room 19, tucked up in the eaves in the original building; cosy and private with its wood-burning stove and rich red and green colours. All rooms, even the standard doubles, have interesting art and individual warming touches, whether it's a bright-patterned blanket throw or nice piece of ceramic pottery.
Standard Double, Traditional Double, Junior Suites, Deluxe Suites, Luxury Poolside Suites, Luxury Spa Suites
Facilities include: bath with shower or walk-in shower, Temple Spa toiletries, bathrobes, slippers, TV, tea and coffee tray
Food & Drink
The conservatory-style dining room, with its glass canopy, bright-coloured fabrics and views to the courtyard, manages to be buzzy yet intimate. We didn't have time to try it, but the afternoon teas - with sweet and savoury versions, and each offering two types of scones - looked wicked.
The Weathervane: 1 AA Rosette fine dining, local and foraged North Yorkshire produce, seasonal modern British dishes. Open every day for afternoon tea and dinner. A lounge menu is served noon-5pm. Two-course dinner £38, three courses £50.