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Judges Hotel, Yarm, Yorkshire
This Victorian country house, 20 minutes from the North York Moors, has all the hallmarks you'd expect of former judges' lodgings: circular gravel drive, woodland for privacy, a fire-warmed entrance hall and a fleet of comfortably traditional reception rooms. Bedrooms, too, have a traditional elegance with thick fabrics, well-padded armchairs and thoughtful treats of sherry, fruit and flowers. Bathrooms, by contrast, can be flashy with air-baths and TVs. Meals are a fine-dining affair with canapés in the drawing room, and a conservatory dining room overlooking the pretty terraced gardens and woodland. There are meandering walks in the latter or the nearby moors for breezier stuff. Return to afternoon tea and a warm welcome from courteous yet down-to-earth staff.
A short but sharp climb up nearby Roseberry Topping, on the edge of the North York Moors, gives superb views over the coast, moors and inland to the Yorkshire Dales.
The hotel is a mile away from the classic Yorkshire village of Yarm, where you'll find shops and country pubs.
By car: Judges is 4 hours 30 mins from London and 2 hours from Manchester. Free parking is available on-site.
By train: London Kings Cross to Yarm (via Northallerton) takes around 3 hours. The hotel is a 5-minute taxi ride from the station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
People who enjoy good food and comfortably traditional surrounds with a friendly and ever-helpful staff will feel at home here. We love the feeling of peace and privacy, helped by the surrounding gardens and woodland with not another building in sight.
Service & Facilities
Exploring the grounds on paths that take us past herbaceous borders and rhododendrons, through woodland, beside waterfalls and across tiny bridges is a lovely way to relax.
- Wellness centre
- Bike hire
- Free parking
- Free Wi-Fi
Any of the rooms with a garden view, which includes some of the entry-level Standard rooms, are among our favourites. We love the welcoming treats - fresh fruit and flowers, quality chocolates and sherry, plus bath-salts in bathrooms.
Standard, Deluxe, Feature Room
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, luxury toiletries, bathrobes, hairdryer, Egyptian linens, fresh fruit, flowers, beverage tray with biscuits, free Wi-Fi
Food & Drink
Be sure to bag a table in the conservatory for breakfast - which includes cooked-to-order dishes such as omelettes and smoked haddock as well as a full grill - to try and spot pheasants or rabbits in the gardens. We like the idea of the 'date night' dinners at weekends; a set price to include champagne and canapés, plus a bottle of house wine.
The restaurant: 2 AA Rosettes, British fine dining, extensive wine list. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mains from £18.95.