Sleepover: Swinton Park

A bed for the night in Yorkshire
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The Independent Travel

Where is it?

Where is it?

Near Ripon, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.

What's it like?

An elegant, family owned and run, Grade II-listed castle that has been turned into a country-house hotel. The 200 acres of parkland have no fewer than five lakes.

What's its USP?

No need to leave the dog at home; pooches are very welcome here. A pet bed, feeding bowls and doggie chews are waiting in your room on arrival. Your canine friend gets its own menu, and meals are brought to the room on request. Outside, there's plenty of space for walkies. Deer and other livestock can be seen but are cordoned off behind fences.

Ambience?

Unpretentiouselegance. Spacious public rooms with open fires enhance the away-from-it-all atmosphere.

Service?

There's one member of staff to every guest, and the owners – Mark Cunliffe-Lister, heir apparent to the Earldom of Swinton, and his wife Felicity – are very much in evidence. Don't expect a formal doorman or liveried staff; everyone is extremely friendly and laid back – and your dog will be given a lot of attention, too.

Rooms?

Twenty, of which three are suites. The large rooms have panoramic views and are individually designed. Bed and breakfast from £100 to £250 per room per night. Suites from £275 to £350.

Food?

Beautifully presented modern English cooking features game from the estate during the season. The restaurant has its own sommelier in attendance. A three-course evening meal, excluding wine, costs £25.50.

Things to do?

Clay-pigeon shooting, trout fishing, horse riding, bowls, falconry and croquet. Irons available for practising golf swings and model boats to play with on the lakes. There is also a spa, private cinema and games room. And, of course, wonderful dog-walking in the dales.

Address?

Swinton Park, Masham, Ripon, North Yorkshire HG4 4JH (01765 680900; www.swintonpark.com).

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