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Swinton Park 4.5

Ripon, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire

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Review Summary

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  • Historic 17th-century castle with ivy-covered turrets and battlements
  • Situated on beautiful 200-acre green grounds with streams, ponds, and gardens
  • Spacious rooms with lovely antique decor and modern comforts
  • Award-winning restaurant sources most of its ingredients from the estate itself
  • Cooking school offers a wealth of courses
  • Extensive kitchen garden supplies produce for restaurant and cooking school
  • Aviary with trained birds of prey
  • Various outdoor activities include fishing, shooting, cricket, archery, and falconry
  • Spa with sauna and fitness center
  • Various meeting rooms and event space for up to 120 people
  • In-room freebies include tea, coffee, homemade cookies, local gin, and whiskey
  • Free Wi-Fi, parking, and breakfast


  • Secluded location not within walking distance to nearest town
  • No minibars or mini-fridges in rooms
  • Rooms above kitchen can be noisy 

Bottom Line

Swinton Park is a luxurious hotel housed in a gorgeous ivy-covered castle in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounded by 200 acres of beautiful grounds dotted with reindeer and swans. The 31-room country estate is richly decorated with antique furnishings and oil paintings that transport guests back to the 1800s. Spacious rooms are full of antique touches like brocade canopy beds and stone fireplaces mixed with modern comforts that include flat-screen TVs and bathrooms with heated towel racks and designer toiletries. The exhaustive list of amenities includes a large kitchen garden that supplies food for the hotel's award-winning restaurant, an aviary with birds of prey, a cooking school with extensive course offerings, and a lovely spa with sauna and fitness center. Guests seeking a countryside retreat can indulge in a wealth of outdoor activities, including shooting, fishing, archery, and falconry. The location, though secluded, is a short drive away from the small market town of Masham.

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Upscale hotel housed in 17th-century ivy-covered castle surrounded by gorgeous grounds with gardens, ponds, streams, and wildlife

From the dramatic, long winding driveway leading up to the hotel, to the reindeer grazing on the front lawn, to the extraordinary 17th-century architecture, Swinton Park transports travelers back to another era. The luxurious country retreat is housed in a gorgeous gray stone castle built in the 1800s, complete with battlements, turrets, and ivy creeping over its walls. 200 acres of beautiful green grounds surround the hotel and include streams, ponds, and waterfalls that provide a natural habitat for swans and other water fowl. 

Guests are ushered into the lobby by two life-size bronze sculptures of reindeers in the circular foyer. The interiors are akin to time travel, filled with antique pieces, dark hardwood floors covered with Oriental rugs, floor-to-ceiling windows framed in heavy patterned drapes, white marble fireplaces with embroidered fire screens, and red wallpapered walls lined with oil portraits. The hallways are lit with brass chandeliers and feature intricate ceiling moldings. 

The hotel is a popular spot for various private events and celebrations, particularly weddings and family gatherings, as well as conferences and meetings. The property attracts a well-heeled clientele seeking a peaceful and luxurious countryside retreat.


Secluded countryside location near the small town of Masham

Swinton Park is located in a rather secluded, tranquil spot of Yorkshire countryside, off a quiet country road surrounded by farmland and bucolic countryside. The location is ideal for travelers interested in a serene country retreat. The hotel is situated on 200 acres of beautiful grounds with gardens, swan-dotted ponds, streams, and waterfalls. The Swinton Estate stretches farther, spanning 20,000 acres, which have been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (there are 38 such areas in England and Wales). The nearest town is Masham, a small market town a five-minute drive away, while the larger Ripon, an upscale country town with a local market and quaint shops, is a 22-minute drive. The city of York, with the famous York Minster and the National Railway Museum, is about an hour away.


Spacious and elegant rooms and suites with many homey touches and modern bathrooms

The spacious rooms and suites at Swinton Park are elegantly decorated, full of antique pieces and carved stone fireplaces. Decor varies, but is a tasteful mix of traditional elements and modern comforts, including flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and coffee- and tea- making facilities with free homemade cookies as well as flasks of locally produced gin and whiskey (though rooms lack minibars or mini-fridges). Some rooms have lovely canopy beds with brocade bedspreads, large bay windows with window seats overlooking the grounds, and leather couches. Family rooms are a little more basic (neutral tartan replaces the brocade), while the lavish suites, one of which occupies three floors of the turret, have spacious sitting rooms. The large and modern bathrooms feature rainfall shower heads, heated towel racks, full-sized Molton Brown toiletries, and some even have fireplaces. Most have soaking tubs, but some have both walk-in showers as well as tubs. Travelers should note that rooms situated above the kitchen might be affected by noise during peak mealtime hours.


Extensive grounds with a range of activities offered

Swinton Park is set on expansive grounds that include an extensive walled kitchen garden that grows a variety of ingredients utilized by the hotel's restaurant and cooking school, as well as an aviary that houses various birds of prey. There is a vast amount of outdoor activities offered on the estate, including cricket, archery, falconry, shooting, fishing, as well as a range of walks.

The Swinton Park Cookery School is housed in the converted stables and offers a wide selection of hands-on full-day or half-day classes. Samuel's Restaurant sources most of its food from the estate itself, including venison, rabbit, trout, herbs, berries, and wild woodland mushrooms, besides the produce from the gardens. The hotel also often hosts alfresco barbecues at its rustic and atmospheric Deerhouse. Breakfast is included in the room rate and 24-hour room service is available.

The hotel has a small spa with a cedar hot tub sauna as well as a fitness center. The property has various meeting rooms and event space that can accommodate up to 120 people, and is a popular spot for weddings and other celebrations.

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Masham, Ripon HG4 4JH, United Kingdom

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