Rural Yorkshire At Its Best – The Gamekeeper’s Inn, Skipton
The Gamekeeper’s Inn near Skipton in North Yorkshire, is masquerading as a pub but has all the style and panache of something a little more up-market.
Set against the stunning backdrop of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, this posh hostelry
...once a gamekeeper’s cottage for nearby Netherside Hall, is just over a mile from Grassington town centre and eight miles from the bustling market town of Skipton, so-called ‘Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales’.
But, despite the weekend traffic chaos of Burnsall – it took us just over an hour to travel the last three miles to Threshfield – you will start to relax the second you enter Long Ashes Park, home to both the Inn and acres of beautiful holiday homes, permanent residences and log cabins.
“We retired here from Halifax,” former nurse Julie told us as we walked past her home later in the afternoon.
“We love it. Come and join us.” We sat in their garden for at least 30 minutes chatting to two strangers before making our exit. Rural England has a habit of relaxing one’s soul, taking the stress out of life and making people more friendly!
But, if the weather, trees or tweeting birds don’t have that effect, then maybe the Long Ashes Pure Spa, just across from the Gamekeeper’s, will: guests benefit from complimentary use of the leisure facilities...
including swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym.
There are 11 en-suite rooms at the pub and two lodges, one of which is dog friendly; they each sleep up to six guests and all bedrooms
...several named after local beauty spots...come with a host of luxuries including crisp fresh linen, fluffy towels, flat screen TVs, Wi-Fi access and tea and coffee making facilities.
So, whether you are staying in Great Whernside, Yockenthwaite Moor, Ingleborough, or, in our case, the ‘Lovely Seat’ – named after the high fells on the watershed between Wensleydale and Swaledale - you are guaranteed a high quality interior spec.
Ours had a Victorian style bath, backlit bathroom mirror, brushed chrome fittings, rain shower, beautiful grey décor and a sit-out glass balcony...
complete with two rattan-style garden chairs, coffee table and calm aerial views of the tree-lined residential area.
Evening meals are served in the spacious, relaxed glass conservatory.
The service was spot on and the culinary delights par excellence. Much of the food is sourced locally and there are a range of traditional and more modern options...
along with daily specials, light bites and nibbles, all of which can be taken in the main restaurant, traditional bar, where there are guest and cask ales, wines and spirits, or in the snug: it’s log burning fire will be a treat in winter.
“Phew,” I said, rubbing my stomach after a glorious evening meal. “Think I need a stroll to walk that down,” I confessed to my wife.
Fortunately, there was a woodland walk
...just yards from The Gamekeeper’s Inn which, incidentally, also has wedding and private function facilities for up to 140 guests and a reception of around 200 guests.
Our room was beautiful but, if I am being honest, the wall-mounted TV, protruding around 40cm from the wall on an angle, felt like an accident waiting to happen and, on more than one occasion, the ‘dressing table’ area – set back into the wall - looks great until you stand up, without thought, and bang your head on the concrete wall above which is overly low. I did it three times and feel the need to raise what I deemed to be A genuine health and safety issue. (See video).
All said, this was a great stay and a beautiful place / area in which to relax and I did smile at breakfast. When faced with all the machinations of Covid – there were lots of protocols in place, albeit a little lax - the ‘breakfast’ solution was inspired.
When all guests turn up for their Full English (and lots of other choices!) simultaneously – checkout is now 10am - just put each couple on big office-style table and sit them in the function hall. Voila problem solved; everyone was more than two metres apart in the blink of an eye!
Well worth a stay.
PS: the breakfast was belting!
Long Ashes Park, Threshfield, Near Skipton, North Yorkshire, England, BD23 5PN
where you will also find hundreds of other hostelry stays.