What We Love
- A luxury spa hotel within a historic castle in northern England, with breakfast and discountsThe range of activities available, from country pursuits to relaxing in the spa
- The beautiful castle features – clock towers, stables and turrets
- Roaming the Dales and dreaming of hunky Heathcliff
- Making the most of your spa-treatment discount
What To Know
- The Turret Suite is perhaps the most unique room – it's spread across three floors – but going from the bedroom to the bath includes a flight of 20+ stairs
- Free WiFi is hit or miss
- There are plenty of onsite activities including falconry, clay pigeon shooting, fishing, biking, and more
A grand old castle amid a vast country estate, Swinton Park offers a beautiful escape in northern England’s Yorkshire Dales. Surrounded by 200 acres of parkland holding no less than five lakes, this luxurious hideaway boasts plenty of wholesome country pursuits to indulge in, like shooting, riding, fishing and falconry. If you’re itching to roam further, the Dales are right on your doorstep, with their pretty villages and picturesque trails for walking and cycling.
This magnificent property has been in the Cunliffe-Lister family since 1880 and feels more like a high-end home than a hotel. Relaxed, welcoming social areas and excellent service combine to create a truly peaceful country house (which just so happens to don a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence). The bedrooms are beautiful and individually designed to the last detail, as is Samuel’s, the stunning dining room with an original gold-leaf ceiling and award-winning cuisine.
With a Michelin-trained chef on hand to impart his wisdom, you might want to join one of the popular cooking classes in the converted Georgian stable wing. Or if that all sounds too strenuous, make a reservation for the exclusive-use spa to relax in the hot tub or sample one of the many enriching Thalgo treatments on offer.
Good to know
Please note that in order to use the sauna and hot tub, you must book in advance; the facilities are open between 9am and 8pm.
Swinton Park is pooch-friendly – dogs are very welcome, with blankets, bowls and treats provided for a supplement of £25 per dog, per night.
How to Get There
Sort out the management and it will be excellent. The shooting and facilities are excellent and we had a very good meal in the private dining room but the staff have little idea of how to look after people. That is not their fault. Look at hotels etc such as Rudding Park and emulate when relevant.
Having visited Swinton Estate as a potential wedding venue, during one of their open days, we fell in love with the estate. This is a beautiful place and exactly what we hoped to have for our winter wedding. It's such a shame that the customer service we experienced, has been so poor.
We had a 3.00pm appointment with the wedding co-ordinator. We were kept waiting until around 3.30pm, which wasn't ideal as we had other appointments later in the day. We let it slide as we appreciate that sometimes, these things happen, but it wasn't a great first impression.
We met with "Molly" and discussed the type of wedding we were looking for. We were immediately told the best suitable package would be the "exclusive hire". When we reminded her we were only having 60 guests day and night and, being local meant that not everyone would stay over and therefore 32 bedrooms would be a waste, we were greeted with a tight lipped "oh. right". We appreciate that they are there to "sell" to you but a little nicety whilst trying to get your money, goes a long way!
During our meeting, we asked for a quote which included a few additional extras such as certain food upgrades etc. We wanted a smaller wedding where we could really spoil out guests, with nice food and upgraded drinks packages. Molly assured us she would send the quote to us in a few days. As our wedding was quickly approaching less than a year away, we said we really appreciated a quick quote, as we needed to get our save the dates out!
The following two weeks involved myself and my fiancé chasing Swinton, five times via telephone and email. Receiving no response or "Molly is on holiday/in a meeting/unavailable". In the end, my partner called and asked to speak with a Manager, who we were again told was unavailable.
When the quote eventually arrived, it didnt provide any information on the venue styling packages we had asked for, or the wedding breakfast menu choices. We emailed back the same day asking for further information.
Several days later and with 11 months to go until our wedding, we still hadnt received a response. We again called Swinton.
On 26th November, we then received an email from "Helen" apologising for the delay and answering our questions.
Another two weeks has passed and, no one has followed up to see if we would like to book with them. The customer service has been the worst we have seen across the venues we have looked at.
Given the delays with Swinton, we have now had to push our wedding date back. We have luckily, managed just this week, to find an alternative venue. We really just don't have faith that Swinton will be able to offer the service you would expect.
A certain level of customer service is expected from a venue such as Swinton Estate, especially given the room prices. However, it fell massively short.
Unfortunately, we cant recommend this venue.
I booked the one night autumn break for a treat for my partner after reading rave reviews. We stayed Wedenesday 3.11.2018
Positives were the grounds are nice and the hotel looks impressive.
Bed was comfortable and sofa nice. TV and CD radio are almost retro but not in a good way.
Bathrobes, slippers, towels, bed linen and toiletries nice
Spa was lovely but signage was not clear probably why you are given a paper map!
Manager was apologetic and gave a sensible discount.
David tried to make things better
Shabby and dusty reception area and room where you are given complementary prosecco was unloved e.g dusty, fiery not lit etc.
Room was shabby and the dried flowers and walls lights and standard lamp are beyond vintage!
Bathroom tap banged like pneumatic drill and radiator did the same as we turned the heat down. Worse still neighbouring rooms were the same which meant no use of water at night to prevent waking everyone to be woken at 6.00 am thinking someone was drilling under the bedroom window and noise continued.
Bathroom door was so squeaky we had to ask for it to be oiled
Room generally seems unloved and scruffy rather than genteel shabby chic
Bar in hotel and public rooms lack any atmosphere and felt souless and uncomfortable, games room unkempt and unloved with broken cues, darts etc and ancient childrens toys.
Breakfast was not great as bread was stale as were the croissants, toast hardly toasted, limp and cold, hot food was luke warm and seemed to have been stood around for a long time. Music was odd choice. Dining room and view lovely but let down by the rest.
Our evening meal was for The Terace Restaurant and the walk through the gate lit by lights and entrance promised good things.
The bar was gloomy but has potential to be nice. Seemed not open, staff did not welcome us, fire not lit, no background music, other customers looked deeply depressed.
Shown to table and the dining room seems to be aiming for a Scandi feel but seems over bright, chilly and soulless.
Waiter couldn't understand us or our drink order and we couldn't understand him although he was pleasant.
We ordered the 5 course taster menu. What an horrendous mistake.
The first dish of a grilled flat bread and houmous type dip was average but wouldn't order again. The salad was not dressed and so cold was tasteless. The eel was so salty but just edible. The mackerel was a whole piece grilled in a charcoal oven, as was all the hot food which is not great if like me you are not keen on everything being gritty and tasting of charcoal and smoke. The mackerel had a dark red liquid coming from it which we initially thought was a filling of some kind. We tried eating a small amount off the edge of the fish and it was cold. We then tried to open the fish as this was a sharing dish and discovered the fish was not just undercooked but was raw nearly all the way through and was very fridge cold in the centre and bleeding. The side dish of snow peas and hazelnuts was again extremely cold and oily but no other seasoning or dressing so was cold, crunchy and slimy but tasteless. We were not asked if the food was OK and told waiter when he collected the plates and asked if the mackerel had been undercooked for our liking!
The next course of Barsnley chop was again raw meat and the waiter apologised and went with the food and spoke to the head chef who looked over at us and smirked and laughed at me and made a face at the waiter as he left. The head chef then appeared to go into hiding for the rest of the service despite other customers needing service and a large group of women arriving from the spa. He left the young chefs unsupported and unsupervised.
The beef with chips were ok but had much better in basic pubs.
The deserts were ok again but clearly straight from the fridge and freezer and the parfait was rock solid and the lemon and lime flavour reminiscent of the taste you get in your mouth when using bathroom cleaner.
The head waiter was running around doing all the work front of house and the other two waiters were clearly clueless with one bringing food from the pass and freezing for minutes on end holding plates of food and not knowing which table to take them to. Our drinks waiter asked us if we wanted to order deserts whilst we were still eating the beef course and we were not offered other drinks. We were also not offered coffee.
The head waiter said he would refund the cost of one of the meals but avoided eye contact when we wanted the bill and to discuss. When he brought the bill he had deducted the meal price but then added cost of deserts which were in the taster menu costs.
My partner ate more of the mackerel and lamb than I had and asked if this could make him unwell and the waiter seemed shocked and the chef amused and said no.
Unfortunately we both had stomach aches that night, mine was short lived but my partner had d and v a d was still unwell at breakfast the next day and only tried to eat some of the limp, unappealing toast.
Totally unacceptable to serve raw food and to do so twice in the same meal is truly shocking. In my view The Terrace is a dire restaurant with a badly thought out food offer. It would have been hard to find anything on the menu that was appealing and that was for one meal, given no other restaurants and pubs are close by you would be very stuck if staying more than one night.
Nearly forgot The Bivouac Cafe. It was Halloween and cold and we wanted a snack or lunch and walk around the druid stones before checking in. The cafe was shabby, to small and had a very sad Halloween activity area outside with some embarrassed parents trying to encourage their children to have fun. Toilets cold, not clean a d damp. Seemed dismal and uncared for and I feel sorry for anyone planning to use this with children if camping or using the cabins and yurts. Seemed to just be a money maker for those with more money than sense. We didn't stop as there only appeared to be unsavoury looking cakes a d sausage rolls in the cafe which again was dishevelled, cold and uninviting.
I have had nicer stays in cheap campsites and cheap chain hotels and would not give any of the experience more than 3 stars and mostly everything was 2 star.
If we had paid the full advertised cost I would have cried. As it was our first break without our sons who are 16 and over was spoilt.
Also need to add we had to cancel a stay at another hotel due to my partner being unwell a d fod a similar price the stay at Rudding Park Hotel was like night and day and they allowed us to put our stay on hold and book again when my partner recovered.
I can only think people rating this hotel as 5 stars are not fussy or are trying to impress others and don't want to admit they have been ripped off or have more money than sense or we were not at the same hotel.
My advice would be book with caution and ask if the chef at The Terrace has moved on as the food and service were beyond bad especially for the price and pretentions. If he is still there I personally wouldn't even pop into the bar to have a drink.
I’ve been to Swinton a Park a number of times. It is simply wonderful, from the welcome to the surroundings, the rooms and the food. My wife loves the spa, and I equally loved the Terrace Bar. Very highly recommended indeed.
Worth every penny. Staff very helpful, estate is beautiful - only wish we had longer to explore. You’ve got to try the venison in the terrace resturaunt. Just take your own bubble bath for the huge boat baths!