Lynne Coates enjoys a weekend break at The Coniston Hotel and discovers a luxurious Yorkshire country estate.
At a seemingly impossible angle the Land Rover Defender navigated its way through a muddy ravine. Sitting in the back, I closed my eyes, sure we would end up on our side, but miraculously we didn’t. Was there nothing that would defeat this four-wheeled warrior?
We were staying at the Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa, just seven miles from Skipton, and at the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales. A 1,400-acre estate owned by the Bannister family, it began life as a simple farm shop, selling produce from the estate. Some 50 years later it has evolved into a luxurious resort with 71 bedrooms, three restaurants, and a state of the art spa.
With our two very excited dogs in tow, we checked into our luxurious suite where patio doors opened conveniently onto a terrace and gardens with gorgeous views across the Dales.
Coniston offers some great activities for guests, including, the 4×4 off-roading experience, falconry, clay pigeon shooting, fly fishing and archery, as well as glorious walks around the estate’s lake and woodland.
High on my weekend agenda was some serious unwinding in the Coniston’s fabulous contemporary spa, but first up was that off-road challenge and with my hubby having a ‘thing’ for Land Rover Defenders he couldn’t wait to jump behind the wheel.
Under the guidance of a wonderfully skilled instructor, he navigated the challenging steep descents, forest trails and river crossings, on the incredible purpose-built course. The Defender’s off-road capabilities were jaw-dropping and it is no wonder it has such a great reputation. After a bone-shaking ride, we were both ready for some serious R&R in the spa where we drifted from pool to sauna to aromatherapy steam room and then outside to the thermal spa.
There is something really special about being outdoors, immersed in hot bubbles, with a view to die for and a glass of prosecco in hand and this is one spa that ticks all the boxes.
Feeling chilled and relaxed we looked forward to our dinner in Macleod’s, the hotel’s two AA Rosette restaurant. It certainly did not disappoint, the à la carte menu offers a great choice, including lots of local produce and was delicious, beautifully presented, and elegantly accompanied by the soothing sounds of the resident pianist – the perfect end to the perfect day.
As well as offering great activities, The Coniston is located in one of the most stunning settings in Yorkshire. Located on part of the Tour de Yorkshire route, it is ideal for walking and cycling enthusiasts and there are spectacular trails within minutes of the hotel, leading to Settle, Malham and Ingleton, with lots of picturesque villages to explore on the way.
If you’re looking to escape the real world for a weekend, you couldn’t do much better than a visit to Coniston where relaxation and adventure are never far away.
For information and reservations visit: www.theconistonhotel.com t: 01756 748080