West Yorkshire is quite the picture postcard with its wild sweeping moorland, deep valleys, pretty Pennine villages and grand old towns.
General Manager, James Wiseman of Wood Hall recommends how to spend a weekend here.
There is nowhere more beautiful in Great Britain than Yorkshire and there is so much to see and do from museums to art-filled country houses and stunning gardens. I particularly love the varied landscapes here, whether that’s the patchwork of individually named Dales, peppered with charming villages, or the North York Moors, where in place of limestone crags and dramatic peaks you’ll find rolling hills of heather, ancient woodlands and rivers winding through lush green valleys. With 48 hours guests will have plenty of time to explore the attractions, as well as discover some of the hidden gems – here are a few of my favourites.
With check-in from 3pm, why not make the most of your time in West Yorkshire and check out one of the county’s top attractions before you settle into our tranquil country house hotel. If you like modern and contemporary art then the Yorkshire Sculpture Park is definitely worth a stop, with open-air displays by some of the world’s finest artists all set within a beautiful historic estate in West Bretton. The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery is equally as impressive and in fact beat the Tate Modern to be crowned UK’s Museum of the Year by the Art Fund in 2017.
Alternatively, for those more interested in Britain’s industrial heritage – the National Coal Mining Museum at the site of Caphouse Colliery in Overton, near Wakefield, teaches you about the history of coalmining, with a unique opportunity to travel 140 metres underground to explore England's last deep coalmine. Come late afternoon, retreat back to Wood Hall and take advantage of our health club and spa before a meal in the old dining hall. The drawing room is a wonderfully grand but relaxing place to enjoy our range of cocktails and local liquors, such as Masons Yorkshire Gin, before retiring to bed.
Get off to a great start to the day with a traditional breakfast (we also have a delicious cold buffet) or one of our specialities including eggs benedict, oven fresh waffles or grilled Whitby kippers. I then recommend you spend the day exploring the historic walled city of York, renowned for its architecture from the Gothic cathedral to the medieval spider’s web of cobbled streets, vibrant cafes, traditional pubs and boutique shopping. York also boasts 30 museums including the National Railway Museum where you can climb aboard restored locomotives and browse thousands of train-related artefacts.
After a spot of lunch, head to Harewood House. One of the Treasure Houses of England, the historic Georgian property sits within Capability Brown designed landscape and boasts an ever changing programme of contemporary art exhibitions and workshops and rare Chippendale furniture, as well as a bird garden, farm animals, boat trips and woodland walks and talks.
After a hectic day, indulge yourself with one of our Elemis face and body treatments or classic manicures and pedicures, before heading to dinner.
Following a leisurely breakfast, lovers of the great outdoors should head to the Yorkshire Dales – home to outstanding scenery, castles, abbeys and stone-built villages. If you have time check out the Victorian spa town of Harrogate with its Turkish baths, verdant gardens and antique emporium, with over 50 stalls. Be sure to take lunch or afternoon tea at Bettys, established for over 100 years and infamous for combining Swiss confectionary with Yorkshire warmth and hospitality.