Best B&Bs in the Yorkshire Dales
Thinking of visiting the Yorkshire Dales on your next UK break? As you may know from previous posts, I did a bit of exploration of the Dales, which was established on the same day as my birthday, but in 1954. While visiting, I stayed in four key locations: Malham, Ingleton, Hawes and Grassington, and had a bonus stay in Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale. In this post, I’ll be rating the five hotels based on comfort and location, simply for you!
£120 per night
Let’s start with something unorthodox. Grassington House is a five star hotel in the main square of Grassington village. Though it is a lovely location, a short walk from Linton Falls, and had a beautiful, well presented room, there was just too much about this hotel that put me off.
Firstly, on entry, we were expected to sign a waiver that stated if we were caught drinking alcohol not bought on the premises, we would be fined money. Unusual, since we spent all week staying in actual pubs and were never expected to do this. Straight away, I was on edge and felt as though this was an unwelcoming experience. Then we were told that there were no more seats available for dinner, and we would have to eat elsewhere. Again, not something anyone could control, but made us feel like we were unappreciated.
We were walked to our room, which was up two sets of stairs, across a landing, up another set of stairs, and another landing. Of course, our room was well adorned, albeit small, and included a charming window seat and coffee set, however, I was nervous to have some coffee, just in case it cost us money. If the room was small, the bathroom was an actual cupboard – no window, and you could not take more than two steps.
Instead of dining at the hotel, Dan and I went to The Foresters Arms for a meal and to watch Arsenal lose to Liverpool. We had looked into staying here instead, and discovered that although their website said there were no vacancies, there was a vacancies sign in the window. Though Grassington House is elaborate and fancy, I felt quite disappointed we did not stay in the pub, especially since their three course Sunday carvery was delicious.
In the morning, we made our way down for breakfast and sat down amongst middle aged couples wearing pristine outfits. At the end of a week walking up mountains, across fields and through streams, slumming it in dirty clothes, we felt horribly out of place. It seemed simply too fancy, and took away the country lifestyle we had been searching for all week.
Roughly £60 per night
Ingleton is an interesting little village. Just a few feet away is the entrance to the Ingleton Waterfalls Trail (which I will be focusing on in a later post), Ingleborough Caves, the start of the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, and if you like to hike but are not prepared for a 25 mile walk, Ingleborough, the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales. Clearly, The Wheatsheaf is in a fantastic location for people wanting to explore the local area and see some geological wonders.
The inn itself, though in a fantastic location, is rather tired. Its rooms are named after the falls in Ingleton Waterfall Trail – Dan and I stayed in Thornton Force. The room, although roomy and designed for three people, needed a little bit of TLC. With a lick of paint, some newer furniture, and different door locks, the room would be lovely; currently though, it’s simply ‘comfortable’.
Food was also acceptable, but nothing amazing. On our first night, Dan and I had a dinner in the very quiet bar area. We were served quickly, and fed quickly, which was a bonus, but as I say, a typical gastro-pub style dinner: meat and veg! Similarly, breakfast was filling but conventional. Where Dan ate a full English every day, I decided to be a bit more experimental and went for scrambled egg on toast. I can’t fault the Wheatsheaf on their creamy scrambled eggs!
Roughly £80 per night
Talbot House was our wildcard and well worth it. We realised slightly too late that we had booked to visit the Dales during the August bank holiday weekend, which meant we had to move over to Pateley Bridge in Nidderdale on the Saturday night.
There isn’t a lot to do in Pateley Bridge, other than raiding England’s oldest sweet shop and looking at the plethora of colours in the flower boxes of the high street. It was a particularly quiet Saturday night, especially following the night before (as you shall find out later) but one that allowed us to relax and rest our, or my, aching joints.
Since the B&B is positioned on the town’s high street, he realised at the last minute that there are a limited number parking spaces to the rear and managed to nab the last spot for the day. We entered through the courtyard, as during the day, Talbot House is a tea shop, and were quickly checked in. Inadvertently, we had booked the largest room in the hotel, and ‘pleasantly surprised’ is a total understatement.
The bedroom doubles as a lounge, with at least a king size bed, a sofabed and a widescreen TV. Our hosts had kindly left us an array of DVDs to watch as well as the standard tea and coffee set. The bathroom was enormous, with a fabulous shower and a full size mirror. There was nothing particularly luxury about the room, but it still wins a solid third place.
In the morning, I had my only full English, which was rather appetising, although I only selected it as the options were slim. Perhaps we should have waited a few hours to buy some of their freshly baked cakes, but we were rushing to see The Coldstones Cut and get to Grassington.
Roughly £120 per night
This is such a tough decision, as I fell in love with The Lister Arms the second I walked in to the annex. Strictly speaking, we didn’t visit Malham in the summer, we went during April, as it served as a pit stop on the route to The Lake District. I wrote about the trip Malham before and included a review of the B&B here, so I won’t bore you with the details, but The Lister Arms is gorgeous, and even after a months, when researching for somewhere to stay, I compare it to this room.
If you are going to visit Malham or are on your way to somewhere ‘up North’ stay here. Seriously, spend a night here!
And the winner is…
Roughly £60 per night
Perhaps after the number 2 spot, this is unexpected. Not as pretty as The Lister Arms; not as charming as the Lister Arms, but The Board Inn has character, and lots of it.
Hawes is classed as the most self-sufficient village in the whole of Britain, which is an impressive feat in itself! We pulled up, and parked opposite the petrol station as there were no spaces outside the actual pub. It’s only a small building, and the bar area is probably the size of a living room in a standard three bedroom house, but that didn’t put us off. On check in, we realised we couldn’t book a table, but as we were staying for two nights, we booked a seat in the nook for the next night.
We were in room number 5 – a small double, with perfectly tended carpets, a bouncy double bed, a comfortable sized bathroom, and working radiators. You know it’s a good B&B when there is a tray for muddy shoes by the door in your room! Our only downside was that the TV was very small and mounted on the wall, but I guess we only watched it for a couple of hours on the first evening.
We had to book breakfast in advance: again, Dan had a full English, but I chose pancakes with mixed berries, bacon and maple syrup. All the food on Earth had nothing on these pancakes. It was literally a dessert for breakfast, and I love dessert. Like the scrumptious breakfast, dinner went down extremely well. You do have to order at the bar, so muscle your way past, but the staff are brilliant, and do put you first.
You may be reading this and think, so, what makes it so great? It’s a pub with pancakes. The people made it. We spent our Friday night drinking with the locals in Hawes, and it was the best night in a pub I have ever had. You can find a small collection of board games in the bar, and instantly drew attention to ourselves by playing chess, but by doing so, we met with some of the local men who were also in their mid-twenties, and ended up getting plenty pints in.
Not glamorous, but my number one B&B.
Check out the links to the Tripadvisor pages, comment or contact me for more details.
Categories: UK Tripper