Fodor's Expert Review Swinton Park

Swinton Park, Swinton Rd., Masham, North Yorkshire, HG4 4JH, England Fodor's Choice

If you've ever wanted to experience the Downton Abbey lifestyle, head for this luxury hotel situated in a Victorian Gothic castle complete with battlements, a tower, and a turret. The core of the house dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, with the baronial features added in the 19th century by its current owners, the Cunliffe-Lister family. The plush public rooms epitomize the traditional country-house style, as do the spacious bedrooms, which are named after Yorkshire towns. The castle's location on one of the largest private estates in England, 20,000 acres bordering Yorkshire Dales National Park, guarantees seclusion and abundant outdoor pursuits, including falconry. The property has 200 acres of parkland with 63 miles of trails; an excellent, modern spa complex; an on-site cooking school; and eight luxury yurts in a meadow for "glamping" (camping glamorously). The formal restaurant specializes in seasonal Modern British food—much of it sourced from the estate itself (there's also a less formal, more stripped-down restaurant in the spa.) Masham is 8 miles north of Ripon and 35 miles north of Leeds and York.


  • superior spa
  • spacious bedrooms
  • beautiful setting with plenty of extras


  • restaurant kitchen can be disorganized
  • not big on heating
  • main house a bit old-fashioned




Phones: 01765-680900 | 866-810–3039-toll-free from U.S.


32 rooms
Rate Includes: Free breakfast

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