A Jewel in Yorkshires Crown
Driving to Yorkshire in the glorious sunshine, I was glad we’d chose this weekend for our stay at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, a luxury Scarborough Hotel. We left home early on the Saturday morning to enjoy some delights of North Yorkshire and Scarborough before heading to the hotel later in the afternoon.
Exploring the North Yorkshire and Scarborough area
My husband Ron and I love Yorkshire and have visited many highlights of the area including Scarborough, a fantastic seaside resort with an amazing array of attractions and only 2 miles from Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. We had decided in advance to visit somewhere new and being lovers of a countryside walk, chose Forge Valley Woods National Nature Reserve, a short drive from the hotel. Heading along the A171 toward Scarborough and knowing we were nearing Robin Hoods Bay, we realised we couldn’t continue without paying another visit to this beautiful seaside town. It’s picturesque twisting streets, which tumble down toward the family friendly beach, were once the scene of cloak and dagger smuggling operations.
These days it’s the perfect place for a day out with breath taking views towards the sea at every turn. There’s an informative visitor centre along with a good array of independent shops, pubs and places serving fish and chips and ice cream.
After standing to soak up the glorious views, we took an unexplored path down toward the bay where the tide was out. We passed people sitting on benches sketching the coastal scene, while others were enjoying beach and perhaps looking for fossils, as Robin Hoods Bay is home to the Dinosaur Coast.
We visited an interesting shop selling fossils and marvelled at the displays of real and replica dinosaur bones. It’s hard to believe these creatures once roamed our planet.
After we’d finished exploring, we continued our journey to Forge Valley Woods National Nature Reserve where we planned to enjoy the scenic trail along the river Derwent. It’s only a short drive from Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, which we passed on the way. We initially parked in the wrong spot which meant we had an unexpected but pleasant uphill walk and back through a different part of the woodland.
When we arrived at the correct location and joined the trail via a bridge over the river, we were so pleased we’d decided to visit. The linear route of 2.7km (there and back) is a wooden boardwalk which skirts the river as it winds its way through spectacular woodland. It’s an enjoyable, easy going walk with many seats along the way and passing points which are also used as viewing platforms. The sun shining through the trees cast a beautiful dappled light on the clear water creating a peaceful atmosphere.
The woodland has an abundance of plants large and small and is a haven for wildlife including the elusive deer. The area also forms a link to the ancient wildwoods of the past when much of England was hidden beneath broadleaf woodland. We weren’t lucky enough to spot any wildlife on this occasion but that didn’t take away from our enjoyment. During our walk we chatted about the many interesting places we have visited in Yorkshire which include the coastal delights of Scarborough, Whitby, Staithes, Fountains Abbey, Rievaulx Terrace and Goathland with its gushing waterfall ‘Mallyan Spout’. All these and more are easily accessible from Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, making it an ideal base for exploring. There really is something for everyone. Leaving the woodland feeling happy and looking forward to the next part of our adventure, we made the short journey to Ox Pasture Hall Hotel.
Ox Pasture Hall Hotel
On arrival we were certainly impressed by the look of the hotel where a lovely pathway led us through the gorgeous front garden toward the hotel entrance. At this point I instantly felt that we were in for a real treat staying here.
Entering the reception, I noticed it was well stocked with leaflets and literature regarding local attractions. We were quickly checked in by friendly staff who confirmed our dining preference before escorting us to our suite and explaining the hotel facilities along the way.
Our accommodation, the Skipton Suite, was located on the ground floor with sweeping views across the hayfields from the separate lounge area.
The spacious suite was neutrally decorated with quality oak furnishings providing a classic country feel. We felt immediately at home in the comfortable lounge which featured a flat screen TV and music system. Complimentary bottles of still and sparkling water were a welcome touch.
Centre stage in the bedroom was a gorgeous king size sleigh bed which was longer than some we’ve slept in making it comfortable for Ron who’s tall. The storage was impressively plentiful too, making this ideal for a longer stay.
The luxurious feel continued into the fantastic bathroom. I was delighted to see one of my favourite features, a twin vanity area along with a lovely deep bath, walk in rainfall shower and a plentiful supply of quality toiletries from Gilchrist and Soames.
Tempting as it was to just relax in our suite, we were eager to explore the beautiful hotel grounds which feature well maintained gardens and courtyards.
It is evident the gardens are designed to be fully enjoyed by guests. There are numerous well placed seating areas to enjoy a relaxing drink, the company of friends or to read the Sunday papers as we did.
Pathways featuring rose covered pagodas lead you around the gardens toward interesting sculptures and views of the surrounding countryside.
As we’d checked in early afternoon we decided to relax in the bar/lounge area which was comfortably furnished and featured a welcoming inglenook fireplace. It’s a great place for a social gathering or relaxing conversation. The Bistro can be found just off the bar area too. We found the drinks to be reasonably priced and chatted with staff who were very friendly including Jay, the operations manager, who explained the hotel has just had plans approved for a luxury Spa at the Hotel. I’m sure this will be a popular facility once completed.
After spending the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the comfort of our suite we headed to the Courtyard Restaurant, our choice for our evening meal.
We were shown to the lounge area by Jay where we made our choices from the menu. While the description of the dishes was unusual, we were offered an explanation of any dishes when presented with the menu. The restaurant, with its vaulted beamed ceiling, wonderful feature tree and courtyard views, felt like a special place to dine.
On being shown to our table, I noticed the tables were well spaced out allowing for great conversation. This restaurant, which is recommended in the Michelin Guide, is known for its innovative menus and the quality of its food and is regarded by many as the best restaurant on the Yorkshire coast. The restaurant holds 2 AA Rosettes for culinary excellence and head chef David has worked in top Michelin star restaurants.
David has an ethos of creating simple dishes that showcase the flavours from ingredients which are mainly locally sourced. We certainly agreed that all our courses were wonderfully flavoursome and of a size that allowed us to enjoy all three courses along with Amuse Bouche and great bread with homemade butter.
I enjoyed: Yorkshire Carrots with Hay, Goats Curd and Olive; 100 Day Salt Aged Beef with Onion, Miso and Seaweed; Opal White Chocolate with Vanilla and Green Tea
Ron enjoyed: Pig Head with Preserved Vegetable, Apple and Coriander; North Sea Pollock with Leek & Potato, Yeast and Hens Egg; The Summer Pudding with Clotted Cream
The Courtyard Restaurant has a lovely atmosphere which added to our wonderful dining experience and I can understand why it is so popular. Feeling relaxed and happy we headed back to our beautiful suite.
Following a great night’s sleep, helped I’m sure by the quality bedding, we arose to the peace and tranquility of our countryside setting. We headed off for an early breakfast to allow time to enjoy the gardens. This was served in the Courtyard Restaurant and offered a simple but inviting continental buffet to compliment the hot breakfast menu. Ron chose the full Yorkshire breakfast while I opted for an omelette which we enjoyed immensely along with the quality fresh coffee…perfect!
We collected our pre-ordered newspaper from the reception and headed into the garden to enjoy a relaxing read. We’d got our eye on the perfect spot the day before and fortunately for us no one had beat us to it!
Looking out over the peaceful gardens, we could easily have spent the whole morning enjoying the tranquility of our gorgeous setting however, we had an hour and a half drive to get back home to attend a surprise birthday party that afternoon, so feeling both disappointed to leave mixed with looking forward to the party, we said our goodbyes to Ox Pasture Hall Hotel.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for a relaxing break, to explore the surrounding area or host a celebration. Ron and I even mused that it would be amazing to hire the full hotel for a special celebration for family and friends.
Have you visited Ox Pasture Hall Hotel or enjoyed special days out in North Yorkshire? I’d love to hear your experiences.
Thanks for reading and bye for now, June xx
Our stay and meals at Ox Pasture Hall Hotel were complimentary in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.