A forty minute drive from historic York, the traditional North Yorkshire village of Helmsley is host to this homely hotel, where guests travel from far and wide to immerse themselves in the majestic Yorkshire moors, or ensconce themselves away from the hustle and bustle of nearby city life. With a bustling market square, dramatic castle ruins, an abundance of quaint tea rooms and boutiques, all surrounded by mile after mile of the beautiful North York Moors, Helmsley is classic Yorkshire at its very best. The Feversham Arms too is a favoured spot for would-be walkers, as popular rambles, the Cleveland and Ebor Way, both begin from Helmsley. A rustic retreat that promises an irresistible combination of country life, comfort and style, while it might be wild and wuthering outside, a warm invite is always guaranteed at this beautiful boutique hotel.
We stayed in a deluxe suite, that featured a separate lounge, complete with sofa and desk, as well as an enormous slate-grey bathroom, complete with walk-in shower and substantial, stand-alone tub, perfect for an indulgent soak after a day spent ambling around the nearby Yorkshire moors. The king-sized bed was made up with crisp and cosy linen, and with a selection of glossy magazines, a flat-screen TV and tea, coffee and homemade shortbread laid out for us in the lounge-room, the suites offer an idyllic setting for a peaceful afternoon or a lazy morning in bed.
Food and drink
Among the best food I’ve ever eaten, while it might be easy to think that this snug Victorian inn would serve slightly sophisticated gastro-pub fare, the reality was far, far better. Served in a sky-lit eatery, the hotel restaurant offers a Modern British menu with a heavy focus on local ingredients – rich Yorkshire game and tasty North Sea fish appear in abundance. Talented chef Chris Staines notched up a Michelin star in a previous (culinary) life, so guests can expect great things. We dined on Marmite butter (not to be missed) and freshly-baked bread, scallops and seabass and finished with tiramisu – and suffice it to say we both waddled to bed satiated and full.
As well as being nestled in the heart of one of England’s most prominent literary counties, The Feversham Arms Hotel and Spa features a well-stocked snug-cum-library, overlooking the pretty outdoor pool, as well as endless piles of books throughout both the hotel and spa. The library itself is cosy in size, with space for both readers and writers alike, and alongside a collection of DVDs that includes everything from action thrillers to classic rom-coms such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, guests will find a beautiful selection of literary titles, including a bottle-green hard back collection of Charles Dickens’ best loved books, and a door stop-sized biography of the Brontë sisters. If an afternoon in the spa is more your vibe, you’ll find further reading matter there, perfect for a bit of post-massage relaxation, alongside a cup of tea and one of their freshly baked brownies.
If you want to indulge in a bit of book shopping during your stay at Feversham Arms Hotel, there are a number of bookish offerings just a stone’s throw from this picturesque hotel. Almost directly opposite Hemsley’s quaint parish church, you’ll find Claridges; a small but perfectly formed shop, it offers a small selection of books and stationary featuring both new releases and classics. A short walk away you’ll find the cut-price bookstore – which is a great option for anyone with a nose for a bargain. Wanting to buy something set in the local area, I opted for a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë; a book that I’ve been recommended many a-time, it felt an appropriate purchase for my time in Helmsley. Finally, for anyone who enjoys perusing the bookshelves of a good old fashioned charity shop, Helmsley’s Oxfam branch has an impressive selection of both novels and non-fiction books.
Worth staying in bed for
Anyone with a love for local literature will be spoilt for choice when staying at Feversham Arms Hotel. With ample Yorkshire-based books to choose from, why not indulge in some childhood nostalgia by reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, or The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit? Or if you’re after something a trifle more brooding, Jayne Eyre or Wuthering Heights are atmospheric tomes set in the heart of Yorkshire, while Bram Stoker’s Dracula is known to be inspired by nearby Whitby’s gothic abbey. Read about some of the best books set in Yorkshire here.
Useful information about Feversham Arms Hotel
1-5 High Street, Helmsley, York YO62 5AG
Located in the heart of North Yorkshire in the traditional market town of Helmsley, Feversham Arms Hotel welcome guests from all over the world who have come to get away from it all and sample their famous Yorkshire hospitality.
Rooms at Feversham Arms Hotel start at £250 per night.
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