Public rooms have a modern country-inn look – plaid carpets, pale-grey walls, Windsor chairs, and splashes of tangerine amongst sea-blue wool-covered chairs and sofas – with a refreshing lack of clutter. There’s a log fire in the bar-lounge, modern art and landscape photography on the walls, and a light-filled, metropolitan-chic dining room. The smart yet relaxed ambiance charms retired folk, outdoorsy types and hard-working couples and families in need of recharging.
With two lounges and a library, there are plenty of cosy nooks to bag as your own after you’ve blasted the cobwebs on the nearby North York Moors, admired ruined abbeys, browsed the local independent shops or succumbed to yet another afternoon tea.
- Rooms are generous with quality treats such as robes, underfloor-heated bathrooms; all but one with bath and shower
- The all-year-round heated, outdoor pool is magical on a wintry evening with steam rising in the night air
- Delicious, refined and locally-sourced food in the restaurant, and there’s a separate vegetarian menu, too
- Reception staff, like most of the team, are warm and welcoming with good local tips and advice
- The spa thermal experience area is not large so can feel cramped even if only a few other guests are using it
- If dogs aren’t your thing, be aware they’re allowed in most of the hotel
- Balconies of spa suites and patios of poolside suites have no privacy from guests in and around the pool
- The bells of the church next door sound the hours (and quarters) from 6am until 11pm
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Luxury Countryside Retreat
- 33 rooms
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Board games
- Electric car charger
Spread higgledy-piggledy across the original buildings and newer additions (built sympathetically in local stone) around the pool, the 33 rooms offer, almost, 33 different choices. All have a light and uncluttered, country-contemporary style of pale carpets and walls, blanket throws, smartly upholstered armchairs and tongue-and-groove panelling. But then comes the choice: more classic and cosy rooms in the original ‘pub’ with sash windows and maybe a window-seat; swanky spa suites with vintage wallpapers, sprawling lounges and glass-fronted or Juliet balconies; and poolside suites with quirky shapes, pops of Mediterranean colours, most with private terraces.
The majority are suites and all but one room has a bath as well as shower. We liked the attention to detail; original art on the walls, an attractive ceramic dish, a pair of candles – although some may find the soft toy and cards with life-affirming quotes in each room a little twee. Two favourites are poolside suite No 23, a skip from the pool, with its rolltop bath, and No 19 in the main house, with beams and a wood-burning stove.
- Safe box
With 2 AA rosettes, the cooking is serious, presentation artful – but not irksome – and the sourcing strongly Yorkshire: North sea fish, moorland game, local lamb. White tablecloths, an amuse-bouche, and a choice of a la carte or tasting menu, indicates evening meals are to be savoured rather than fill a hunger gap.
Modern British dishes have unusual pairings – east coast mackerel with gooseberry jam; lamb with goats curd and tomato tartlet – but the balance is carefully thought-through. My goats cheese terrine with pink fir apple and Medjool date was surprising and very more-ish while the herb and lemon crusted halibut was deliciously moist. Sadly, no room for pudding, though the dark chocolate and ale cake sounded wonderfully wicked.
As at dinner, breakfast had good vegetarian choices, and the service was quick and attentive.
This is foodie country with a couple of fine-dining choices in nearby Harome or hearty pub meals and cake-filled tearooms a-plenty in Helmsley.
- Afternoon tea
- Coffee / tea making
- Kids' meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian options
- Want to stay put? Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool or enjoy a treatment or thermal experience in the spa. Six treatment rooms offer options from facials and wraps to their signature hot poultice massage using herbs from nearby Hemsley Walled Garden. There’s also a rasul mud-treatment room, and an outdoor hot tub
- Explore Helmsley with its ruined 12th-century castle and neighbouring Helmsley Walled Garden restored by volunteers to Victorian splendour with rare trees and plants, vegetable garden and orchard, and peaceful areas for quiet contemplation
- Spend several hours pottering around the town with its independent shops including delis, country outfitters, bookshop, home interiors and tea-rooms at every turn
- Stride out on the North York Moors with their far-reaching views; fabulous for heather in the late summer
- Let the train take the strain with a ride on the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway at Pickering which puffs its way through moorland valleys 24 miles to Whitby on the coast
- Step back in time at Ryedale Folk Museum in pretty Hutton-le-Hole with its authentically furnished rural buildings (salvaged and re-built) including a shoemaker, village shop, manor house and Victorian schoolroom
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
This isn’t an obvious family hotel – most guests are couples – but children are made welcome, with the pool being the main draw; be aware it’s not protected. The soft toy placed on every bed will appeal to smaller ones. Cots, extra beds and children’s menus are available, though families with younger children are encouraged to dine before 8pm.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots (no charge) can be put in any room, while all suites have sofa-beds or can fit extra beds. Two rooms include an additional bedroom (one on a mezzanine level) while one double room and suite interconnect.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
The hotel can provide a list of recommended babysitters.
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Children’s menus are available (additional cost), with a special high tea served in the restaurant between 5.30pm and 6pm. Note that under 12s aren’t allowed in the restaurant from 8pm onwards.
Kids Activities on site:
- Heated outdoor pool
- Board games
Kids Activities nearby:
- Helmsley Castle
- North York Moors Steam Railway (12 miles away, the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films)
- Ryedale Folk Museum (9 miles away, with recreated historical buildings including shops and a Victorian school)
- Flamingo Land Theme Park (17 miles away, with rides and a zoo)
Families Should Know:
The pool area has no protection, so keep a close eye on young children. No under 16s are allowed in the spa or the hot tub.
- Airport: 1 hour (Durham Tees Valley or Leeds-Bradford)
- Shop: 2 minutes (Helmsley Market Place)
The Feversham Arms Hotel is located in the centre of Helmsley, a market town on the southern edge of the North York Moors. It’s 40km north of York, and 22km from the A19 at Thirsk.
A car is essential for exploring; there’s an underground car park. The Feversham Arms Hotel is a 4.5-hour drive from London, a 2-hour drive from Manchester, and a 3-hour drive from Birmingham. For car hire see our car rental recommendations.
York and Darlington are the nearest stations, both on the east coast main line from London to Scotland. York has good connections with the rest of the rail network, including services from London.
The nearest airports are Durham Tees Valley (62km away) and Leeds-Bradford (78km away); the drive from either of the above airports takes around an hour and transfers can be arranged on request, see Rates.
Detailed directions will be provided when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Durham Tees Valley 62.0 km MME
- Leeds-Bradford 78.0 km LBA
- Beach 48.0 km
- Shops 0.2 km
- Restaurant 0.2 km