“Friendly, laid-back B&B with bold design, kooky art and sweeping views over the beautiful Yorkshire Dales”
Warm and welcoming owners Sarah and Phil left creative careers in London to buy Stow House, and after an extensive refurb have transformed it into a stunning home-from-home with seven spacious and perfectly styled rooms, free-standing tubs, bold velvet sofas, and a great collection of objets d’art - many donated by their creative friends. Breakfasts by Phil are truly delicious, and there’s beauty at every turn: glance through any of the windows and you’ll see green rolling hills beyond the vast garden; walk a few minutes down the road and you’ll come to tumbling Aysgarth Falls.
- The chilled atmosphere created by warm and friendly hosts; it’s like staying with friends
- A fun and eclectic mix of art (a badger in a gas mask!?) offset by beautifully thought-through interiors
- Our bathroom was huge, with a gorgeous free-standing tub and a rainshower easily big enough for two
- Sarah's cocktails (the lethal Corpse Reviver packs a serious punch)
- Perfect for romantics, creatives and lovers of the great outdoors - plus it's extremely dog-friendly
- No evening meals, and we weren't overly impressed with the food at the local pub, but there are other good restaurants a short drive away
- No twin rooms
- You’ll have to drive out if you want other nightlife, but we loved kicking back and relaxing into the rural pace of life
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast only (+ pub nearby)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Croquet lawn
There are seven rooms, whose quirky names are inspired by the art on their walls. All are gorgeous. You can expect well-dressed kingsize or double beds with graphic cushions, plenty of clothes storage, drenching rainshowers (and perhaps a gorgeous free-standing tub, too), robes, and aromatic Molton Brown toiletries. Fresh milk is left outside your room each morning for tea and coffee.
Ground-floor Love is Blind is the smallest but light pours in through big windows with beautiful views. We stayed in first-floor Love Birds and totally coveted the red chaise longue and the giant bed, in which we slept brilliantly. We’re pretty sure you could host a party in the bathroom's walk-in shower. Badger has the best tub-with-a-view (overlooked by the namesake beast in a gas mask!), and we loved the blue-grey walls and exposed beams of attic room Cowboy Balance, where light pours in through big velux windows. If four-posters are your thing then choose Kes.
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Extra beds
A delicious breakfast is served in the light-filled dining room between 9-10am (early risers can request to eat earlier). Help yourself to freshly squeezed OJ, fruit (often from the garden) and homemade granola with creamy yoghurt while you ponder which cooked items you fancy. We opted for the full whammy of eggs on toast, tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, crispy bacon and seriously tasty sausages, all made to order by foodie Phil. As much as possible is sourced locally and we even saw the butcher delivering the sausages the previous afternoon.
No other meals are available at Stow House, but there's an inn that serves modern (if a little pricey) pub grub a couple of minutes’ walk away, and a choice of restaurants if you're happy to drive - we hear the Wensleydale Heifer is a must-visit. Ask Sarah to mix you a pre- or -post dinner cocktail; she has a real talent for it.
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Walk to Aysgarth Falls, which tumble over limestone steps in a picnic-perfect setting admired by Wordsworth, Turner and Ruskin. Nearby is Hardraw Force, reputed to be the highest unbroken waterfall in England
- Go walking; the owners can recommend routes through the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, past ancient stone walls and green fields of sheep. Or Sarah can arrange pony treks
- Admire the nearby Ribblehead Viaduct, which carries the Settle-Carlisle railway and stands majestically against the Dales. If you prefer natural monuments, visit Malham Cove: a grand curved limestone cliff topped by an impressive stretch of limestone pavement
- Foodies will love the markets in nearby Leyburn and Hawes, while cheese-lovers can’t miss the Wensleydale Creamery for a demo (the Wensleydale with ginger has to be tasted to be believed). Black Sheep and Theakston’s both have breweries in Masham
- Visit Richmond, a pretty market town built around a Norman castle, with its own falls and The Georgian Theatre Royal - the oldest working theatre in Britain, where you can catch anything from dance to comedy
- Wet weather? Settle into the woodburner-warmed snug with a good book and a drink from the honesty bar
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Children are welcome and the Yorkshire Dales make a great playground for all ages. However, this is a converted house rather than a purpose-built hotel so noise does travel, and there's a lot of beautiful art and ornaments around for little hands to grab.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
A rollaway bed or baby cot can be added to Like Wow Man, Love Birds and Shotgun Clare. Cowboy Balance is the best room for a family of four - it has a kingsize bed, a single daybed and can also fit a rollaway bed or baby cot.
Bring your own monitor. We had perfect reception from Love Birds on the first floor down to the sitting room below
A high chair and baby cot
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Kids Activities on site:
- A huge garden, with a croquet lawn
- Resident pigs in the garden to feed and stroke
Kids Activities nearby:
- Pony trekking
- Cheese making tours at the Wensleydale Creamery (20mins)
- Farm and Soft play in Bedale (35mins)
Families Should Know:
The pipes to the free-standing tubs obviously get very hot; there are lots of ornaments around for little people to grab/knock over; the garden is really big but not totally fenced off; and the house is next to the main road so you’d need to keep an eye on smaller children
- Airport: 90 minutes
- Hospital: 50 minutes (doctor 5 minutes)
- Shops: 5 minutes
Stow House is in Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales, a two-hour drive from Manchester and just under five hours from London.
The closest airports are Leeds-Bradford (80km), Newcastle (113km) and Manchester (140km). You'll need a car to explore the area, so most guests hire a car from the airport. There’s off-street parking at the B&B.
Guests travelling by train usually go to Northallerton (45 minutes away) or Darlington (55 minutes away) then hire a car or take a taxi.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Leeds-Bradford 80.0 km LBA
- Newcastle 113.0 km NCL
- Beach 81.0 km
- Shops 0.5 km
- Restaurant 0.5 km