Stow House

North Yorkshire, Northern England, United Kingdom Book from Book from £110 per night

Laid-back, art-filled B&B with sweeping views over the beautiful Yorkshire Dales
Built for the Reverend Stow in 1876, this grand house sits on the edge of a neat Wensleydale village. He was a keen photographer, and his pictures on the wall of the breakfast room give a glimpse into local life all those years ago. Step next door into the sitting room and you’ll spy works by the prolific fashion photographer Bob Carlos Clarke - quite the step change. But it’s the carefully curated mix of old and new that we loved about this place.

Welcoming owners Sarah and Phil left creative careers in London to buy Stow House in 2014, and after an extensive refurb have transformed it into a stunning home-from-home with 7 spacious and perfectly styled rooms, free-standing tubs, bold velvet sofas, and a great collection of objets d’art (a giant papier-mâché hare peers down from the sitting-room wall). 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.

Highs

  • 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 2
  • Sarah's cocktails (the strawberry daiquiri packs a serious punch)
  • Perfect for romantics, creatives and lovers of the great outdoors

Lows

  • Full pre-payment required on booking
  • No evening meals but there's a pub serving good food 2 minutes’ walk 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

Any time of year is beautiful in the Yorkshire Dales. When the weather is bright, hike out over the green hills to cascading waterfalls; when it’s not, soak in your gorgeous bathtub or relax in the snug.

Our top tips

If you want a giggle, take a look in the right ear of the giant papier-mâché hare in the guest lounge...

Great for...

Family
Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique B&B
  • 7
  • Breakfast only (+ pub nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Croquet lawn
Room:

Rooms

There are 7 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 Neal’s Yard toiletries. Fresh milk is left outside your room each morning for tea and coffee.

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. Since our visit, ground-floor Love is Blind has also been added - beautiful views, though it is located next door to the bar.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

A delicious breakfast is served in the light-filled dining room between 9-10am. Help yourself to home-baked bread 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 good pub grub a couple of minutes’ walk away, and a choice of restaurants if you're happy to drive (the owners can advise). Ask Sarah to mix you a pre- or -post dinner cocktail; she has a real talent for it.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Cocktails
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurants nearby
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • 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:

  • Birdwatching
  • Croquet
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Horse-riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Theatre

Kids

Children are warmly welcomed 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.

Best for:

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 4 - it has a kingsize bed, a single daybed and can also fit a rollaway bed or baby cot.

Babysitting:

On request

Baby listening:

Bring your own monitor. We had perfect reception from Love Birds on the first floor down to the sitting room below

Baby equipment:

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

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

Distances:

  • Airport: 90 minutes
  • Hospital: 50 minutes (doctor 5 minutes)
  • Shops: 5 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 6 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
9/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

A beautiful little escape in the rolling Dales. We stayed in September last year in Badger. Sarah is very welcoming from the moment you book to arrival. The house has been restored to a high standard with some great quirks such as the badger head in our room and the vibrant pink chairs in the bar. Sarah is around and about the house and always ready to offer suggestions or advice on things to do, places to see and eat or just for a chat. There's always an offer of a tea or coffee on return from the days activities or the honesty bar if it's been very wet and windy. Breakfast offers a buffet and a good range of yummy hot options. The only thing I would note is that the bathrooom doesn't have a ceiling on it, so is in a way in the bedroom. We had a great stay and would certainly head back if we're in the area.

10/10,

We are a family with three children, we had a great weekend. Super stylish house, excellent room and really nice communal areas. The location is perfect to go for a walk and to explore the surroundings, and then you can have a nice bath at the hotel and relax with a cocktail and plenty of books in a super chic living area. Sarah the owner is very nice and friendly. I would really recommend to spend a weekend here, the children also loved it.

10/10,

We wish that Stow House offered dinner. The nearby Aysgarth Falls Hotel is convenient and walkable, the food is acceptable but not outstanding.

9/10,

A wonderfully put together venue. Rooms were immaculate and oozing quality. The honesty bar was a great touch too. Because of the secluded nature of the venue, would be great to see some inventive additions to entertainment. Activities such as archery or a pool table would be a great start! All in all though i'd certainly recommend and visit again.

10/10,

Stow House was a fabulous place. Sarah the host was very attentive and helpful. We stayed in the room named Shot Gun Clare with a large free standing bath in the bedroom under the velux windows, overlooking beautiful countryside. The wet room was larger than most bedrooms & all was tastefully decorated. Breakfast was plentiful and again, served in a beautiful bay windowed room overlooking the grounds. For evening meals the Aysgarth Falls Inn is a mere 2 minutes walk away & Sarah kindly booked us a table in their restaurant. The food & atmosphere was excellent there too. All in all we had a faultless stay & would be happy to recommend to anyone.

10/10,

Sarah was wonderful, polite and cheerful made us most welcome and the property is delightful with excellent interior design clean and colourful. Outstanding service you would expect when dealing with the owners and the location is lovely. We wished we had booked for two nights and will return.

10/10,

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Rates for Stow House