Yorebridge House

North Yorkshire, Northern England, United Kingdom Book from

An outpost of cosmopolitan glamour, set in a former schoolmaster’s house in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales
Having decided to open their own hotel, globe-trotting couple David and Charlotte Reilly almost committed to properties in France and, later, Italy. But when a former Victorian headmaster’s house and adjacent school building called Yorebridge came on the market in the picturesque Wensleydale village of Bainbridge in 2006, any plans to buy abroad were abandoned. It’s easy to see why they fell for these elegant stone buildings. Framed by towering Scots pines and set beside a river, they overlook a spectacular panorama of rolling fields, dry-stone walls and ancient barns.

But Yorebridge hasn't always been as well-groomed as it is today. Having previously served a long stint as the headquarters of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, there was much work to be done transforming the property from an office building into a contemporary hotel. The makeover created restful rooms and a buzzy restaurant; another room sits in the centre of the village, a 5-minute stroll away. With Charlotte’s background as an interior designer coming into play, and plenty of period character to work with, the result is a truly cosseting country retreat that’s packed with atmosphere, style and good cheer.


  • Glamorous bedrooms, all different, with designer beds, gorgeous fabrics and high-tech sound systems
  • Perfect for a romantic break - the setting is sublime, and many rooms have outdoor hot tubs or freestanding baths
  • Fantastic dinners kick off with canapés in the lounge; menus feature local specialities such as delicious Dales cheeses, Whitby crab and wonderfully tender meat
  • Stunning views of the Dales countryside from the dining room and the upstairs rooms
  • The hearty welcome: you’re as likely to find yourself propping up the bar with a local farmer fresh off a tractor as you are with city folk dolled up in their gladrags


  • Bainbridge is one of the quieter Dales villages - for more entertainment, you have to drive
  • Despite good intentions, constraints involved in renovating a listed building mean that some noise can drift through to the bedrooms from the bar
  • This is a popular place and rightly so - book well in advance if you'd like a particular room
  • Guests staying in The Barn have a bit of a walk to the hotel's restaurant for breakfast and dinner, but it's not far

Best time to go

Spring to autumn is peak season if you want to make the most of the surrounding Dales scenery and enjoy lazy, alfresco meals on the hotel’s terrace. Yorebridge House is open all year, though, and gets booked up well in advance on weekends deep into winter. The only real drawback to visiting very late, or early, in the year is the unpredictability of the weather. But the landscape is beautiful with a sprinkling of snow, and there are much worse places to get holed up in - especially if you have a bubbling hot tub to soak in.

Our top tips

There’s no dress code at Yorebridge House, but Yorkshire folk need no excuses to dress up. So, despite the rustic location, make sure you pack something fabulous for dinner.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 12
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • 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
Room: Nishiki


Most rooms sit in the main house or the schoolhouse. Each is themed, but that doesn’t mean gimmicky, over-the-top styling; instead, David and Charlotte have taken inspiration from memorable places on their travels and created subtle reminders of them - perhaps an ornate chandelier, a carved headboard or patterned wallpaper. It’s all rather glamorous, with magazines and coffee-table books spilling out by the bedside, top-of-the-range sound systems and TVs (David once worked for Bang & Olufsen), and thoughtful details such as local tea, fresh coffee and trays of homemade shortbread.

On the ground floor of the main house are Japanese-influenced Nishiki, Moroccan Rahmoune and bright and breezy Caribbean-themed St Jean, all with outdoor hot tubs. Upstairs are French-inspired Mougins (the smallest room, though it’s by no means tiny), English-style Bainbridge and Italianate Pienza (which has fantastic views from its in-room tub). Hidden away at the very top of the building is Greenwich, a New York-style loft suite that’s a favourite with honeymooners thanks to its twin freestanding baths and den-like lounge (though its sloping ceilings can cause a few bumped heads).

We stayed in African-themed Kariega, a schoolhouse room with an outdoor hot tub on its private riverside terrace. Next door and also with a hot tub is Rangali, the Reillys' distinctive take on the Maldives, while above on the first floor and reached via private staircases are Spanish-inspired Carabeo and Canadian lodge-like Jasper.

Another room sits in the village, a few minutes’ walk away: The Barn been added since our last visit but looks as stylish and soothing as the others, with a mix of contemporary furniture and original features (exposed beams, flagstone floors, mullion windows). It's spread over 2 floors, with a lounge (complete with a PlayStation 3), a bedroom, an ensuite with a roll-top tub and tsunami shower, and a private terrace with a hot tub; there’s also a kitchenette, though breakfast at the hotel.

Some rooms can be set up as twins, and lounge areas in the larger ones can be converted into additional bedrooms for 2 or 3 people. Bathrooms are top-of-the-range, with sleek fittings and Molton Brown toiletries. Some have walk-in showers, while others have baths with shower mixers (no separate shower) - see Rates for full details.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Phone
  • Satellite tv
  • Slippers
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi


Yorebridge is aiming for Michelin status with its sophisticated take on modern British food, and its menus are crammed with local produce.

Dinner (included in the rates at weekends) begins with canapés in the buzzy bar or the cosy lounge, before you move through to the restaurant - an airy room with dark wood tables, mirror-hung walls and pretty views through picture windows. Starters when we visited included a creamy white onion velouté with a tangy tomato confit, and escabeche of mackerel with a delicate saffron aioli; our mains were pan-fried East Coast bass with Whitby crab ceviche, and a lip-smackingly tender fillet of beef from the farm across the road. Dessert was an imaginative trio of gooey chocolate treats, served with refreshing green tea mousse and chilli ice cream.

For folks who like simpler food, there’s an all-day bar menu listing favourites such as pumpkin and parmesan risotto, crispy pork and pea soup, seared trout with hollandaise sauce, Yorkshire ploughman’s, and lemon meringue pie.

Breakfast (included in the rate for all rooms) doesn’t disappoint, either. Help yourself to a buffet of fresh fruit, thick slices of Wensleydale cheese, smoked salmon, yoghurts, local honey and preserves, then tuck into locally smoked kippers, eggs Benedict or the full Yorebridge (sausages, honey-cured bacon, fried duck eggs, local black pudding, slow-roasted tomatoes and toasted homemade bread).

If you fancy a change of scene, Bainbridge is home to the quirky Rose & Crown pub and The Cornmill (closed in winter), a traditional - if not especially exciting - tearoom. But there’s much more on offer in Askrigg, just a mile away, including 3 pubs (the most atmospheric is The Kings Arms), the sophisticated Rowan Restaurant and the Cake Walk Tea Shop, a lovely modern café serving cakes, soups and ploughman’s lunches. If you’re willing to drive, it’s worth making a detour to The Wensleydale Heifer in West Witton for sophisticated Dales dining, or visiting The Blue Lion in East Witton for upmarket pub grub in a classy setting. And, if you’re here in summer, make a pitstop at Jervaulx Farm for Brymor’s ice cream.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • Explore the 5 acres of land that belong to the property. Shooting parties and clay-pigeon shoots can be arranged on request. The hotel also has a fishing licence and can organise instruction

  • Head out on foot to the surrounding villages and countryside, guided by one of the informative walking leaflets put together by local Dave Jackson and available from the hotel’s reception

  • Visiting foodies should make their way to one of the excellent local markets. Choose from Hawes, Ripon, Northallerton, Leyburn and Richmond, depending on the day (staff can tell you which takes place when). Other worthwhile gastronomical attractions include Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes (for Wallace & Gromit's favourite cheese) and the Black Sheep and Theakston’s breweries in Masham

  • Soak up some history with a visit to some of Yorkshire’s most impressive ancient monuments. Bolton Abbey, Bolton Castle (confusingly, the 2 are nowhere near each other) and Middleham Castle are all popular, but 12th-century Jervaulx Abbey is the most romantic - and, for my money, the best for picnicking

  • Artistically-minded visitors might want to seek inspiration at some of the Dales’ famous waterfalls. There are several to choose from, but the best known are Aysgarth Falls, a triple whammy of watery tumbles cascading over glistening steps of limestone on the River Ure, and Hardraw Force, supposedly the highest unbroken waterfall in England and accessed via the bar of the Green Dragon pub. Be inspired knowing that Wordsworth, Turner and Ruskin all visited the falls

  • Try to catch a performance at the Georgian Theatre Royal in nearby Richmond. Originally opened in 1788 and recently restored, it’s Britain’s most complete Georgian playhouse and makes a cosy setting for everything from music and comedy to drama and dance

  • Guests in search of pampering might have to wait a while for a dedicated spa to open at Yorebridge. In the meantime, however, a good range of beauty treatments, massages and therapies can be organised in your room or at a local salon

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Clay-pigeon shooting
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures


Children of all ages are welcome, and cots and rollaway beds can be added to most rooms for a small charge.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Greenwich can serve as a family room, with the lounge transforming into a second bedroom with up to 3 extra beds. The lounge area in The Barn also has a sofabed for 2 additional guests; kids will love the PlayStation 3 in the latter, and its kitchenette may come in handy for preparing children's snacks.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors are available on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available, and there are highchairs in the restaurant.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Families Should Know:

Families might want to avoid Kariega, which has a terrace with unfenced drops to the river below. Note that The Barn is in the centre of the village, so you'll have a 5-minute walk to the hotel restaurant for meals.

Kid Friendly:

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