Reviewed by Rebecca Gillespie
I was lucky enough to stay in the Coniston Hotel with all my family… hubbie and 2 girls (6 years and 5 months) and our 2 King Charles spaniels, Maple and Treacle. It is situated in Coniston Cold near Skipton in the Yorkshire dales. We arrived after a 2 hour drive from Sheffield and it was a lovely March day, cold but nice and clear, beautiful surroundings and stunning views.
The independent hotel is on a 1400 acre estate owned by the Bannister family since the late 1960s. The hotel overlooks a lake and it has 71 bedrooms, dining is available in the Huntsman’s Lodge offering views of the lake, or in Macleod’s restaurant offering A La Carte dining. There is also a separate bar area.
The hotel also offers extra activities around the estate these include:
Fishing – they offer a 24 acre lake well stocked with rainbow trout, boats are available and tuition too.
Clay pigeon shooting – The Shooting Ground is one of the best in the country and has been awarded Premier Plus Ground status from The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association.
Land Rover 4×4 experience – a huge area specially made with gulley’s and steep slopes and sheer drops to add adventure and thrill.
Falconry Centre – offering various packages to spend time with owls, hawks, Eagles and Falcons and learn from the very knowledgeable instructors.
Archery and lots of walking and cycling – lots of information available about walks and various routes around the estate and beyond.
The hotel caters for weddings, offers conference rooms and organises events. There is a spa being built and will open in October 2015.
Dogs are welcome in the all areas of the hotel except Macleoed’s restaurant. A number of bedrooms downstairs are dog friendly so you have easy outdoor access. They are situated along a long corridor linking to the reception area.
The rooms are classic, superior and luxury. We stayed in room 25, a downstairs luxury room which had a separate lounge to relax in this also had a child’s bed made up for us. The bedroom had a huge super kingsize bed which was very comfy, a sofa and table and chairs they had also provided us a travel cot including all bedding. It had patio doors straight outside… perfect for the dogs and offered a fabulous view of the lake. Outside there was also a table and chairs to sit if the weather was a little warmer. The bathroom was huge and offered separate shower, bath and toilet and toiletries provided. The room also had a small fridge, safe, ironing board and iron and trouser press. You could step outside the patio doors and there was a large grassed area, it was muddy so maybe a doormat by the backdoor would have been helpful. Also you need to take a torch so you can see your dog at night. There was nothing specifically for the dogs in the room maybe a dog bowl/treat/poo bags would be a welcome gesture.
The room was very quiet despite there being a wedding happening and the hotel being full.
The staff on reception were very welcoming and offered any information required, we were given a map of the estate with various walks mapped out which was very helpful. We were offered a tour of the estate by Louise the managing director who was very helpful and had a wealth of knowledge about the whole area and the family. This really is a family run hotel and 95% of the staff are from the local area with some actually living on the estate. The hotel started off small and has grown and recently been extended as well as now having a spa built which will offer a 15m pool, spa treatments and outdoor spa. All the activities are well organised and all fit nicely into the surroundings you do not have to stay at the hotel to book any of the activities they can be done separately or packages arranged, ideal for hen or stag parties or corporate events. We felt that nothing was too much trouble and they would try and accommodate anything you wish within your stay.
My husband and daughter attended a session in the falconry centre and came away very happy and knowledgeable about the birds. They highly recommended it but do wrap up warm on cold Yorkshire days.
We took the dogs on various walks one being around the lakeside walk and woodland walk both signposted, we did take a wrong turning and ended up going through the owner’s home but he was very welcoming and pointed us back into the right direction. The dogs were thoroughly worn out from all our adventures, they do need to remain on a lead due to all wildlife, shooting etc… that goes on. But our dogs were fine with that. Dog bins are provided on the route however we couldn’t find one just outside the hotels entrance… this would have been helpful. We also saw other owners with dogs which was nice and everywhere we went people were friendly and welcoming.
We ate in the Huntsman’s Lodge which I highly recommend the food was delicious and very family and dog friendly. It has a great lake view and a beautiful roaring fire. After a great night’s sleep we had an amazing breakfast they had a large selection of cereals, fruit, yoghurts, juice and then we had a cooked Yorkshire breakfast which included sausage, bacon, egg (scrambled/poached/fried), black pudding, sauté potatoes and tomato and mushroom all served with toast. They also offer fish, continental breakfast and pancakes these are just a few there really is something to please everyone. The breakfast was high quality and delicious, filled us all up.
I would highly recommend the Coniston Hotel, it has a lovely, friendly, happy feel, perfect for dogs and their owners and families. Just maybe add a couple of extras for our 4 legged friends. We would definitely return, maybe to test out the new spa.
For more information or to make a booking visit www.theconistonhotel.com or call 01756 748080.
The Coniston Hotel, Coniston Cold, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4EA | 01756 748080