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Short Break - The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey, North Yorkshire

00:00 03 May 2014

Devonshire Arms - Burlington room

Devonshire Arms - Burlington room

not Archant

The historic Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa is for those who love a touch of luxury...and a muddy walk

Roast Grouse - Smoked Parsnip and BilberriesRoast Grouse - Smoked Parsnip and Bilberries

We love nothing better than pulling on our walking boots for a good ramble. Imagine our delight then, when arriving at The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa we were given a map of local walks produced by head concierge Eddie Styles. Our boots were practically climbing out of our bags.

Located in the Yorkshire Dales, this stunning hotel is part of the Bolton Abbey Estate and dates back to the early 17th century. It has been in the ownership of successive Dukes of Devonshire since 1753 when it came into the family through marriage. It has been styled to combine the traditional rustic detail of a country house estate alongside modern stylish décor (particularly evident in my favourite room, the Dog Lounge). There are roaring fires, paintings taken from the Devonshire Collection and stylish wallpaper designs, all helping guests to stop, relax and feel very at home.

Our room, the Crace, acknowledges the family connection to the Crace firm of prestigious London interior decorators founded in 1768. It’s traditionally decorated with a four poster bed, lounge area and original artwork on the walls by John Dibblee Crace (a fifth generation family member who also studied painting). There is no skimping on the luxuries either. The highlight of the room, however, has to be the large window with sash opening overlooking the Italian box garden.

There are ample options for dining here: you can enjoy afternoon tea in one of the lounges, a meal in the contemporary Devonshire Brassiere and Bar (it hosts a selection of ales and cocktails) or more elegant formal dinner in the traditional Burlington.

Devonshire Arms bedroomDevonshire Arms bedroom

We sampled the tasting menu in The Burlington consisting of eight courses personally selected by head chef Adam Smith, a Roux scholar and formerly of The Ritz in London. We enjoyed marinated scallops with avocado, radish and pigs head’s croquette, honey glazed duck with cabbage puree, salt baked turnip and sautéed liver and Amedei chocolate ganache with salted caramel and tonka. Each course was a taste sensation! We were also offered a cheeseboard but much to my partner’s surprise I had to pass.

After a wonderful night’s sleep, the desire to ramble tempted us out of our comfortable bed. We did the circular walk along the bank of the River Wharfe to the Priory church and ruins before heading on to Barden Bridge and back taking in the stunning Strid as we went.

During the afternoon we visited the 
spa. It’s located opposite the hotel in a former 18th century barn and we rotated between the pool, spa pool, sauna and steam room.

There are treatment rooms too, a relaxation lounge and a gym is also available but we were quite happy to gently swim back and forth and watch the evening light gently fade through the window.

This is a place we shall visit again. With such attentive staff in this elegant setting, we felt totally pampered. Next time we might visit the tennis court, go for a bike ride or simply unwind over afternoon tea. Either way, we cannot wait.

The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey, near Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 6AJ

Visit www.thedevonshirearms.co.uk, email res@devonshirehotels.co.uk or telephone 01756 710441/ (Reservations) 01756 718111

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