Review: Raithwaite Sandsend - ‘From woodland to water’s edge’

PUBLISHED: 10:09 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:09 05 October 2020

You can walk along the sands to Whitby from Raithwaite

You can walk along the sands to Whitby from Raithwaite


We paid a visit to a luxury hotel in the North’s swishest seaside resort

Raithwaite HallRaithwaite Hall

It’s fair to say that despite its huge popularity as a holiday destination, the Yorkshire Coast isn’t awash with luxury hotels within walking distance of the beach.

There are plenty of gorgeous self-catering rentals on offer in sought-after places like Runswick Bay, Sandsend and Robin Hood’s Bay, but fewer options if you definitely don’t fancy loading the dishwasher.

Raithwaite Hall ticks the boxes in terms of accommodation with a luxury twist. It sits in a private wooded valley that feels ‘away from it all’ - but a five-minute stroll takes you to Sandsend Bay, one of the loveliest stretches of coastline in Yorkshire.

The hotel, like most at the minute, is dealing with the tricky task of welcoming visitors in a socially-distanced Covid-19 world – just about the opposite of what hospitality is about. Mask on, hands deep-cleaned you check in from your own table in the bar (with a complementary pina colada), before heading to you room.

Join a lobster fishing trip with Raithwaite's chef Andy HillJoin a lobster fishing trip with Raithwaite's chef Andy Hill

Rooms overlooking the gardens and spa (currently closed but check for changes) are the pick of the bunch here and worth opting for when you make a booking. Elsewhere, families - and your four-legged friends - can stay in the village-style courtyard with rooms over two floors and within a woodland setting. Closer to the beach is the resort-style ‘Keep’ building with rooms, some dog-friendly.

Dinner is served in a bright, colourful conservatory-style building overlooking the gardens. The menu is a crowd-pleaser from head chef Andy Hill and makes the most of the Yorkshire produce - it lets you be a bit adventurous if you’re feeling it – dishes such as Kirkby Malzeard rabbit with wild mushrooms, baby veg and sorrel cream are out to impress and this hit the mark in taste and appearance, cooked with an assured touch. Meat is from Radford’s at Sleights and fish – well, it shouldn’t have travelled far. I ate delicious lemon sole with Whitby crab, brown shrimp and mussel butter, which was really impressive.

Vegetarians have some good choices to go at too – Yorkshire Fettle with garden pea veloute and cheese crouton looked impressive – though I went for a potted salmon with herb bavarois. The salmon is smoked using fir from the Raithwaite estate and tasted punchy, fresh and nicely different.

The ethos of Raithwaite is to make the most of place. You can do big walks – Whitby is about two miles away – either by beach or a path from the Raithwaite woodland. From Sandsend beach you can head north, climb a cliff path and walk to Kettleness with cracking views as you go.

Sandsend beachSandsend beach

You can do some beach yoga with the sunrise – the hotel can arrange this. You can head out with a fishing boat to catch crab and lobster – then the hotel’s chef will cook it up for your supper – a lovely idea – available until November 4.

The vast, safe beach at Sandsend makes this a great family destination if buckets, spades, beach cricket and rockpool-mooching are your thing.


Here’s our to-do list:

Stroll along Sandsend Beach, and keep your eyes peeled for local seals.

Try stand-up paddle boarding, or hit the waves with a surf lesson.

Discover Yorkshire’s Cleveland Way, a walking route that goes through the North Yorkshire Moors and along the coastline from Helmsley to Filey,. The route covers 109 miles crossing vibrant heather moorland and characterful seaside villages.

Discover Whitby jet – one of the earliest gemstones used to create items of jewellery. It comes from the fossilized remains of trees and is only found along a seven and a half mile stretch of the wild North Yorkshire coastline, centring around Whitby and Raithwaite Sandsend. Budding fossil hunters can arrange a guided expedition.

Just take tea!

Sit back with a delicious traditional afternoon tea in the Conservatory with panoramic views over Raithwaite’s picturesque gardens.

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