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Oughtershaw Hall

8 bedrooms
6 bathrooms
16 guests
The magnificent detached country estate of Oughtershaw Hall rests in splendid isolation within the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The property may date back to the 1600s, but don’t let this noble stone pile deceive you. Within its most Yorkshire of stone walls is more than the odd 21st-century surprise, non-more so than its own private heated swimming pool.

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Full Details
Transformed initially from a medieval farmhouse to a shooting lodge in the 1850s, Oughtershaw Hall sits amongst quiet woodlands, surrounded by sweeping valleys and dramatic open moorland. Its years and scale immediately transport you to a different age, and you could forgive one for quickly adopting the role of the landed gentry. Beautifully styled throughout, the impressive original features will come as no surprise. Intricate stained-glass windows, carved panelling and a set of servants’ bells are all taken as read. But it would be a real cool customer who wasn’t impressed by the original guestbook dating back to the mid-18th century. Rural retreat this may be, but it’s tastefully packed with all mod cons.

Entering the house through an impressive stone loggia, via the former servants’ entrance, guests will find themselves following a fabulous stone-flagged labyrinth of winding passageways. Guided by the enticing whiff of woodsmoke (depending on the time of the year), take your pick from any one of four seating areas – each one an absolute haven of tranquillity. Curl up with a glass of red in front of a roaring fire in the drawing-room. Or perhaps swap stories beside the woodburning stove in the sitting room, where we’ll be surprised if the conversation doesn’t turn to the stunning stained-glass windows displaying the family’s coat of arms. Then there’s the historical oak table, inscribed with the initials of previous owner Charles Woodd, in 1876. Or the wooden panel in the wall which hides the original peephole. Why not help yourself to a real page-turner in the cosy library, while away a lazy afternoon to the sound of the babbling beck as it meanders past the house and down the valley. Perhaps unsurprisingly by now, another stove can be found in the snug off the kitchen – it’s the perfect space to catch up with the rest of your party.

Oughtershaw Hall’s well-equipped kitchen is vast. Open-plan and L-shaped, the spacious breakfast bar or an impressive dining table can seat your entire party. While in quieter moments, the built-in window seats provide restful views out to the garden.

Opposite the kitchen, where once stood an old pantry, now sits a contemporary, spacious utility room. A separate boot room also contains the inviting 8-seater sauna. And should the Yorkshire weather close in, there’s a basement games room well-stocked with entertainment for kids and big kids alike.

If the downstairs is relaxing, then the seven impeccably designed bedrooms beckon tantalisingly from the first floor. Rumour has it that Charles I rested his head here – one suspects while it was still attached to his body. Many of the bedrooms have old character features, window seats and luxurious en-suites. A further downstairs bedroom has an en-suite shower room making it the perfect choice for anyone with limited mobility.

The pool, housed in an old farm building, is just a few steps from the main house. It’s the perfect example of how the house manages to keep its integrity while offering modern-day facilities. Beautiful, bespoke, water-height windows and underwater lighting set the mood. And if the children haven’t sprouted gills, perhaps you can snatch a quiet moment to float leisurely on your back. Gaze up to a lofty roof complete with characterful wooden beams.

The houses’ original entrance – complete with ceiling rose, brass chandelier, and even more seating – is now the access to the gardens. Guests can follow the romantic ghyll through the verdant thicket as Oughtershaw Beck tumbles and turns to meet the River Wharf. There’s more than one perfect picnic stop en route.

Back at the house, intrepid explorers or mooching meanderers can take to the patio and marvel at the extensive views. A stone inscription on the hall’s wall proudly reads: “Welcome as the flowers in spring.” Say no more.

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floorplans
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Location
James Herriot had it right when he said (of the small hamlet that shares the hall’s name): “Oughtershaw. A piece of bleakest Yorkshire, but smiling in the sunshine through its bare miles of tufted grass. The air had the sharp sweetness, which is found only on the top-most Pennines.” Film buffs will tell you nearby Hawes is home to the famous Wallace & Gromit Wensleydale cheese, it is an untroubled little village of mellow stone buildings, shops and houses linked by cobbled streets.

Buckden, Kettlewell was a film location for Calendar Girls. And be sure not to miss the market towns of Grassington and Skipton. As you explore, expect dry stone walls and barns, flower-rich hay meadows and valley-side woodland. At the tip of the Dales is the unspoilt wilderness of Swaledale, home to some of Yorkshire’s best walking and cycling. When it comes to peace, tranquillity and natural beauty, few locations offer more.
Hawes - 8.7 miles
Grassington - 16 miles
Buckden - 5.4 miles
Kettlewell - 9.2 miles

Skipton Castle - 23 miles
 
 
What our guests say

We have visited Oughtershaw Hall, at various times of the year, at least five times for weekends and for stays of a week. Why do we keep going back? Quite simply because the Hall ticks all of the boxes that our group of sixteen needs.

Mr Judge

Fantastic house in a stunning location, on a dark night the sky is so big with no light pollution. The house was warm, immaculately clean with plentiful supply of kitchen utensils for cooking a celebration meal. Ben the house manager very helpful and keen to make our stay special He had the log burners roaring for our arrival which was a lovely touch. The swimming pool was a massive hit with the children. What a special house, can't wait to return.

Mr Ellwood
 
 
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