Situated in the Yorkshire Dales, Swinton Park is a 30 room luxury hotel holding a real passion for eco living.

The castle like stately home, which dates back to the 1700s, still lays in the arms of the Cunliffe-Lister family, and with 200 acres of estate it boasts a sense of the ‘secret garden’ as you explore romantic hidden lakes, a stunning walled garden where the hotel’s 3AA rosette restaurant finds its fresh produce, and the home of Rosemary Shrager’s cookery school for 2010.

Felicity and Mark have invested heavily in making Swinton Park as environmentally sound as possible, introducing a wood chip boiler in 2006, followed by its own laundry using O-Zone technology to reduce impact of transport . It’s inspiring to think that this historic building gains all of its hot water and heating from a renewable resource.

Four acres of walled garden produce over 60 fruit, vegetables and herbs that are used in the outstanding restaurant. ‘Samuel’s’ stands in a class of its own, from its exceptional staff who are knowledgeable about the duck you’re eating to champagne you’re drinking, as well as being able to tell a tale or two about the lady who produces the most delicious cheese from five minutes down the road.

While at Swinton Park it’s essential to grab one of the many bikes that are readily available for guests to use and take a tour of the wildlife filled estate (from ducks to deers) – we were lucky enough to ride through an array of daffodils in full bloom, creating a site resembling the yellow brick road; I’d happily be lost in this bliss for a week or two.

I’d recommend you indulge in one of the deluxe picnics – filled with local hams, cheeses, chutney made from the walled garden and other freshly baked produce – we were eating for approximately two hours and loved every minute of it!

The spa is a paradise all of its own and I fear my words cannot do it justice. There is a reason why the hotel’s website does not present pictures of the ‘exclusive’ spa – it would be a real shame to have the surprise taken away. Book in at reception and enjoy the tranquillity of your own personal space for an hour – you won’t regret it.

Real affection for the environment shines from every corner of Swinton Park and we look forward to visiting again for one of the many alfresco evenings on offer at the newly restored Deerhouse or indeed one of the foraging events taking place in the grounds (some of which are led by Susan Cunliffe-Lister – an award winning gardener who’s influence you can see all around this spectacular property).

To book:

web: www.swintonpark.com

phone: 01765 680 900

For bookings taken for a Sunday or Monday night stay during 2010, a special bed and breakfast rate of £155 per night applies to Knights, Barons and Earls rooms, and £190 per night to Dukes and all Suites (subject to availability).