Escape to the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District

Hipping Hall, Cumbria. Credit: STEVE BARBER
Hipping Hall, Cumbria. Credit: STEVE BARBER

Cumbrian retreat Hipping Hall combines contemporary luxury with period charm to deliver the finest in rural relaxation, alongside a three AA Rosette restaurant, in an enviable location between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.

Hipping Hall, Cumbria. Credit: STEVE BARBER
Credit: Steve Barber

Built in the 15th century by the Tatham family of blacksmiths, Hipping Hall, in the south Lake District is located on an important artery linking the west coast of England and the cities of Leeds and York and may have once provided a staging post for people wanting to break up their journey. In the early 17th century owner Edward Tatham married into gentry and soon began developing the site into the glorious grade II building we see today.

The boutique restaurant with rooms, which offers 10 bedrooms (a further five are due to open in an adjacent stable block in spring), has character in abundance: its restaurant is housed in the striking Great Hall, and tea, coffee and cake is taken fireside in a cosy 17th-century lounge, overlooking picturesque walled gardens.

Hipping Hall, Cumbria
Tatham Suite

Yet there’s more to this quaint country manor than meets the eye. On climbing a narrow staircase, its uppermost Tatham Suite is revealed to be surprisingly spacious and modern, comprising lounge, double bedroom with window seats, walk-in wardrobes and exposed wooden beams and stone-tiled bathroom with a vast freestanding bath.

Complementary dressing gowns, newspapers and tea and coffees are delivered to your door so there’s little reason to stray from your room. However, with its superb location between the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District, you’d be mad not to venture outside.

Ordnance survey maps are provided at reception, with walks ranging from 1.5 miles for those wanting to dip their toes, to 8 miles for the truly adventurous. Nearby attractions include Ingleton Waterfalls; White Scar Cave, which offers subterranean tours; the Settle to Carlisle Railway, one of the most scenic railway routes in Britain; and Sizergh castle, the supposed former home of Catherine Parr, the wife who outlived King Henry VIII’s.

Indeed, working up an appetite is recommended since the jewel in Hipping Hall’s crown is its fine dining. The seasonal menus are the creation of Lancashire-born head chef Oli Martin who has been at the helm for almost a year.

Pork loin at Hipping Hall
Yorkshire pork loin, cheek, carrot ketchup, hazelnut, chicory

Tempted by a five-course Table d’hote menu, it was the seven-course Taster menu that proved irresistible, with unusual additions such as Carrot Ketchup. This simplicity of wording in no-way reflected the array of delicate and complex dishes that arrived, each marrying rustic ingredients such as pig’s cheek, Cumbrian venison, partridge and monkfish with earthy accompaniments including radish, broccoli, cranberry and apple.

We opted for the additional board of English artisan cheeses (for a supplement) and matching wine package, which pairs each course with selections from an extensive wine list predominantly sourced from small vineyards and independent producers.

The following morning we were presented with a wide range of breakfast options, which we somehow found space for. With easy access to the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, comfy rooms and a delectable menu, Hipping Hall is a great weekend destination, whether you want to hibernate for a couple of days or make the most of the great outdoors.

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