Review: Tranquil countryside estate in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside with relaxing outdoor spa

Nestled between Skipton and Settle as you drive along the countryside in the Yorkshire Dales, you’d be forgiven for not immediately spotting the 1,400-acre estate set just off the beaten track.
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But a major part of the The Coniston Hotel’s allure is in its seclusion. Its entrance is almost hidden against the stunning backdrop of the Dales and its enveloping, sprawling landscape.

With typical hotel offerings and an added twist of luxury, the estate’s main selling point is its award-winning Nàdarra Spa.

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The word Nàdarra is translated as ‘Nature', from Scottish Gaelic, according to The Coniston’s website. And it does live up to its label. The spa is a separate building set to the side of the hotel - a short walk from the building - where it is closer to the countryside views. It’s an impressive looking structure.

The infinity pool at The Coniston's Nadarra Spa.The infinity pool at The Coniston's Nadarra Spa.
The infinity pool at The Coniston's Nadarra Spa.

Inside, after checking in at the reception and changing, you walk through to a warmly-lit indoor pool and you’re faced with various sauna and steam room options as part of The Coniston’s Indoor Thermal Suite offering.

It cranks up the relaxation levels significantly. But the real draw here is outside, particularly in the late spring and warmer summer months.

Through the glass doors leading out, the first thing you see on a clear day are gorgeous splatterings of blue and green as the countryside dominates the skyline.

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The sprawling blue sky leads down to plush green hills before dipping into a stunning valley where the blue ripples reemerge in a body of water.

Afternoon tea at The Coniston.Afternoon tea at The Coniston.
Afternoon tea at The Coniston.

It’s quite breathtaking and it sets this location apart from many others in the UK.

All of this can be enjoyed while leaning back and relaxing in one of the hotel’s two outdoor infinity pools.

Both pools offer similar viewpoints, are heated and have jacuzzi settings. The only downside to these is the depth, as you’ll need to sit or kneel (which isn’t an issue, of course).

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There’s a fully-stocked bar outside, too, with Pimm’s on tap. Big plus.

Inside the hotel, there’s a range of rooms to suit - from spacious suites to deluxe rooms - and plenty to choose from depending on family size or preference.

When it comes to dining, you’re spoilt for choice here.

There’s The View, a restaurant with a terrace boasting panoramic views of the lake and a menu inspired by the countryside. We ate here during our stay and the food was five-star.

You’ll also find Macleod's Bar & Lounge at the hotel for a less formal setting and near the spa is the stylish Blossom Kitchen, which offers a fusion of Yorkshire ingredients with an Asian flair. You can treat yourself to the classic afternoon tea selections here, too.

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There’s also a wealth of ‘experiences’ to be taken up at the estate.

They include the popular Land Rover Experience for thrill-seekers, a dedicated clay shooting ground, fishing, walking and guided bike rides.

All of this is against the Yorkshire Dales backdrop and, naturally, nearby villages, landmarks and attractions offer plenty of exploration opportunities of their own.

All-in-all, The Coniston lives up to expectation as a slice of luxury in the heart of the Yorkshire countryside. It’s reasonably priced, the food, drink and service is excellent. The spa is the jewel in its crown.