Fabulous old Yorkshire coaching inn with newly minted spa

IF YOU THINK OLD COUNTRY INNS are all about draughty windows and tweeds, you haven’t stayed lately at the Feversham Arms. This fabulous one-time coaching inn in pretty Helmsley, beside the north Yorkshire moors, has notched up the indulgence factor to the Nth degree.

Helmsley’s top lodging spot since the 1850s, the Feversham Arms now ticks all the boxes for an indulgent country getaway. It’s the perfect escape for weary townies – a  hideaway that’s both boutique and blissfully un-stuffy. We’re talking gourmet restaurant, state-of-the-art spa, heated all-year outdoor pool and lashings of designer good looks. 

Mellow Yorkshire stone is mixed here with log fires, deep sofas and country-chic decor. All 27 bedrooms are big on luxe factor, whether you go for a cosy studio double (room 4 has sexy deep red walls) or one of the swishy poolside suites.

Hit the spot

In the Yorkshire moors village of Helmsley.

Splash out on one of the poolside suites. Cottage-style Room 21 has old stone walls and a garden. Room 15 is an intimate retreat, with an open fireplace, beamed ceiling and tub for two with huge candlesticks.

Be savvy
Bring your wellies for long walks on the moors.

Be smitten

Moorland inn with more. 

Wood burning stoves

Big beds dressed in Egyptian cotton, vibrant artworks, piles of plump cushions, wool and faux fur throws
and tactile textures set the tone.  Colours range from creamy oatmeal and naturals to duck-egg, charcoal, rich berry reds and raspberries-and-cream.

Black slate walk-in showers, double ended baths, L’Occitane toiletries and fluffy bathrobes make for pamper zone bathrooms. Some rooms have a gallery, wood-burning stove or private terrace, while toys and technics include a Bang & Olufsen TV and PlayStations on request.

After a lazy read through the papers in the lounge or drinks in the snug bar, you’ll be ready to try the Feversham Arms’ much-lauded restaurant, with its claret-coloured walls, original art and skylit roof. Expect first-rate food here in a country-chic setting.

Of course you’ll want to spend a delicious day being pummelled and preened in the hotel’s swanky new Verbena Spa, linked by a glass bridge. This brand new hedonistic haven (opens October) has it all, from foot spas and an aromatherapy room to a hot tub, ice cave and foot-long list of treatments.

You’re in Harry Potter country here (nearby Goathland station was the set for Hogsmeade) with moorland walks starting from your doorstep. There’s a gun room should you want to bag a few pheasants during your stay, and welcoming, can-do staff provide seamless service. Mind you, some guests at the Feversham Arms never even leave their bedroom. Say no more.

The Feverham Arms was reviewed by Room for Romance
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.

Dining in
There’s an emphasis on local game, lamb and seafood from nearby Whitby in the Feversham Arms’ modern British menu. Tuck into chef Simon Kelly’s wild duck, braised oxtail, game in season, slow-roasted lamb and rare-breed pork – and a more-ish bacon sarnie for breakfast. Don’t worry, vegetarians are well catered for too.

There’s a wine list of more than 200 bins, poolside dining menu in summer and a full Do Not Disturb room service menu if dressing for dinner is too much of a chore. Order a picnic if you’re planning a day out. 

Dining out
Other good gastronomic bets include the Black Swan, 100 yards away, the Star Inn in Harome (2-3 miles) and the Durham ox at Crayke (12 miles).


The Feversham Arms

What’s cooking?
Citrus baked halibut with asparagus hollandaise sauce, or caramelised Goosnargh duck breast. Follow up with poached figs and pain perdue and coconut icecream.

Dress the part

Wellies by day, country chic by night.

Top table?
Table 4 – nicely shielded for a private tête-à-tête.

See & Do
Helmsley is an appealing Yorkshire market town with pretty riverside walks, traditional tearooms and genteel country pubs. It’s a mecca for walkers and also boasts a 12th century castle and fine stately home – Duncombe Park.

You’re in great walking country here, and a three mile stroll takes you to the atmospheric ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. Other big attractions in the area include Castle Howard, setting for Brideshead Revisited, York Minster and the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby.  

Hop aboard the North York Moors steam Railway – rife with Harry Potter connections – at nearby Pickering. There’s also game shooting on the moors, in season, and a riding stables five minutes away.

You’ll find an amazing array of fine food at Hunter’s delicatessen in Helmsley, and fabulous country and shooting wear at Carters. For gorgeous clothing and jewellery, head for Pennita Fashions.

The hotel’s new Verbena Spa has it all, with a fully equipped heat experience – saunarium, foot spas, aromatherapy room, rasul bath, salt vapour room, monsoon showers and ice cave. 

There are seven treatment rooms – one designed for a side-by-side massage – where you can be pummelled and preened. Then there’s the outdoor pool – heated all year – and hot tub. You’ll also find a beautiful relaxation room with south-facing terrace, spa-tisserie and juice bar.

Guests can use the heat experience and hot tub for £25 per day;  refunded if you spend £50 or more on treatments. 

After dark
Curl up in one of the fireside lounges or head for the cocktail bar at the Black Swan Hotel up the road. Some suites even have wood-burning stoves to snuggle up by.

Celebrity chefs take to the stage at Castle Howard’s annual food festival at Ryedale. There’s also a Christmas fair in December.

Summer months

Open air concerts are staged at nearby Dalby Forest.

There’s music, dance at theatre at the Helmsley Arts festival.

Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5AG

There is free guest parking.

York station – 23 miles; or Thirsk – 15 miles.

The Feversham Arms can arrange private chauffeured transfers for GBP 40 from York station.

Teesside Airport – 35 miles.

Rooms and suites

33 rooms, including 22 suites

Special features

Rooms come with Bang & Olufsen TVs with integral DVD, a DVD/CD collection, Egyptian cotton sheets, L’Occitane toiletries, a walk-about phone and bathroom speakers. Suites have air conditioning.

Some rooms have roll-top baths, separate walk-in showers and stoves or open fires. Poolside suites are perfect for morning dips or alfresco eats.


Rates guide

GBP 140 – 325 including breakfast and a newspaper. Dinner, bed and breakfast rates start are GBP 200 - 395. 

Open all year.



Minimum night stay?
Two nights at weekends. Guests are expected to have dinner in at weekends.

Full Yorkshire breakfast is served until 9.30am (weekdays) or 10am (weekends). You can order a room service breakfast until 11am.

Room service

Available morning and evening. 

Welcome. The restaurant has a children’s menu and babysitting and cots are available.

Dogs are welcome by arrangement – though not in the restaurant. 

Air conditioning
Yes, in suites.


Mainly English.

Wedding license?

Yes – weddings can be held on both an exclusive-use and non exclusive use basis. Celebrations can be held for up to 150 guests.

Your contact

Simon Rhatigan – owner
UK> YORKSHIRE> YORKSHIRE> Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

Room for Romance Extra

A room upgrade (subject to availability).



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