If the exterior of this gorgeous, mellow red brick 1699 house looks straight from a Jane Austen novel, the interior is no disappointment. You’ll find a magnificent oak staircase, elegant sitting rooms each with a fire and views of the ha-ha. The atmosphere is serene and there’s a tranquil spa across the road. Expect classic country house bedrooms, floral bedspreads, homemade shortbread and kind attention from the staff. For dinner, try the catch of the day: perhaps plaice or halibut landed at Whitby, followed by Yorkshire poached rhubarb crumble soufflé with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate. A hotel, that is as alluring and comfortable in winter, as it is in summer, when you can stroll through the grounds and make friends with the resident deer. In 1878, Fanny Rollo Wilkinson – one of the first women to make a professional career as a landscape gardener – moved here. It is where she began to devote her life to gardening, and the historic gardens are well worth a visit. It also makes the perfect base for visiting York. Rescued from decay in the 1980s, Middlethorpe Hall is a National Trust-owned Historic House Hotel.
Doubles from £270
+44 (0)1904 641241; middlethorpe.com