Middleton Lodge Estate – A Peaceful Escape In The Yorkshire Countryside. The Perfect Place To Eat, Pause And Gather

Set on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, amongst 200 acres of private parkland, you’ll find Middleton Lodge, a Georgian country estate that has been brought back to life by the Allison family over the past 16 years. It’s a peaceful escape, somewhere to eat, pause and gather. Read all about our stay at this lovely retreat below.


The historic, 16-bedroom, Palladian mansion has been home to many families and businessmen since it was built by John Carr between 1777 and 1780. Prior to its purchase by the Allisons in 1980, it become run-down and needed major refurbishment. Since then, the family have dedicated themselves to bringing Middleton Lodge back to its former glory. And restoration work certainly doesn’t stop at the Main House – each original outbuilding has been brought back to life in a way that has retained the magical charm of Middleton Lodge.

To date, the estate is home to a 30-bedroom hotel, two noted restaurants, Forge and the Coach house, two Treatment Rooms, two self-catered cottages, plus two private event spaces for gatherings and weddings – recognised by Tatler as “one of the chicest wedding venues in the world”.

There are plans afoot for the estate to grow; we spotted snippets on our weekend countryside adventure.


After passing the traditional gatekeeper’s hut (from which a friendly, bearded man appeared to guide me to the most appropriate car park), the first thing to strike me was the setting and the welcoming atmosphere. It feels as though you’re entering a traditional English Village.

The sandstone buildings dotted around the estate were once stables, an old dairy, a coach house, a farmhouse, and gardening sheds (to name a few!). Each has been respectfully brought back to life, creating home-from-home hamlets to settle into during your stay.

At the heart of the estate is the Coach House. Here you’ll find the reception area, which is filled with scents from the Aromatherapy Associates products you can buy, alongside a range of homeware handpicked by the creative director. The restaurant lies over the sandstone courtyard and there’s a lounge area and two treatment rooms here too. The welcome was warm, and the check-in process was a breeze.

When you’re shown to your room, you notice the thought that has gone into each restoration; the names of each room reflect the original purpose of the buildings, from the Apple Store and Cow Byre to the Milking Shed. Our home for the night was No.7 The Undercroft at the Dairy.

Home to 11 of the 30 bedrooms, the Dairy sits near the old farm. There’s parking nearby and it’s close to Forge, the fabulous, newly-opened Fine Dining restaurant on the estate. Read more about Forge below.

Read the full review of Forge here.

One of the friendly receptionists kindly arranged for our bags to be taken to our room as we were given a beautiful hand-sketched map, detailing the estate and The Dairy plot, along with a good old-fashioned key, secured to an etched oak fob. With the level of attention to detail at check-in, I just knew our stay would be a good one.


The accommodation options at Middleton Lodge Estate vary, but each alternative offers individual charm and character. Each space takes inspiration from the two-acre walled garden, which was redesigned by landscape architect, garden designer and writer Tom Stuart-Smith in 2014. The rooms have been designed by the estate’s creative director, Rebecca Allison.

Main House

The Main House, which is where it all began, is an 18th century home, with 16 beautifully appointed bedrooms. It can be hired exclusively – it’s very popular for weddings – and has elegant reception rooms, a working kitchen (complete with range-style oven) and a dining room with stunning views across a private garden and the lush Yorkshire countryside. Interiors have been carefully thought-through and are in keeping with the heritage of the estate.

It’s not by chance that this attention to detail runs through every aspect of the estate; Rebecca’s passion for interiors is clearly evident. All labours of love, the spaces are unique, authentic and warm, with a botanical thread running through them.

No area is left untouched. Make your way down a narrow stone staircase in the Main House and you will discover a hidden gem – a cellar bar. I loved, loved this space! It’s very cool with a more modern edge than the rest of the house. With its own private bar, seats for lounging and a table – not forgetting a large dance floor space – this is where guests can party after hours. It also doubles up as a private cinema area and an exclusive use venue that’s ideal for fashion shoots or launch parties.

Adorning the walls of the Main House are various photographs and paintings of the key figures in the history of the estate – just another nod to its provenance.

Hope House & Farmhouse

The estate is also home to two self-catered cottages, the six-bedroom Farmhouse, and the five-bed cottage, Hope House. The Farmhouse sleeps 12 in six double en-suite bedrooms and Hope House sleeps ten in five double bedrooms. Both have working kitchens to cook up your own feasts, or reservations can be made at one of the estate restaurants. Hope House is a short five-minute car journey from the estate; the Farmhouse sits in front of Forge.

Shepherd’s Huts

Hiding amongst the trees, overlooking the original orchard of the estate, are four hand-built Shepherd’s Huts. They’re spacious, with floral interiors – they even have large beds and bath tubs! These are dream spaces for romantic stays surrounded by the countryside.

Hotel Rooms

Dotted amongst the patchwork parkland are individual ‘hotel-style’ rooms, which are designed to be timeless and inspiring and absolutely fulfil their brief.

Through a private entrance, we discovered a Yorkshire garden terrace, overlooking one of the many large garden spaces on the estate. Our room in The Dairy was spacious and well laid-out; an extremely comfortable and sumptuous bed with flat screen TV and convenient reading lights were separated from the lounge area by a cool timber-clad wall, no doubt carefully positioned to hide some of the existing structure. All the expected mod cons (large TV, sound system, Nespresso coffee machine, USB sockets, coffee table magazines) were hidden in recesses that did not take floor space from the suite. The décor was natural and calming. Homemade flapjack was offered with the complimentary tea and coffee, the latter locally sourced and strong.

Original features included tiny slot windows, a milk stool in the bathroom, cosy (but not low) ceilings, but all these are perfectly blended with a quality, modern fit-out, so the space feels both contemporary and traditional. There’s a walk-in shower, but the free-standing, roll-top, stainless-steel bath is the Undercroft’s crowning glory, standing proudly next to ornate his and hers sinks – dream bathroom alert!

The Undercroft was a superb home for the night. I could easily have stayed for longer.


There are two restaurants on the estate, both of which serve menus inspired by the land and the seasons. There’s an estate-to-plate ethos, with many ingredients grown in the estate’s own kitchen garden.

With a relaxed atmosphere, the Coach House is open all day, serving, breakfast, brunch, lunch, an afternoon menu and hearty garden feasts at dinner.

Breakfast was a delight – home-made granola and spiced apricots were my favourite, although the rhubarb muffin came in a very close second. I received reports that the cooked full English breakfast was delicious, a plate of locally-sourced traditional ingredients.

As a cheeky late afternoon tipple, we enjoyed a cocktail at the bar, resisting the tempting Yorkshire Chorizo and honey mustard black pudding bites and opting for some smoked almonds (we were saving ourselves for the nine-course tasting menu at Forge!) Just next to the bar, you’ll find the snug, with its open log fire. You can really settle in here.

There is also a private dining space ideal for larger parties and special occasions.

The second restaurant is Forge, which reopened in February. This is a fine-dining, adults-only restaurant. Both the menu and the ambience are sophisticated, yet relaxed, with great Yorkshire hospitality as standard. Each dish on the menu was presented with an abundance of creative flair and flavours that excited the palate.

Our evening here was one of THE BEST fine dining experiences we’ve enjoyed for a long, long time and we highly recommend visiting. There is so much to say, we’ve written a full review here.


Like, the accommodation, the facilities at Middleton Lodge Estate are diverse and wide-ranging.

There are currently two treatment rooms, where guests can relax and indulge in a body massage or facial therapy; the Forest Spa is set to open in late spring. This will include an outdoor pool and new treatment huts. Even though the pool and the pool house are very much still a work in progress, they are beautifully illuminated and look very magical as night falls.

Award-winning event spaces, the Walled Garden with Fig House and the Palladian Main House with Garden Marquee are ideal for weddings and other milestone occasions. The Coach House also hosts a variety of seasonal events, so there is always something new to try.

Bikes and wellies are available for guests to explore the woodland by bike or on foot and I recommend doing this. I ran the Woodland Walk route one morning and it was glorious; streams, hills, trees, wildlife. A sure-fire way to clear any cobwebs. The route is clearly marked and loops right around the estate, so it’s easy to follow. We also recommend just ‘wandering’ around the estate; the Walled Garden has a fairytale feel to it, whilst the working kitchen garden could easily be from a scene in ‘Peter Rabbit’. The estate buildings are quaint with charming details that deserve attention from by-passers – the effort and devotion evident in this restoration are breath-taking.

And the exciting part is that the dedication and commitment to developing this idyllic estate is very much an ongoing project for owner and managing director James Allison and his devoted team – and they are doing so in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious way.

If our recent experience is the benchmark, we cannot wait to see what the next instalment holds.

Final Thoughts

This is a true countryside escape with your favourite home comforts, somewhere to leave any worries at the gate, to be inspired and to pause. It’s one of those rare places you visit that is good for the soul. We highly recommend a trip!

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