Middleton Lodge
Middleton Lodge
Middleton Lodge
Middleton Lodge
The Feversham Arms
The Feversham Arms
The Feversham Arms
The Feversham Arms
Rudding Park
Rudding Park
Rudding Park
Rudding Park
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A Spa Weekend In Yorkshire

Author: Lisa Soeno

When your best friend, who is resident in Sydney, is back home for a couple of weeks to try on wedding dresses and check out the venue for her upcoming nuptials, that calls for a celebration. 

As Lucy’s bridal boutique of choice was in York, we decided to go for a spa break in Yorkshire. Turns out it is nigh on impossible to find a spa hotel in Yorkshire with rooms that sleep three people. (Our other schoolfriend and fellow bridesmaid Charlotte was also in tow). I called on one of my netball friends – who now lives in York – for some recommendations and they were so good that I’ve included a couple more below.


The hotel that we went for was the Feversham Arms in Helmsley. The décor reminded me of some Scottish lodge – all tartan and cosy blankets – but the outdoor heated pool was straight out of the Mediterranean.

After all the searching for the perfect spa hotel we didn’t bloody book a treatment in advance. This was a silly mistake because by the time we arrived the treatments were fully booked, however we did make the most of the sauna, aromatherapy room and outdoor Jacuzzi.

Helmsley itself was the sweetest little country village and we had planned to spend our Saturday morning exploring but another dip in the pool was just too appealing. We saw loads of walkers coming back from their hikes across the Dales and North Yorkshire Moors and if I was to go back I will definitely be taking walking boots.

The other hotels that caught my eye were Middleton Lodge which is the home of the chic bedroom in the header above, and Rudding Park – check out the image of the spa in the slider above. Epic.


No trip to York is complete without afternoon tea at Betty’s. We pre-booked the Lady Betty Afternoon Tea as a surprise for our bride-to-be and I’m bloody glad we did because people were queuing around the block to get a table. Apparently it’s as popular with locals as it is with tourists. And if your mum/nan/auntie has a birthday coming up then it’s worth checking out the gorgeous hampers in the gift shop at Betty’s.

There were recommendations aplenty from you lovely RMS Instagram followers for eateries. Apparently Fossgate and Bishy Rd are the places to eat: check out The Pig and Pastry, Robinsons Café or Joe’s Kitchen for brunch, Mannion & Co or Café No8 for lunch, Sotanos or Cosy Club for cocktails, and Brew & Brownie for, erm, brews and brownies.


York has such a buzzy, vibrant atmosphere that you could quite easily spend a whole weekend and very little money just meandering in and out the quirky little shops and exploring its cobbled streets. It is a history buff’s dream: The Minster is just awe inspiring and York Castle is #2 in the Tripadvisor top ten things to do in York. (In case you’re wondering, #1 is the Railway Museum – I’d love to take Lyra).

By the time we had scoffed afternoon tea and ooh-ed and aah-ed Lucy in her wedding dress we didn’t have much time left, however we did have time to check out the Mulberry outlet store and nip in to the Grand Hotel for a cheeky glass of prosecco. I defy you to say “The Grand Hotel of York” without singing “Ohhh, the Grand Old Duke of York” in your head. The Grand certainly lives up to its name and its inky walls, plush velvet sofas and brass accessories nearly persuaded me to head over to the dark side and redecorate my house in Down Pipe.

What are your favourite haunts in York? Are you a fan of a spa break?


Images of Middleton Lodge by Stan Seaton

Images of The Feversham Arms via Mr and Mrs Smith

Images of Rudding Park

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.

22 thoughts on “A Spa Weekend In Yorkshire

  1. Love York – for me it’s walking the city walls, the Minster, the cobbled streets, the many pubs/bars and of course Betty’s! I’ve heard good things about the Feversham Arms but haven’t actually been but do love the quaint village of Helmsley!

  2. We live just outside York and love it! My top tip? If there’s a big queue outside Betty’s then go to the second, smaller Betty’s Stonegate near the Minster – it’s less well known and slightly less formal/fancy inside, but there’s rarely a queue and it’s the same amazing food! And Stonegate is my favourite street for shopping (Jo Malone, White Company, Jigsaw anyone..?)

    1. This was exactly the tip I was going to give Kate! It’s all about little Betty’s! Stonegate is just the best for shopping.

  3. Really enjoyed this article Lisa, I love it when the RMS team give tips for travel, always so useful! York sounds lovely 🙂

  4. I used to live in York and now I’ve moved away I had my hen do at the Feversham Arms. It was amazing and they really looked after us. I loved it so much that I booked a mini moon for me and my hubby as we weren’t going on our proper honeymoon til a couple of weeks after the wedding. Just to point out Middleton Lodge is beautiful but is about an hour from York (it’s nearer to Newcastle) and not that near a train line (Darlington is nearest). Worth a stay if you want to explore that area though and they are building a big ‘Cheshire Oaks’ style outlet just down the road. My fave places in York are Star Inn the City for prosecco on the river terrace in the sun, Sotano for a little hideaway and Cody atmosphere (it’s actually in the old dance floor of Kennedys above where I had many amazing nights), Cosy Club for Cocktails, Ambiente for Tapas and the Botonist as it’s in the amazing building which used to be Mulberry Hall. Walmgate has loads of new places opened after the flood so worth a look for any foodies.

    1. What lovely memories! Sorry yes meant to mention Middleton Lodge is a bit further afield. And more brill recommendations, thank you. I need to go back…

  5. I haven’t been to York since a trip while I was at uni, lovely place. Sounds like you had a fab time! Did you have a fat rascal at Betty’s? They are the BEST. We went to a wedding in Harrogate a couple of years ago, and I popped into Betty’s for a treat for the journey home, I just wished I had bought more, delicious!

  6. The Black Swam in Helmsley does amazing food, and you can use the spa at The Feversham. Heard good things about the new spa at Rudding Park. Drive past everyday so really must try it!

    The Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors are totally different areas (each lovely) and Helmsley is a fair trek from The Dales. I’d recommend The Devonshire Arms for anyone wanting a county house type hotel and Spa near The Dales.

    1. Ooh never thought about just popping in to the spa at The Feversham. I bet there are some lovely air bnbs in the area too – a good way to save a few pennies but still get the spa break experience x

  7. Oh how in sync we are, I booked flights to Lisbon and Porto when you did the article in Lisbon, and now I’m writing to you from York! We spent three nights at York Cycle Stop, a lovely little glamping pod site about 5 miles east of York. We brought our bikes and managed a few nice cycles including on the National Cycle Route – I’m not super fit but I, a massive advocate of everyday cycling for commuting and pleasure. Especially to the pub!

    We are now staying at the gorgeous Hotel Indigo on Walmgate. The bathroom is to die for! We went to Cosy for a cocktail and Ambiente for tapas last night (the food was amazing), and ended up with a Yorkshire gin flight. We’ve squeezed absolutely loads in, including a day trip to Whitby. There are so many amazing places to eat and drink here, I’m in heaven. Top tip, we queued for over an hour for the Jorvik Centre but we could have booked online if I’d realised.

    1. I love it when we are in sync with readers!

      This sounds like a LUSH break Bunny and you are making me want to get my bike out the garage.

      Enjoy the rest of your hols x

      1. Ah do it! I can’t tell you how happy it makes me! We cycled 3 miles to a beautiful country pub near my new house last week after work. We were grinning at each other like some healthy poster couple on the advert for the property developers! It makes me feel so alive! Plus we burn some calories, see the countryside and have the best chats over a glass of wine on an empty stomach! Beats staying in watching tv. I usually cycle the 3.5 miles to work too, love multi-tasking the commute and exercise. If ever you fancy doing a feature on it I’m your girl! I have a very insta worthy rose pink Bobbin Bicycle with roses on the handlebars 😂

        1. Pre-kids I used to cycle to work and I miss it so much. It’s the ultimate in multi tasking! A feature on it sounds like a great idea x

  8. I’m from Leeds originally so have visited York a lot. Betty’s is ALWAYS at the top of my list (they have a fab online shop, where you can buy Fat Rascals Lisa!). I love sitting downstairs in the main Betty’s cafe, it has a mirror which was signed by lots of Pilots during the Second World War. It’s incredibly moving. Little Betty’s feels more like a house, it has wonky walls and floors but has more charm than it’s grander big sister.
    The Railway museum is brilliant, for both little and big kids. I also always enjoy a walk along the river and city walls and of course the shopping.
    If you fancy a day away from York, I would definitely recommend Bolton Abbey/Ilkley. The Devonshire Arms is a lovely hotel (I almost got married there) and would be perfect for a winter break. Xx

    1. Spooky – I never replied to your comment last night because I was watching Dunkirk at the cinema. I need to go back and see this mirror.

      More brilliant tips. Thank you x

  9. I am so lucky that I live in York, it is beautiful and has some of the best bars, restaurants and shops! But Helmsley is one of my fave weekend destinations, great food & quirky shops! Castle Howard in Yorkshire is just breath taking and they have the most fabulous deli, café & gift shop! Kelly X @theyorkshirehare – Instagram

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