Our second Dog Friendly stay in Yorkshire was at The Devonshire Arms Hotel and Spa, Bolton Abbey. A Country House Hotel that started life in the 17th Century as an Inn and still boasts a warm welcome and fine hospitality to this day. In 1753, it came into the ownership of the 4th Duke of Devonshire as part of the Bolton Abbey Estate. Later on, the 5th Duke, developed the estate further, creating miles of footpaths in order for visitors to admire the beautiful views. Artists and Poets such as Wordsworth and Turner even used it as inspiration.
Royal Family stayed at Bolton Abbey for Grouse Shoots during the 19th Century, so The Devonshire Arms expanded again to provide accommodation for twenty horses and four carriages.
In 1981 the hotel went under major refurbishment, with a lot of artwork coming from Chatsworth’s Devonshire Collection. This artwork is divided between a lot of the rooms, making it feel like your own personal art gallery for the duration of your stay.
The Garden Room was the perfect room for all of us for the evening. The tallest four poster bed I’ve ever slept in takes pride of place in the middle of the room, lit up by a bright window looking out over the manicured gardens.
There was even the most extravagant four poster dog bed for Princess Pepi to sleep in. Not only that, there was a bowl for her, treats and a little letter from the resident hound. The entire room was accented with Pictures by Emma Tennant, a keen gardener and winner of the RHS Gold medal in 2003.
A bright white marble bathroom completes the suite and when we’d finished exploring, there was a knock at the door. One of the staff was standing there with a tray of freshly baked Parkin. A sticky ginger, oatmeal and treacle cake famous in Yorkshire. Absolutely delicious and perfect snack to pause for with a cup of tea in the room.
Still hungry, we went to explore our culinary options and found a perfect little set up in the Cocktail Bar. The only choice was the Taste of The Dales sharing platter stacked high with the best of Yorkshire food.
We pulled on our boots after lunch and explored the hotel grounds for a while before we set off across the miles of beautiful footpaths to explore Bolton Abbey. Pepi happily bounded along next to us chasing grasshoppers. The Abbey itself is absolutely beautiful and with only a handful of others walking the grounds, we practically had it all to ourselves. The sun was shining and the soft rolling green pastures just melt away into the river that cuts through the valley. The famous stepping stones were submerged, so we missed out on jumping across them but enjoyed skimming stones on the river instead.
With the dinner bell not far from being rung, we made our way back to the hotel to get ready. We found ourselves back in The Cocktail Bar before dinner for a pre-dinner cocktail. Old Fashioned for him and an Espresso Martini for me. The Chef had prepared the most incredible feast for us. Course after course of delicious, locally sourced and freshly prepared food.
We were sitting in the conservatory section of the restaurant, lit by small lamps and candlelight, the atmosphere was beautiful. Ben decided to get the Wine Flight. A pairing of wines to match each course we were served. Knowing I would never keep up with the Wine Flight, I went for a beautiful rosé instead.
The appetiser was a Wensleydale cheese tartlet, Rabbit croquet using rabbit from the estate and a crispy salmon bite for me (more rabbit for Ben!)