Leisure Activities Taster Weekend at Malhamdale


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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • Meadows & hills
  • Rural peace
  • Wildlife
From £199.00 - 3 nights


Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Ever wanted to try one of our Leisure Activity holidays? This taster weekend is your opportunity to do just that. Throughout the weekend our experienced leaders will offer a selection of indoor and outdoor activities for a half-day at a time. Sign up for all the sessions, or mix and match with some free time in the local area. 

Holiday Highlights:

  • Try out a number of our most popular activities over one weekend
  • No specialist equipment required, you just need to bring yourself
  • Free time available if you wish to explore the area independently

Great Reasons to Join Us:

  • Great value: all prices include Full-Board en-suite accommodation and tuition from our expert leaders
  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country House
  • Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment


Retaining its 19th century grandeur Newfield Hall is our most stately Country House. With excellent accommodation and facilities it is also our most popular location for walking and leisure activity holidays.    3-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation


Newfield Hall has 48 bedrooms located either in the main building or in the tastefully converted coach house.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

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All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

Newfield Hall is one of our largest Country Houses, and the grand entrance hall and main staircase is one of the most striking features.   

There are two lounges and a bar which provide comfortable spaces for relaxation. The new dining room and adjacent ballroom are both very attractive and can be used for larger functions.

A multi-purpose activity room can either be used as a painting studio, or as a games room with table tennis. There is also a range of board games and books.

Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. 

The heated indoor swimming pool is very popular with our guests.

Newfield Hall has extensive gardens with views of the Yorkshire Dales. Outside there is a walled garden and putting green.

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All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Visit England Breakfast Award logo at HF HolidaysStart your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk talk on local history from a visiting speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Newfield Hall is fully accessible to wheelchair users and has a bedroom specifically designed for wheelchair access.

Arrival & car parking facilities

  • On arrival there is a long driveway with one speed bump on entering a large car park, with a lower level parking area sloping at approx. 20 degrees up to main parking area
  • The surface of the car park is tarmac, with marked parking bays
  • The House fronts directly onto the car park
  • It is possible to load and unload cars directly at the front door
  • Assistance can be provided with luggage

Main entrance & reception

  • Main entrance has 2 steps, each step being 15cm high and a short porch (with one step of 15cm high), which leads to the front door, (3¾ft wide)
  • There is a permanent wheelchair ramp (5¼ft wide) to the left hand side of the entrance way, providing access to the porch. A temporary ramp can then be provided to allow access in through the front door
  • After entering the house, all the facilities are available without encountering any further steps
  • The flooring is tile / short pile carpet 

Public areas - hall, stairs, landing, corridors etc

  • All internal doors are fire doors and they are all 97cm wide (except where separate measurements have been given)
  • The minimum width of the corridor is 10½ft
  • The staircase to the upper bedrooms is 5ft wide. In total there are 29 steps, each being 6 inches high 

Public areas - sitting room, lounges, lobbies etc

There are two large lounges with wooden fire doors. Short pile carpet flooring and good lighting throughout.  The size of the lounges:

  • Whernside lounge           17ft x 23ft
  • Inglebrough lounge          30ft x 20ft
  • Pen-y-Ghent room           29ft x 18ft 

Public WCs

  • There is one public toilet on the ground floor available from the entrance hall with no steps
  • Toilet seat height is 41cm, the basin is 82cm high with no underspace and with 2 taps
  • There are 2 toilets in the swimming pool changing rooms, again with no steps 

Dining room & bar

  • From the entrance hall, there is a 320 cm wide corridor leading to the dining room. Door width 92cm
  • There are no steps to the dining room
  • Seats and tables are movable. The tables are round with 4 legs. Each table is 76cm high
  • All meals served are with waitress service.
  • Special diets catered for, but should be advised pre or on arrival 

Leisure facilities

  • Indoor swimming pool and the changing rooms are directly off the function room, accessed from the entrance hall down a corridor, which is 3ft 2 inches wide.
  • The floor in the changing room is tiled
  • Access to the shower in the changing room is over a step of 7cm in height
  • The width of the door to the pool is 87cm
  • Within the pool area, there is 1 alarm, a rescue hook and 2 life buoys
  • The size of the pool is 16ft x 25ft 


Room 15

  • Room 15 has been specifically designed for wheelchair users.
  • This room is off the main entrance hall on the ground floor, approximately 12m from the permanent ramp
  • Access is through two doors, each 90cm wide
  • One double bed and one single bed. Both beds are 60cm high
  • Available floor space is 2m x 2m
  • All bedding is non feather and the flooring is short pile carpet
  • All furniture is easily movable 

En-suite bathroom

  • Bathroom door width is 90cm, level entry
  • Toilet height is 45cm with 1 vertical hand rail and 1 pull down horizontal hand rail
  • Level entry shower, designed for wheelchair users. Support rail and pull down shower seat, which is 50cm high and 32cm x 32cm in seat area
  • Basin height is 73cm with underspace
  • Available floor space in the bathroom is 2m x 2m

Other Bedrooms

  • The rest of the rooms are a mixture of singles, twins and doubles
  • The rooms are located either in the main house or in the tastefully converted coach houses, both on the ground floor and the first floor
  • All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, most with shower. A few rooms have a bath 

Grounds and gardens

  • There is well lit access to the patio area through double doors from the dining room / function room with no steps
  • Ramp from the patio to gain access to the grounds
  • Garden is level in most parts, with a few steps. Mainly grass with plenty of wooden seats 

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notice
  • Hired equipment can be arranged for your stay with prior notice
  • Fridge for medication can be supplied


Each half-day session will be repeated throughout the weekend from 9.30am*-12.30pm and 2pm*-5pm, so you've plenty of options on offer. Guests can enjoy up to 4 different Leisure Activity tasters during the course of the weekend. You can, of course, enjoy free time to relax in the Country House, or use our Discovery Point to explore the local area. Morning coffee & afternoon tea will be provided. Your taster sessions are:

Art: Easy Ways to Draw with Richard Nichols

A simple and fun way for beginners to learn to draw. It's easier than you think! With Richard's expert tuition and using only paper and soft pencils we have a go at drawing the 10-second boat, people, animals and trees.

Bridge: Introduction to Bridge with Peter Speller

If you are enthusiastic and can count to 13 you can learn duplicate bridge. It’s not quite that simple but we promise to make this introduction as straightforward as possible. With your leader's patient supervision, we can challenge our 'little grey cells' and make new friends as we play cards together.

Mind & Body: Pilates & Nordic Walking Techniques with Linda Rusby

We can enjoy the slow, controlled and flowing movements of Pilates as well as learning about Nordic Walking techniques - "Pilates on poles"- as Linda shows us how to walk our way to health and fitness.
*This activity may need to start at 10.30am and 3pm to avoid exercising straight after eating

Music Making: Ukulele Taster with Chris McShane

Learn to play three fun and easy songs on the ever-popular ukulele.

Natural World: Nature walk in the grounds with Mike Phillips

Join Mike for a gentle walk in this lovely local area as we discover it's wildlife.

How to select your choices:
When we send you your booking confirmation, you will also receive a copy of the programme together with an RSVP slip. Please use this RSVP slip to reserve your place on each of your four preferred Leisure Activities taster sessions.
If you haven't managed to send your form back before your holiday starts, there will be a member of staff at Newfield Hall to help you organise your choices.

What to bring

Art: Easy Ways to Draw 

All art materials will be provided.

Bridge: Introduction to Bridge

All Bridge equipment will be provided.

Mind & Body: Pilates & Nordic Walking Techniques

No special clothing is required for this, but it is recommended that you wear loose-fitting clothes to facilitate easy movement during your Pilates session. All Pilates equipment will be supplied by your leader.
Similarly your leader will provide Nordic Walking poles; however, as some of this session is likely to take place outdoors on our patio area, please bring an outdoor jacket and footwear.

Music Making: Ukulele Taster 

All music and instruments will be provided.

Natural World: Birds, Nature and some Local History 

Please bring outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs and strong, comfortable footwear with good tread.

Local area

The Yorkshire Dales contains the quintessential landscape of Northern England. Enjoy the surrounding scenery of green patchwork fields, drystone walls and wild moorland hills.

Newfield Hall sits in rolling open countryside. The nearest village with facilities is Gargrave where there is a pub and shop. The market town of Skipton is about seven miles away. Here you’ll find a full range of facilities including supermarkets, shops, banks, chemists, pubs and cafes.

During your visit to the Newfield Hall you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Two walkers beneath Malham CoveMalham Cove
Just 10 to 15 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall is the dramatic Malham Cove, just one of the iconic limestone sights of the Yorkshire Dales. If you are not visiting the cove as part of your holiday, it's well worth making the short walk from the village.



Stone entrance to Skipton CastleSkipton
The market town of Skipton, about 20 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall is a vibrant place to visit. Dominating the the town is its well-preserved medieval castle. www.skiptoncastle.co.uk




Exterior of Bronte Parsonage in HaworthBrontë Parsonage
Visit the parsonage in Haworth, the home of authors Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. Many of their most famous works were written here, including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Haworth is around 45 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall. www.bronte.org.uk



Black steam locomotive hauling trainKeighley and Worth Valley Railway
This preserved steam railway runs from the centre of Keighley to Oxenhope via the ‘Brontë’ village of Haworth. The line is still well-known as the setting for the 1970 film ‘the Railway Children’ and boasts an impressive selection of steam locomotives. Keighley station is around 35 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall. www.kwvr.co.uk


Appleby stationSettle to Carlisle Railway
Ride England’s most scenic railway through the Yorkshire Dales from Hellifield or Settle station. Heading north over the iconic Ribblehead viaduct you could head to the small market town of Appleby, or the border city of Carlisle. www.settle-carlisle.co.uk


Ruins of Fountains AbbeyFountains Abbey
This impressive World Heritage Site contains the dramatic ruins of Fountains Abbey, the largest monastic ruins in the country. There is an exhibition of life in the medieval Abbey. Adjacent to the abbey is Studley Royal water garden – England’s most spectacular Georgian water garden.



White Scar Cave
Located near the village of Ingleton, about 40 minutes' drive from Newfield Hall, White Scar is Britain’s longest show cave. The underground tour reveals spectacular caverns, waterfalls and stalactites. www.whitescarcave.co.uk

Brimham Rocks
See the curious formations of Brimham Rocks above the valley of Nidderdale; around an hour's drive from Newfield Hall. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brimham-rocks

RHS Harlow Carr Garden
Situated near Harrogate, about 50 minutes' from Newfield Hall, are the Royal Horticultural Society's gardens at Harlow Carr. The gardens have been planted to suit the challenging growing conditions of the north. Wander and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/harlow-carr

The spa town of Harrogate has fabulous shopping, fine cuisine and glorious gardens. Visit the Turkish baths & health spa, Royal pump room and museum, Valley gardens and Betty’s tearooms.

Lightwater Valley
Set in 175 acres of parkland near Ripon, just over an hour's drive away, Lightwater Valley has big thrill rides including the ‘Ultimate’, the longest rollercoaster in Europe. The park has over 40 rides and is fantastic fun for all the family. www.lightwatervalley.co.uk

Blue Mallard locomotive at National Railway MuseumYork
One of Britain’s most attractive historic cities, York is about a 1½ hours' drive from Newfield Hall. Attractions include the city walls, Minster, National Railway Museum, and Yorvik Viking Centre. www.yorkminster.org www.nrm.org.uk or www.jorvik-viking-centre.co.uk




Fountains Abbey image ©National Trust ImagesAndrew Butler


Newfield Hall, Airton, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 4AA

New at HF HolidaysLet us help you get to Newfield Hall

Our own station transfers: We offer a reduced price taxi transfer between Skipton railway station and Newfield Hall every Friday and Monday. The pickup is at 4.10pm from Skipton railway station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Skipton station by 9.35am. The transfer is £5 return, but a place must be reserved in advance by calling our Reservations team on 0345 470 7558.

By train: The nearest train station is Skipton. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

By car: From the south, follow the A65 from Skipton to Gargrave. Leave the A65 by Eshton Road, signposted to Malham and pass Eshton Hall on the right. Newfield Hall is approx 2½ miles further on, on the right and before the village of Airton. Look out for our sign. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

From the north, exit the M6 at junction 36 and take the A65 towards Skipton. In Coniston Cold village take a sharp left into a narrow road between houses, signposted to St Peters Church and Bell Busk and Malham. Pass under a railway viaduct, then after a mile bear right over a small bridge. After a further mile turn right at the junction, cross the narrow bridge then shortly after turn left through the gateway onto the drive of Newfield Hall. Look out for our sign. A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

By taxi: If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 8½ mile journey from Skipton to Newfield Hall can be made by taxi. Taxis cost approx £14 per journey. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Newfield Hall Manager.

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info


Linda Rusby

Linda Rusby is a fully qualified exercise professional specialising in Pilates, Nordic Walking, personal training for lower back pain management, weight loss and rehabilitation from injury. She’s also a sports massage therapist. Linda works from her studio in West Sussex and travels to see clients locally in Sompting. Linda has great enthusiasm for teaching fitness and massage, and enjoys seeing clients get great results.

For more information about Linda’s work, visit her website at www.lindarusby.co.uk



Chris McShane

Chris McShane formerly worked for Barnsley Music Service as Curriculum Development Officer for Guitar, Keyboard, Vocal studies and Music ICT and is now a freelance musician and instrumental teacher. In recent years, Chris has been active in promoting and teaching the ukulele. This teaching has ranged from full classes of 30 children in schools to groups of seniors in retirement homes. Chris also runs workshops at festivals and summer schools. He also runs a monthly ukulele club which is in its fourth year with over 60 members attending. Chris is also the musical director of the Uke Power festival.

Peter Speller

Peter has played bridge for over forty years and is an EBU qualified Director at the Olicana Bridge Club in Ilkley, Yorkshire. He also organizes supervised play and seminars for improvers and has taught Standard English Acol in Adult Education.  As well as walking and cycling in ‘The Dales’, Peter loves sharing his enthusiasm for playing bridge and considers it the perfect way to relax in the evening.


Richard Nichols

Richard was born near to the heart of Constable Country, first exhibiting at the famous Gainsborough's House during his schooldays, and now enjoys the natural wonders of coastal Suffolk. He loves the chance to share his own natural abilities, tips, techniques and many years of far ranging lecturing, demo and tuition experience with newcomers and all abilities to help create or develop their own individual styles. Since an early career in design, publishing and business advice he has worked with the National Trust, English Heritage, Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton and many other organisations, truly believing the wonders of practical art can be enjoyed by everyone ... given that all-important friendly guidance, patience and encouragement.

Mike Phillips

Mike Phillips is a countryman born and bred. After a rural upbringing, his adult life has (apart from a few years in commerce) been devoted to enthusing and informing people about the fascinating wildlife of the British countryside, both as a tour guide and an adult education tutor. Mike’s expertise extends to most branches of natural history and he is a passionate believer in an holistic approach to the interdependency of the natural world, from the underlying geology through the vegetation to the creatures which depend on it. He now brings his long experience to leading for HF Holidays.




Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
13 Oct 2016, 11:24 p.m.

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Superb value for money.

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Lovely setting, friendly, helpful staff and wonderful food
25 Jun 2015, 10:27 a.m.

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Staff always helpful on phone which can be a better way of booking rather than on line.

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Found the participants at this holiday thought the idea of a 'taster' weekend a good one. Very enjoyable variety of activities and good leaders.
11 Jun 2015, 10:12 a.m.

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Sociable, good walking due in fair part to leaders.

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Very enjoyable weekend.
Well organised at house but organisation prior to arrival needed improvement.
10 Jun 2015, 7:11 p.m.

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Great choice of leisure activity and walking holidays with excellent leaders.

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Good choice of leisure activities (half-day each), this was an ideal way of finding out what an HF leisure break would offer.
7 Jun 2015, 9:38 p.m.

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Very enjoyable weekend.

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All the activities I did were excellent. Would like to do something like this again.
7 Jun 2015, 7:31 p.m.

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Service excellent.
No complaints

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Thought that Titch Glenday's beginners bridge course was exceptional.
I was just about able to play mini bridge on day two and will look out for a longer beginners course from Titch at future HF holidays.

Didn't get much out of the photographic course.
*personal info removed by Feefo*
7 Jun 2015, 11:54 a.m.

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The holidays are always well run and enjoyable with nice clean rooms, delicious imaginative food and friendly efficient staff.

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The long weekend was really enjoyable. We were well looked after, the food was wonderful and the leaders all top class.
Thank you for reviewing your recent break with HF Holidays in Malhamdale, we're so pleased you enjoyed your time at Newfield Hall.

HF Holidays Ltd.
7 Jun 2015, 7:20 a.m.

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I enjoy HF breaks. Both the activity holidays and the walking holidays are well organised and I like the seating arrangements at meal times where you can meet different people each time who may be doing a different activity.

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I really enjoyed it. The only quibble would be it was not made clear on the information sent out that photography and flora/fauna were all day activities and not half days.
6 Jun 2015, 12:30 p.m.

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The actual HF holidays are always excellent but occasional problems with administration and limited functionality on the website bring the rating down.

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Good range of activities on offer and very good leaders for those I did. Newfield Hall is well-organised and offers good food.
6 Jun 2015, 10:32 a.m.

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Efficient, well known for walking holidays, but offers lots of other interests as well.

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A beautiful old house, excellently maintained, with added indoor swimming pool.
Friendly, helpful staff and good food.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
4 Nov 2016 MDTWE - Leisure Activities Taster Weekend - Malhamdale 3 £199.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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