4-Night Explore Nature in the Western Yorkshire Dales

Bearded Reedling or Bearded Tit perched on reed stem
Duration: 4 nights
Interests: Explore Nature

Sedbergh is close to some wonderful nature reserves, all rich in wildlife - the focus of this holiday. Leighton Moss RSPB reserve is home to redshank, oystercatcher, black-tailed godwit, avocet, marsh harrier, bearded tit and bittern. Roudsea Wood and Mosses NNR is an important woodland and bog site – look out for marsh tit, hawfinch, nuthatch and osprey. In summer, silver-washed fritillaries and large heath butterflies may be seen. An area of limestone pavement provides a completely different – and quite rare - habitat, colonised by some specialist plants including green spleenwort, common rockrose and holly fern.

Holiday Highlights

  • Learn about the rewilding project on the Knepp Estate
  • Spot overwintering wildfowl at Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve
  • See 2,000 year old yew trees at Kingley Vale Nature Reserve
  • Watch wading birds at WWT Arundel

What’s included

  • High-quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our country house
  • Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays Leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
  • If applicable, all essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
  • Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


On this Explore Nature holiday, you will be visiting a range of locations which illustrate the best of the local flora and fauna. With your knowledgeable Leader in tow, you will explore the local area, stopping along the way to spot interesting wildlife to observe or photograph. The full day will be spent outdoors so be sure to bring your sturdy shoes! 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Thorns Hall

Situated in Sedbergh, in West Yorkshire’s portion of the famous Dales, at the foot of the Howgill Fells, Thorns Hall offers cosy, country-pile atmosphere amid beautiful rural surroundings. Dating from 1535, the small manor house is home to 25 bedrooms as well as wood-panelled public rooms, open fireplaces and a cobbled courtyard that ooze historic charm. From every aspect the hills can be seen rising around the house and a short hop takes you from the house to the fells and upland scenery. Marvel at the 24 arch Ribblehead Viaduct, climb the distinctive summit of Ingleborough, one of the Three Peaks, explore classic limestone scenery and stop in at one of Appleby’s historic pubs for a well-earned toast.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Guests may need to book a time when they wish to swim (30-minute slots) if the number of guests exceeds the pool capacity. 

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the Hall’s smartly presented rooms in the main house or cottages across the courtyard. With 25 rooms, Thorns Hall has plenty of space and there’s a range of Good, Better and Best Rooms to choose from. Our pick is Room 25, a very spacious escape on the ground floor with a great brick fireplace, comfy seats to sit in and big bed as well as gorgeous views of the gardens. Look out too for large and airy Room 4 and the more intimate Room 13 with its exposed wood ceiling and courtyard view.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, large reception hall, two lounges, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Dales, come back to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. At the front of the house there’s a pretty, formal garden that makes a pleasant spot to relax in. Take up residence in the lounge below the exposed wood beams or seek refuge in the small, dark wood-panelled bar with its over-sized fireplace and log burner for an atmospheric corner to kick back in and catch up with fellow guests over a local ale or two.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Thorns Hall is varied and tasty and has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room in the converted barn hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might try a five-course feast of regional flavours, from twice baked Wensleydale Cheese Souffle to Lancashire black pudding and Cumbrian rump of lamb.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Thorns Hall

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Getting to Thorns Hall

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

On Explore Nature holidays, you will be outdoors for the full day, so be sure to bring outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs. You will also need strong and comfortable footwear with good tread. If there's warm weather, a sun hat, suncream and sunglasses may be useful.

Please also bring binoculars to ensure you get the most from your Explore Nature holiday.

You may also wish to bring a telescope, camera, water bottle or a thermos flask.

Guest Reviews

Duration:
4 nights
Interests:
Explore Nature

Fully Booked

020 3974 8865

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