Our country houses - Newfield Hall

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For limestone scenery of cliffs, scars, crags, and dry valleys, Malhamdale is magnificent. Perched at the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, it’s the very landscape that inspired Wordsworth to write a sonnet and Charles Kingsley to pen The Water Babies. It’s also the spectacular setting for Newfield Hall, our 19th century baronial mansion just minutes from Malham’s famous cove. Here’s what makes a stay at this characterful country house so special.

Notable owners

Built in 1855 on land once belonging to the Lambert estate, the first resident of Newfield Hall was retired Skipton lawyer William Nicholson Alcock, whose father was a partner in founding the Craven Bank in 1791. On his death in 1878, the estate passed to his nephew, William - a captain in the Yorkshire Yeomanry. He immediately advertised for a tenant in the August 1878 edition of The Manchester Guardian, describing the house as ‘a commodious family mansion’ complete with grounds ‘laid out with great taste’. It sparked little rental interest and eventually sold to retired worsted spinner and manufacturer William Illingworth in 1890 and then to JW Morkil, future High Sheriff of the West Riding, in 1901. It has been part of our HF Holidays line-up since 1934.

Fabulous facilities

Open from February to November and during the festive season, there’s 46 well-appointed guest rooms in three categories (Classic, Premium, and Superior) spread across the main building and the tastefully converted coach house. You’ll also find two lounges, a licensed bar, a light-filled dining room for a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, and a multi-purpose activity room used as an artist’s studio and games room. 

Elsewhere, there’s a handy boot and drying room, free on-site parking, an EV charging point, and well-kept grounds. Many of the original interior design features remain, including the pillared entrance, impressive hall, and sweeping staircase. There’s also a Discovery Point offering a wide range of local area maps, route guides, and easy-to-follow information for self-guided walks as well as a newly refreshed heritage room with displays of old HF Holidays brochures, photographs, walks programmes, and other memorabilia. 

Sonnet-inspiring location

Newfield Hall sits in two acres of grounds near Malham – the pretty village at the southern base of Yorkshire Dales National Park that’s all whitewashed cottages, stone bridges, and limestone scenery that’s visible for miles. You’ll have plenty of visit-worthy attractions within easy distance, including Yorkshire’s Three Peaks, a well-worn 24-mile trail that includes a trio of summits - Pen-y-ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough. 

Superb walking

A 15-minute drive from the village brings you to Malham Cove - a huge curving amphitheatre shaped cliff formation of limestone rock. Also easily accessible is Gordale Scar - an impressive limestone gorge that’s one the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s oldest (and most awe-inspiring) natural landmarks. Further highlights include Malham Tarn, England’s highest lime-rich lake, and Janet's Foss - an enchanting waterfall named for a local folk tale that cites the small cascade as home to Janet, Queen of the Fairies. 

Linger for longer

Whether you’re enjoying one of our guided or self-guided walking holidays, there’s plenty to see and do within easy travelling distance of Newfield Hall. Here’s some of our favourites: 

  • Skipton: A 20-minute drive away, this market town is famous for its ruined priory and cobbled high street. The highlight is Skipton Castle, a 900-year-old fortress that withstood a three-year siege during the Civil War. Don’t miss the atmospheric dungeon and watch tower. 
  • White Scar Cave: Just a 40-minute drive away, Britain’s longest show cave was discovered by a Cambridge undergraduate in 1923 and opened to the public two years later. The underground tour reveals spectacular caverns, waterfalls, stalagmites, and stalactites. 
  • Brontë Parsonage Museum: The home of authors Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, this fascinating museum is a 45-minute drive away. The rooms used to write their literary masterpieces are filled with clothes, furniture, and personal possessions. Exhibits change annually. 
  • Keighley And Worth Valley Railway: Running heritage steam and diesel trains from the market town of Keighley to the Brontë Country of Oxenhope, this five-mile branch line railway is a West Yorkshire highlight. Keighley station is a 35-minute drive from Newfield Hall. 
  • Settle To Carlisle Railway: A 20-minute drive from Skipton station, this 73-mile-long railway route crosses both the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. British Rail ran the line down in the late 1970s, but campaigners finally saved it from closure in 1989. 
  • Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden: An hour’s drive away, this designated World Heritage Site is home to the country’s largest monastic ruins. The adjacent water garden created by John Aislabie in 1718 impresses with ornamental lakes, canals, temples, cascades, and several follies. 
  • Brimham Rocks: Set above the valley of Nidderdale, this astonishing collection of rock formations is an hour’s drive away. Manged by the National Trust, many of the rocks have been given apt names such as The Sphinx, The Watchdog, The Camel, The Turtle, and The Dancing Bear. 
  • RHS Garden Harlow Carr: A 50-minute drive away, this 58-acre showcase of horticultural excellence is open year-round. Highlights include the kitchen, streamside, and scented gardens. There’s also an excellent shop selling books, gifts, and a large selection of plants and flowers. 
  • Harrogate: Just under an hour’s drive away, this charming spa town rewards with fabulous shopping and glorious gardens. Must-dos include spending time at the Royal Pump Room Museum, visiting the Harrogate Turkish Baths, and queuing for tea at Betty’s (it’s worth the wait).
Guided Walking

7-night Southern Yorkshire Dales Guided Walking

Accommodation: Newfield Hall, Malhamdale

Departures: Dec 2022, Mar-Dec 2023, 7 nights

Price from: £485

Call 020 3974 8865 to book

Self-Guided Walking

3-night Southern Yorkshire Dales self-guided walking

Accommodation: Newfield Hall, Malhamdale

Departures: Dec 2022, Jan-Dec 2023, 3 nights

Price from: £199

Call 020 3974 8865 to book