Our country houses - Thorns Hall

Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes

Ideal for countryside lovers, this Grade II-listed manor house sits in the heart of Sedbergh - the Cumbrian market town treasured for its cobbled streets, public school, artisan shops, and bookshops. You’ll also be within the boundaries of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a nature-rich wonderland cherished for its impressive peaks, ancient woodlands, spectacular waterfalls, and miles of picturesque footpaths. Here’s what makes staying at Thorns Hall so special.

The early years

The earliest reference to Thorns (it was renamed Thorns Hall in 1685) was in 1534 when Alan Sedgwick transferred ‘the gudewill and tennendright of my hole Fermold cald Thornys’ to Giles Lund of Sedbergh for £30. It was then sold in 1586 to John Mayer, Master of Sedbergh School, and the property remained in the family until 1679.  

The property served as the residence for subsequent Masters of Sedbergh School until 1802 when it was marketed as a ‘handsome roomy mansion...with a large fruitful garden and orchard, a cottage, two water corn mills, drying kiln, malt kiln and granary’. It was bought by sea captain William Findlay for £4,650 and changed hands a few times thereafter.  

Thorns Hall has been part of our HF Holidays line-up since 1988 and was visited by King Charles III during our centenary celebrations in 2013.

Superb facilities

Open from March to mid-November and during the festive season, there’s 25 well-appointed guest rooms in three categories (Classic, Premium, and Superior) spread across the main house, cottages, and cobbled courtyard. You’ll also find a dining room for a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients, and an inviting licensed bar that’s ideal for cosying up with a drink by the log burner. 

Although the building has been renovated, many of the original features will appeal to history lovers. This includes wood panelling in the lounge, the beamed ceiling in the dining room, and the original stone flag flooring in the entrance hall. There’s also open fireplaces, a pretty garden, a handy boot and drying room, and a Discovery Point offering easy-to-follow routes, maps, and local information for self-guided walks.

Linger for longer

Whether you’re enjoying one of our guided or self-guided walking holidays, there’s plenty to see and do just a skip away from Thorns Hall. Here’s some of our favourites:

Sizergh Castle: A 25-minute drive north, this 1,600-acre estate delights with ancient woodland, an award-winning limestone rock garden, and a boating lake. Built by the Strickland family in 1350, the house has turrets, battlements, a collection of family paintings, and oak-panelled interiors. 

Levens Hall & Garden: This privately-owned Elizabethan mansion is only a 30-minute drive away. While it’s most cherished for its award-winning topiary gardens – the oldest in the world – inside, there’s fine oak panelling, ornate plasterwork, leather wall coverings, and the earliest examples of English patchwork. 

Kendal: Home of Romney's Kendal Mint Cake which was made famous on 29 May 1953 when it was carried on the first successful summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sirdar Tenzing, this market town is a 20-minute drive away. 

Settle to Carlisle Railway: This 73-mile-long railway route crosses regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines. Head south for the Ribblehead Viaduct as well as Settle, Skipton and Saltaire or head north for Appleby. The nearest station is Garsdale, a 20-minute drive away. 

Hawes & Wensleydale: A 30-minute drive through the Yorkshire Dales takes you to Hawes, a charming market town in Upper Wensleydale. From here you can continue through to Wensleydale, the wide-open valley famous for its historic villages, traditional markets and crafts, and plentiful cheeses. 

Lake District: A 40-minute drive into neighbouring Cumbria, the Lake District has been adored by poets, painters, and literary giants for centuries. It spoils first-timers and returning visitors with charming villages, tumbling waterfalls, impressive peaks, and shimmering bodies of water. 

Lake Windermere: An hour’s drive away, this watery wonder measures 10.5 miles long, one mile wide, and 220 feet deep. Whether you start your journey in Bowness, Ambleside, or Lakeside, there are plenty of cruise operators offering old-fashioned steamers or modern sightseeing vessels.

4-night Western Yorkshire Dales Tread Lightly

Accommodation: Thorns Hall, Sedbergh

Departures: Nov 2023 - Oct 2024, 4 nights

Price from: £479pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3-night Western Yorkshire Dales Festive Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Thorns Hall, Sedbergh

Departing: 27 Dec 2023, 3 nights

Price from: £459pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

3-night Western Yorkshire Dales Guided Walking

Accommodation: Thorns Hall, Sedbergh

Departures: Mar - Nov 2024, 3 nights

Price from: £439pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865

7-night Western Yorkshire Dales Self-Guided Walking

Accommodation: Thorns Hall, Sedbergh

Departures: Mar - Nov 2024, 7 nights

Price from: £779pp

Book now or call 020 3974 8865