Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

North Country, England

Rolling Through England's North Country
Spectacular Scenery Awaits

Saltaire Salt's Mill
Saltaire Salt's Mill


It's your last day, so linger over the continental buffet breakfast at the hotel's pretty Conservatory Restaurant, overlooking the flower-flocked grounds, before checking out.

Interior view of the beds in the Turkish baths
Interior view of the beds in the Turkish baths

You've been on the go since your arrival, so a trip to the wealthy spa town of Harrogate is in store. Coined as the country's "Floral District," Harrogate first made its mark when medicinal springs, containing chalybeate, sulphur and saline, were discovered. There are plenty of cool boutiques, antique shops and cafés in the downtown area; however, its crown jewel is the Turkish Baths & Health Spa. Common in Victorian times, only seven Turkish baths from the 19th century remain. Lucky for you, especially if you're a history buff, this one is the most historically complete. Featuring Moorish arches, arabesque painted ceilings and glazed brickwork, its chambers go from hot to Hades, but numerous cooling rituals, a plunge pool among them, help keep the temperature tolerable. Just be sure to leave enough time: the bathing process alone takes 2 ½ hours when done right.

When you leave, you'll be on cloud nine. Keep the mood intact at Bettys Café. There are over 300 breads, cakes and chocolates on display, plus a massive selection of coffee and tea to choose from.

If you can swing it, spend the night at Devonshire Arms Country House Hotel & Spa, which has been in the family of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire since 1753. Located in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, it's surrounded by open parkland. Oeniphiles will delight in the 2,500-bottle cellar, including a bottle from the 1800s that goes for £12000. Because the property is centrally located on the Bolton Abbey Estate, you'll have access to more than 80 miles of footpaths that meander through the Dales. Not into hoofing it? Mountain bikes are available for rent.

1853 Gallery
1853 Gallery

Once you get the lay of the land, it's time to visit another World Heritage site, Saltaire. The village is named for industrialist Sir Titus Salt, who built a textile mill and planned settlement for his workers on the River Aire. There, Salt's Mill has been transformed into the 1853 Gallery, which houses one of the largest collections of Bradford-born artist David Hockney's works. While you're there, wander the grounds and discover a bevy of shops, restaurants and pubs in historic buildings.

As your stay comes to a close, relax at the hotel before enjoying a meal at the Devonshire Brasserie & Bar or the tony, art-adorned The Burlington. The fun brasserie, decked in bright colors with black walls and red Lucite chairs, is a welcome, contemporary departure from its surroundings. Not to mention, it serves a mean Sunday brunch with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The elegant Burlington focuses on seasonal ingredients. Either way, you'll wrap up your experience in style.

For more information, visit Britain's Official Travel & Tourism Guide at


Hadrien's Wall

* Turkish Baths image britainonview/Martin Brent


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