A hotel haven outside Leeds
It was a balmy hot day when we arrived at Oulton Hall, an imposing hotel in the outskirts of Leeds, set in beautiful grounds. It’s just seven miles from the bustling city centre but is a world away with rural views as far as the eye can see. The gardens are neatly and pedantically cared for and wherever you walk you are surrounded by lush greenery alongside an expansive 18 hole golf course.
The building dates back to the 18th century when it started life as a farmhouse. It was owned by the Calverley family for over 100 years from the early 1800s. A renowned landscape gardener, Humphrey Repton, was employed to landscape the grounds putting in a lodge house, a lake and a new entrance, making the property secluded from the outside world.
Now it is a five star hotel favoured by sports teams including the England Cricket Team who were in residence the week before us. In addition to the golf course, there is a thriving spa with swimming pool, sauna and steam rooms a good range of soothing therapies. We had an excellent back, neck and head massage by staff who were friendly and professional and ensured you fully relaxed.
The large attractive bar is a place to relax, read a book, sip a coffee, or have a few glasses of wine inside or out. The wood panelling and book shelves lend a luxury style and all the furniture and furnishings are suitably high quality. There’s an extensive dinner menu for meat and fish eaters and a vegan menu as well in the Calverley Grill, named after the long-term owners.
Our suite was really big with large sash windows looking out on magnificent views, and allowing in plenty of fresh air on such a hot day.
Over the years Oulton Hall has been a private residence, a haven for refugees and shell shocked soldiers, a mental hospital, a police training establishment, and finally in 1993 De Vere Hotels opened it as the first luxury five star hotel in the north of England. More recently it was bought by Q Hotels and is a very popular prestigious venue for weddings, business meetings, and holidays.