Hotel review - Wrea Head Hall, Scarborough

the extensive ground of wrea head hall hotel

Lose yourself with a stay at Wrea Head Hall - Credit: Wrea Head Hall

Less than five miles away from Scarborough beach lies Wrea Head Hall hotel, a pocket of peace for the perfect staycation.

Driving through the village of Scalby, you don't really expect to stumble upon a would imagine is for a Gothic-style mansion in an expanse of beautiful grounds. Yet, opposite the village’s quaint duck pond, is the entrance to Wrea Head Hall. As you make your way up the sweeping driveway, flanked by rolling fields and grazing farm animals, it's easy to hum the overture of Downton Abbey's theme tune.

Known affectionately to regulars as ‘that special place', this luxurious country house hotel prides itself on offering something a little different. It's independently owned by Dr Mark Giles and Gerry Aburrow who decided over a decade ago that it was time for a new venture. Having never worked in hospitality they chose to open a hotel, naturally.

Yet it’s clear to see from the thoughtful touches and elegant layout that the pair have travelled extensively, and more importantly, know what works. The sheer volume of regular guests who have returned in the last ten years is testament to the success of the place, but the pair pride themselves on moving with the times and are always making subtle changes.  

Built in 1881 by Mr John Edward Ellis MP and his wife Maria Rowntree of the famous confectionery family, Mark and Gerry acquired Wrea Head Hall in March 2012, working hard to lovingly restore it to its former glory. While preserving the original features of the house such as the gargoyles, stained glass windows and panelled walls, the pair added personality by including their own unique collection of art and bringing in pieces that compliment the character of Wrea Head Hall. Through this they have created a place that feels elegant and charming, somewhere you look forward to coming back to time and time again. 

This is the exact ethos of the place – guests are invited to leave their troubles at the foot of the drive and totally switch off from the outside world. To create an environment of calm and relaxation, the hotel is a child and dog-free sanctuary to ensure an uninterrupted, peaceful stay.

Hide away in the conservatory or find a secluded spot in the garden where you can simply let the day pass away surrounded by the beauty of the gardens. Even though the hotel is perfectly positioned to reach Scarborough, Whitby or Filey with ease, many guests choose to just enjoy what the hotel has to offer. This is a place where you can feel at home, where the staff are more like old friends and the owners can often be found tending to the grounds. It’s what makes it so special, as does the dining experience.  

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Breakfast is best enjoyed in the original oak panelled dining room where you can enjoy views out towards the National Park and possibly spot a deer frolicking across the lawn as you tuck into a pair of perfectly poached eggs.

In the evening, peruse the extensive wine list in the contemporary bar area before being seated in the library with its roaring fire and crystal chandeliers. The wide-ranging menu features locally sourced dishes and hearty, Yorkshire-sized portions.

Snuggle down with a warm brandy in one of the hall’s armchairs before retiring to bed. With each bedroom boasting its own unique personality and special features, you’re bound to find something that suits. Whether you’re after a four-poster bed, a rolltop clawfoot bath within the room or far-reaching countryside views – you’ll find a room to suit. 

Rooms in the main house tend to be more traditional, while the recently refurbished Carriage House features a selection of modernised suites, deluxe and superior rooms. With ambitious plans for more bedrooms, a spa, billiard room and an extra restaurant, we’re excited to see the future of Wrea Head Hall.  

Pass the time at Wrea Head Hall  

Take a stroll  
With 15 acres of land and access to the North York Moors National Park through one of the hotel’s fields, there’s plenty of space to stretch your legs and take in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.  

Play croquet 
In the summer months, croquet is set out on the lawn for guests to enjoy a game or two. Recharge your batteries afterwards with a spot of afternoon tea in the conservatory.  

Cycle The Cinder Track  
Make your way down the driveway to gain access to the Cinder Track – a popular cycle route through the North York Moors National Park going all the way from Scarborough to Whitby.  

Meet the neighbours  
Listen to the crickets chirp, catch sight of the deer at play or feed the ducks down at the pond – there’s a variety of wildlife within the grounds.  

Watch the sunset 
Sit out on the terrace with a cocktail in hand as you watch the sun disappear for the day, all while taking in the views of Scarborough Castle.

READ MORE: 6 great walks near Scarborough

brown sleigh bed with blue panelled wall

Snuggle down in a sleigh bed in room 36 of the Carriage House Suite - Credit: Wrea Head Hall

wrea head hall hotel and the grounds

Wander through the beautiful grounds - Credit: Wrea Head Hall

a trio of desserts

Delve into delicious desserts - Credit: Wrea Head Hall

door of the carriage house

Step inside the Carriage House - Credit: Beth Windsor

gateway to fields

Wrea Head Hall - the gateway to the North York Moors National Park - Credit: Beth Windsor

four posted bed

Sink into a four-poster bed in room 31 of the Carriage House - Credit: Beth Windsor

a breakfast of eggs royale

Tuck into a traditional Yorkshire breakfast - Credit: Richard Wood

countryside views from a terrace

Enjoy far-reaching views from the terrace - Credit: Beth Windsor

long driveway and a view of Wrea Head Hall hotel

Catch a glimpse of Wrea Head Hall from the sweeping driveway - Credit: Beth Windsor

 bubble bath and glass of champage

Sip champagne in a roll-top, claw-footed bath - Credit: Beth Windsor