The Black Swan Hotel

2 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type



Date of travel

Jun, 2014

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with

Adult family

Reasons for trip


Earlier this year I was extremely exited to receive an email from Silver Travel Advisor to say I had won a two night break to North Yorkshire. This consisted of two nights bed & breakfast & one evening meal at the renowned Black Swan hotel in the lovely market town of Helmsley. I was accompanied on this two night break by my sister and we travelled by public transport as we no longer travel long distances by car. Unfortunately Helmsley does not have a railway station so we set off from Manchester on a direct service to Malton. At Malton we went by taxi to Helmsley & booked into the Black Swan. The original Black Swan used to be a partly timber framed coaching inn which has been extended over the years by occupying adjacent buildings. This makes for a quirky interior with lots of different levels & creaky stair cases. It also has a very pretty garden at the rear where you can eat and/or just have a drink and relax. As part of the prize we had one evening meal in the hotels renowned restaurant. This consisted of ten courses from their Tasting Menu, which was marvellous, but rather too filling, even though each course was very small, so we gave up after eight courses. I must say though that both my sister & I tasted food we would never have ordered from the menu. I can therefore highly recommend this form of dining if you would like to excite your taste buds with food cooked in interesting & novel ways. Overall the service & food, including the hearty breakfast's, were outstanding & I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone considering a stay in the North Yorkshire area. Helmsley itself is a bustling market town with lots to do in the local area. We visited over a long June weekend when there was a Bikers Festival held in the grounds of Duncombe Park, but this did not intrude on our enjoyment of the local beauty spots. The ruins of Helmsley Castle, which is managed by English Heritage, was an easy stroll from our hotel. This was held for King Charles 1st during the civil war and endured a 3 month siege before being starved into submission in 1644 by the Parliamentarians.It later became the home of the future owners of Duncombe Park before they moved out & the ruins became a romantic folly. Well worth a visit for the spectacular views of the beautiful local countryside. Also worth a visit is the adjacent original walled gardens, which is now run by a local charity. During our stay we walked a well marked path to the to the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey, which along with the Rievaulx Terrace was spectacular and very atmospheric. Both well managed and run by English Heritage and The National Trust respectively. Rievaulx Abbey has a lovely cafe with outside seating where we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch after our walk. We also tried to visit Castle Howard, but due to unreliable public transport in the local area this had to be abandoned. This is a shame in an era when we are all asked to consider green issues & use our cars less. All in all though we managed to pack a lot into our three days in Helmsley. If I ever return to this area I would definitely go by car. There is so much more you can explore if you do not have to rely on public transport. Examples of which are Whitby & Scarborough on the coast and of course Castle Howard.


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.