Broughton Sanctuary: Historic Yorkshire Dales estate featured in Channel 5 series All Creatures Great and Small and BBC show Gentleman Jack named among National Geographic's most exciting places to visit

Yorkshire Dales estate Broughton Sanctuary, that dates back to the 11th century and featured in Channel 5 series All Creatures Great and Small, has been named among the most exciting places to visit by National Geographic.

The National Geographic has listed its 13 most exciting places to visit in 2024 and North Yorkshire came seventh place, with a special shout-out to Broughton Sanctuary.

The historic estate, formerly named Broughton Hall, based in Skipton was built in 1097 and has been the residence of the Tempest family for nearly 1,000 years. Its mission is to be a regenerative space that is rooted in the nature and wellbeing of humanity and the planet.

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An article published in the travel magazine noted that rigorous sheep grazing is being depleted, peat bogs and waterways are being replaced and tens of thousands of newly planted saplings expected to enhance tree cover from six per cent to more than 20 per cent.

Historic Yorkshire Dales estate. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)Historic Yorkshire Dales estate. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)
Historic Yorkshire Dales estate. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)

These changes are implemented to help boost the area’s biodiversity and reduce flooding, which includes otters, hares and kestrels. The project already provides experiences such as foraging tours, woodland dining and even moon bathing.

Roger Tempest, a current custodian and the 32nd generation resident of the estate, told The Yorkshire Post: “We’re all about the future really, even though our history is all in the past.

“What we do now is focus on being outer-transformation; we do 50 retreats a year, personal development and transformation.

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“Alongside that we have a big nature recovery programme where we have planted 350,000 trees in the last four years; nature has a home at Broughton.

Nature recovery. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)Nature recovery. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)
Nature recovery. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)

“Our priority is taking care of the environment. We have also restored buildings, given them new purpose, given them a new lease of life.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to be acknowledged. The Yorkshire Dales are stunning, it’s a beautiful area we live in.

“A lot of people are looking for experiences, holidays, getting close to nature environmentally, life can’t just be about shopping. We are delivering all of that by getting people to engage with nature, the kids love it, all families love it, it’s a beautiful experience to have. We are trying to become this sanctuary, a safe haven.”

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Broughton Sanctuary has grown in popularity, partly due to being a filming location for various TV shows and films including Channel 5 series All Creatures Great and Small (as the home of Mrs Pumphrey), BBC One’s Gentleman Jack, Calendar Girls and 2022 biographical drama film Emily based on author Emily Bronte.

Pool suite avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)Pool suite avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)
Pool suite avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)

The estate’s tourism has grown by 30 per cent over the last year, this is mainly due to major changes being implemented over the last five years.

“We blend the new and the old in quite a deep way and we wouldn’t call ourselves a traditional country estate, we’re something else,” Mr Tempest said.

“We’ve seen significant growth [in the last year]; the primary reason is what we’ve done, Covid dropping back and the Yorkshire Dales coming more significantly in the public eye.

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“We’ve created Odyssey over the last couple of years which is a journey of experiences for the mind body spirit – exploring our inner and outer landscapes.

Avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)Avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)
Avalon wellbeing. (Pic credit: Broughton Sanctuary)

“We’ve also created an eco nature recovery sanctuary reserve where we have 20 retreat houses (130 beds) so people can share in it and witness it, share in the journey. We even have the Wyrd Experience which focuses on the science of consciousness and our interconnectedness – beyond A1!

“We are at the beginning of a journey of transforming the food production from foraging, orchard, allotments zones to nature friendly farming which supports food for our community.

“We are also busy preserving our history of art and architecture and archaeology and the Grade I historic house Broughton Hall can be hired out for families and friends.

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“We employ over 55 people now and about 600 people work in the businesses base dat the award winning Broughton Hall Business Park.

“About 30 per cent growth last year with staycations and mostly people coming to witness nature recovery and holidays. For 2024, bookings [have been good] as Yorkshire Dales has been an increasingly popular destination. We are looking at another 30 per cent increase in visitors as we increase public access and opportunities to stay.”

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