Larpool Hall: The holiday destination near Whitby named the ‘ultimate North Yorkshire walking holiday’ by The Times and The Sunday Times located at an 18th century country house where children can visit for free

The Yorkshire holiday destination at Larpool Hall has been named the ‘ultimate North Yorkshire walking holiday’ by The Times and The Sunday Times where children can visit for free.

The Sunday Times journalist Vincent Crump took his family on a trip to HF Holiday’s North York Moors Family Walking Adventure for a week of adventure-filled activities and has now dubbed it the ‘ultimate North Yorkshire walking holiday’ for families.

The holiday is based at 18th century Georgian mansion Larpool Hall located just outside of Whitby.

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The country house was built in the 1780s on a site that dates back to the Norman era and the Hall was originally owned by Sir Jonathan Lacey, who was a Whitby ropemaker turned shipbuilder who operated a shipyard on the estate.

Roseberry Topping. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)Roseberry Topping. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)
Roseberry Topping. (Pic credit: Gary Longbottom)

King George III’s physician, Dr John Turton, was the next resident and had a major role in delivering babies. The house was then passed down through the family.

The National Children’s Home in 1919 bought the house from Dr Turton’s descendent, Sir Edmund Russborough Turton, 1st Baronet and Conservative Party politician. During the acquisition by the children’s home, it provided a sanctuary for boys up to the age of 16 until 1968 and was converted into a hotel in 1986 and has been part of HF Holidays since 1998.

In his review, Mr Crump said: “HF has been offering these house-party hiking breaks for more than a century. Its founder, TA Leonard, was a social reformer who set out to provide ‘the healthy pursuit of open-air holidays enjoyed in a spirit of friendship’.

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“Today the co-operative operates 16 country houses from Hampshire to the Highlands and you can tell its old-school ethos still pertains.

View of Staithes. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)View of Staithes. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)
View of Staithes. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)

“I suspect the format hasn’t changed much either: each day we’ll get a choice of four guided walks, between three miles and 12, coach transfers to the start, a full-board fare served at communal tables, and quizzes and ping-pong in the ballroom after dinner. You can duck out and do your own thing, of course, but make sure you fill in the correct form beforehand.”

Mr Crump was especially impressed with the value of the holiday as well as certain activities that surprised him.

“HF’s family weeks are especially good value — free for kids under 11, half-price up to age 17. And our two are delighted by the rambling old hall, with its mysterious staircases and spooky walled gardens,” he said.

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“Every night they get to snuggle up on pull-out beds for a family-room sleepover and order their own packed lunches from a retro menu of pork pie or sausage roll, Soreen banana loaf or Tunnock’s caramel wafer.

Goathland Station. (Pic credit: James Hardisty)Goathland Station. (Pic credit: James Hardisty)
Goathland Station. (Pic credit: James Hardisty)

“While a tour round a 17th-century chemical works may not sound particularly child-centric, [tour guide at Larpool Hall] Caroline brings it alive for William with tales about the cannons that once guarded the factory from pirates, and the shipfuls of urine imported from London to aid the alum-making.”

The trip starts with a lavish lunch in the ballroom where a guide goes through the rules and schedule and guests can find a welcome pack in their rooms.

There are various evening activities including a weekly HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz on Wednesdays. There are also plenty of walks to enjoy with the family, whether you are an experienced hiker or new to hiking. Various walks cover some of North Yorkshire’s most scenic landscapes including the fishing village of Staithes, Roseberry Topping, Goathland and plenty more locations in the North York Moors National Park.

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