Swinton Estate in the Yorkshire Dales offer some of the most extensive shooting in the UK, with 20,000 acres of woodlands and valleys that stretch from the River Ure in Wensleydale up onto the moorland Dales.
The Cunliffe-Lister family acquired Swinton Estate in the 1880s. At the time Swinton was one of two premier sporting estates for sale, the other being Sandringham. The story goes that the Royal Family (after inspecting Swinton) decided that the pheasants were too high and plumped for Sandringham instead. Since then the excellent sport and hospitality at Swinton has been legendary and has attracted a great range of people from former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Harold Macmillan, to American singer and actor Bing Crosby and even other European royals.
The Estate offers a beautiful mixture of heather moorland and deep valleys that produce some of the best grouse, partridge, pheasant and duck shooting in the country, and the Warren Gill Shooting School offers an excellent choice of drives for all standards of clay pigeon shooting, providing tuition at every level. The school also has a rifle shooting range. The hotel has a gun cabinet and boot room, and is just a short walk from the estate yard and game larder where guns meet and disperse at the end of the day. Other country pursuits available on the estate include river fishing (grayling, trout, sea trout and salmon), reservoir fishing (rainbow trout), golf, riding, walking and falconry at our Bird of Prey Centre.
The Estate has over half of the ground in nationally run conservation schemes supported by Natural England which helps maintain the hugely valuable habitat recognised to have world wide conservation importance. Game preservation for shooting provides an essential link in the chain of keeping this habitat intact for conservation and environmental sustainability purposes.
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Thank goodness the sun has now come out and we seem to have finally put winter behind us! The Parkland has burst into bloom with clouds of blossom and a colourful carpet of daffodils and bluebells around the trees.
The Walled Garden is also getting going, with bright tulips swaying in the breeze and home grown asparagus bursting forth. Asparagus is at its most delicious when eaten closest to home, so dishes featuring home-grown asparagus are now on all our menus, including the bar and lounge. The garden furniture is out and soon it will be time for afternoon teas on the lawn and evening drinks on the terrace at sunset. English summertime at it’s best.
Please click here if you are making plans for 2013 and want to see our Events and Activities Calendar to book a cookery course, themed lunch or family event. Our inspirational Themed Lunch and Dining Experiences page includes Wine Appreciation Lunches, with talks and tastings led by our new sommelier David Borwick, together with our Gardening Lunches, which include a talk and tour with garden designer Susan Cunliffe-Lister.