Review: Carlton Towers, near Selby

Adam Lowe

Carlton Towers is just a short drive from Selby train station, tucked away in the Yorkshire countryside, where it remains a virtually undiscovered gem.

The home of the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Gerald Fitzalan Howard, this Victorian Gothic residence is available for exclusive use luxury bookings, wedding hire and corporate events.

There are 16 top-notch bedrooms, personally designed and refurbished by Lady Gerald, with grand Staterooms, a Venetian Drawing Room, the Minstrel’s Gallery, and a massive 250 acres of gorgeous parkland. Guests can also take advantage of a range of packages at the on-site spa, Lusso, to pamper themselves after a long week or before a wedding or civil ceremony.

The estate has been the residence of the Duke of Norfolk and his family since the Domesday Book, and one wing of the property is still a family home. This provides a welcoming atmosphere and imbues the house with a living and breathing energy. Carlton Towers is not a museum or a relic—rather it is a lovingly maintained estate, bursting at the seams with boutique grandeur and the heady weight of British history.

Carlton Towers is available for bookings of at least 10 people, and can provide accommodation for up to 30. The house chef prepares elegant meals from locally-sourced seasonal produce and a full cooked and continental breakfast is available in the morning. Dinner, bed and breakfast rates are in the region of around £300 per person, and therefore offer very good value for money compared to less luxurious country settings.

The rooms comprise 13 double, two twin and one single rooms. The Clock Tower and Baroness’ Tower suites provide extra special accommodation for couples or those in need of a decadent, four-poster treat.

Carlton Towers can organise special Race Days for York, Beverley and Doncaster, as well as a Purdey award-winning Game Shooting package. Historic Yorkshire Tours are also available, with a chauffeur-driven tour of the county’s very best historic locations, followed by dinner and an overnight stay at Carlton Towers. Day visitors can enjoy a tea party in the garden or a wine-tasting party in the evening.

Lusso Spa offers a range of treatments from pedicures to reflexology, and facials to aroma massages. Individual treatments start at £10 for waxing and £30 for a pedicure, while massages range from £32 for a 30-minute Swedish massage to £200 for the full Pure Bliss package—four and a half hours that includes a hot stone massage, facial, lusso hydrating paraffin pedicure and manicure, and a glass of champagne.

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About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people. He sometimes performs as Beyonce Holes.