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The Black Swan Hotel, Helmsley, York


Set in the picturesque market town of Helmsley in north Yorkshire, the Black Swan hotel is a picturesque 4* hotel with bags of character and a history dating back over 500 years, not to mention its resident ghosts…

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Although not much is known about the origins of the ghosts at the Black Swan Hotel, it’s thought that there has been resident ghosts at the hotel for many years, which is no surprise considering that York is an incredibly historical city, known for its high levels of paranormal activity.

Staff and guests alike have reported ghostly goings on at the hotel, sightings of an old well dressed gentleman and a young blonde woman have been reported.

Brief History

The hotel comprises of three houses, a black and white timber-framed house on the left, a Georgian house in the middle, and an Elizabethan building on the right. The Elizabethan building is believed to stand on the site where an inn has been situated for many, many centuries. The hotel was in fact always destined to become a coaching inn when in 1838 it was decided to run a staging coach linking Leeds and York with Helmsley. The coach called three times a week at the Black Swan Hotel and was known as the Helmsley Highflyer.

Helmsley itself is a historical market town and was once famous for its wool and linens. William Wordsworth was one of the first famous people to sample Helmsley as a tourist destination and he and his sister stayed in the Black Swan on their way to another location. So happy with their stay, Dorothy noted the following in her journal: ‘My heart danced at the sight of its cleanly outside, bright yellow walls, casements overshadowed with jasmine and its low, double gavel-ended font’.


The Black Swan Hotel is a historic inn turned boutique hotel situated right in the heart of Helmsley, one of North Yorkshire’s prettiest villages. It’s ideally located for exploring some of the best that the north-east has to offer, including a number of market towns, Scarborough and York. The hotel has a unique boutique style – but they haven’t forgotten their historical roots and have kept the interior of the hotel a wonderful mix of old and new, blending antiques with contemporary furnishings in a delightful way.

45 en-suite bedrooms are offered at the hotel, all comfortably furnished with snuggly duvets and soft bathrobes and towels. Two dining options are offered, including a 2 AA rosette award-winning restaurant and a tearoom and patisserie. The restaurant offers high-quality, local and seasonal produce and a menu that changes monthly to take advantage of the produce that Yorkshire has to offer, as well as a tasting menu that really showcases the skills of the head chef.

The tearoom offers a few lighter eating choices as well as a selection of teas from around the world – but if you don’t fancy eating in at the hotel, there are also plenty of restaurants ideally located close to the hotel. With a warm, relaxing ambience, a huge sense of luxury, a convenient location and some fantastic dining choices, your stay at the Black Swan Hotel is sure to be massively enjoyable.


  • 45 en-suite bedrooms
  • Complimentary toiletries
  • Complimentary fluffy towels and bathrobes
  • Thick, snug duvets to ward off the Yorkshire chill
  • Television in every room
  • Tea and coffee making facilities in every room
  • Pets allowed at the hotel
  • Disabled access
  • 24 hour room service
  • Cots available
  • Private dining services available
  • Choice of dining options
  • Wedding license
  • Close to the Verbena spa
  • Close to transport links

Room Tariff

  • Classic double room, based on two people sharing, breakfast included, available from £152.00
  • Classic twin room, based on two people sharing, breakfast included, available from £152.00
  • Classic double room, based on two people sharing, breakfast and dinner included, available from £208.00
  • Classic twin room, based on two people sharing, breakfast and dinner included, available from £208.00
  • Junior suite, breakfast included, available from £174.00
  • Junior suite, breakfast and dinner included, available from £230.00

Prices will vary depending on what day the booking is made for and what time of the year the booking is made.

Things to do

Helmsley is a small, pretty market town, right on the edge of the North York Moors National Park. If outdoor activities are your thing, you could go walking, cycling or racing around the national park. If you prefer a slower pace of life, take a look around Helmsley Walled Gardens or some of the local art centres, museums, castles or Rievaulx Abbey. You could also spend your stay shopping in York – whatever you like to do, you’ll find it in York.

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